Deacon Bors is following an unusual path to the priesthood

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To note: Archbishop William E. Lori will ordain five men to the priesthood on June 18 at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland. Here is the profile of one of these future priests. Click on here read the profiles of other new priests.

As a midshipman at the US Naval Academy more than four decades ago, Deacon James Bors saw something in his Protestant friends that was missing in his own life: a personal relationship with Christ.

Although Deacon Bors grew up in a Catholic family, attended a parish in Prince George’s County, and had examples of good faith from his parents, his commitment to his religious beliefs was not on the same level as Protestant aspirants. whom he met in Annapolis.

From left, Deacon James Bors, Jeff, Jeff’s wife Julia and Michael in Kailua Beach, Hawaii, where Jeff and Julia lived for five years while serving in the Coast Guard and Army of the ‘air. (Courtesy of the Bors family)

At their invitation, Deacon Bors joined Bible studies and began deep conversations about what it means to be a Christian. His heart was set on fire for the love of Christ in a new way, he said.

“My Protestant brothers at the academy were very serious and very deliberate about their relationship with Christ and their love for the Scriptures,” recalls Deacon Bors, who left the Catholic Church for about a year and a half at the time. ‘academy. “They really helped my faith grow by leaps and bounds.”

Despite his newfound enthusiasm, Deacon Bors was not entirely comfortable as a Protestant. His childhood faith pulled him and he eventually returned to his Catholic roots. After being challenged by a Protestant friend to defend Catholic teachings some fifteen years after graduating from the academy, he devoted himself to the study of doctrines on the Blessed Virgin Mary, the papacy and the sacraments. .

The more he learned, the more he fell in love with Catholicism. The commitment became so strong that Deacon Bors decided to dedicate the rest of his life to the service of God and the Church. He will be ordained a priest on June 18 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen of the Fatherland.

“One of the main reasons I felt called to become a priest was this knowledge and assurance that the Catholic faith is rooted in Scripture, history and tradition – and in logic,” he said. he explains. “Everything fits together. It’s organic. It’s integrated. It’s a.”

Deacon Bors acknowledged that he had taken an unusual path to the priesthood.

James and Shirley Bors were married on February 16, 1985 at a submarine base in Groton, Connecticut. She died in 2010. (Courtesy of the Bors family)

As a naval officer he performed classified work on the USS Birmingham SSN 695 submarine. He was an academy class instructor and spent 25 years in manufacturing and consulting.

He and his wife, Shirley, raised two sons at St. Andrew by the Bay in Annapolis, where Deacon Bors was involved in everything from Bible study to faith-sharing programs.

Then, after his wife took her own life in 2010, Deacon Bors found a new level of spiritual support from fellow parishioners who offered solace and encouragement.

“It was the parishioners themselves who started asking me to think and pray for the priesthood,” he recalls. “After a few years of discernment, it became clear that the Lord was calling me.”

As he began his studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Deacon Bors noticed parallels between his military life and religious life.

“The Naval Academy and the Seminary are very much about training,” he said. “One trains you to serve your country and the other trains you to serve God.”

Deacon Bors said he was indebted to his Protestant friends for helping him deepen his faith. He looks forward to sharing his love of God with others as a priest – and he dedicates his priesthood to the memory of his wife.

“I just want to take them deeper into their walk with the Lord,” he said, “to help them know and understand Him more deeply in the scriptures and help them be faithful witnesses.”

Email George Matysek at [email protected]

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