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Carter Pierce hopes to be ‘joy-filled witness’


Aug. 30, 2017

By Cathy Russell
Diocesan vocation coordinator

First in a series

Carter Pierce has begun his first year of studies for the priesthood at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.

Last year, Carter was a student at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., so he is a second year college seminarian.

Carter PierceA native of Heuvelton and St. Raphael’s parish, Carter is the son of Kelvin and Carolyn Pierce. Both parents are large animal veterinarians and the family has a small farm. The ethic of hard work is a family trait!

From his earliest memories, Carter was very close to his family as he grew up with three older brothers, one younger brother and two younger sisters.

“Faith was a daily part of life in our home,” he said. “We were active in the parish and always attended Mass on Sunday whether we were home or away.”

After finishing elementary school at St. Marguerite D’Youville Academy in Ogdensburg, Carter attended Heuvelton Central where he played basketball and participated in chorus, band and the rocket club.

“From an early age, my plan was to raise a family and own a farm,” he said, but three life changing experiences focused his attention in a different direction. The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, World Youth Day in Poland and a pilgrimage to New York City “deepened my faith, set by the example of those around me,” he said.

“They challenged and inspired me to want to live a life closer to God, understanding that this is the way to true happiness and fulfillment.”

Carter credits Father Bryan Stitt for bringing his discernment to fruition. “He was always there for me when I needed advice,” he said, “and he is a great man and role model.”

Carter’s favorite saints are St. Gabriel and St. Thomas More.

He finds inspiration in his favorite bible quote: “Your every act should be done with love.” (1Cor. 16:14).
What Carter is most looking forward to as a priest is ”being a joy-filled witness of Christ’s love to the world, administering the sacraments and finding ways to help all those in need.”

For anyone who is thinking God might be calling him to the priesthood, Carter’s advice is: “don’t be embarrassed and don’t underestimate the power of prayer and the intercession of the saints.

“Trust that what God wills is what will make you happy and commit yourself to the discovery of it!,” he said.

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