Chaminade's first graduate-priest gained strength through faith

  • November 4, 2011

TORONTO - It's fitting that Chaminade College School's motto is Fortes in Fide, strength through faith, said Fr. Ante Market, the school's first ever graduate to be ordained to the priesthood.

"I'm thankful to God for calling me and I'm thankful to Chaminade for giving me the opportunity to grow in my faith," he told The Catholic Register.

On Nov. 4, the school honoured Market with a special Mass in honour of his ordination earlier this year. The Mass was held as part of the Serra Club of Toronto West's portrait program, where a newly ordained priest is invited to celebrate Mass at his alma mater, said Joe Gennaro, president of the Chaminade College School Alumni Association and vice president of membership with the Serra Club of Toronto West.

"It's a great step in opening the doors to have other young men considering priesthood," said Gennaro.

As part of the ceremony, the Serra Club of Toronto West gave the school a token — a portrait of Market to be hung in the school's chapel.

"It's a beautiful opportunity for the young men of the school to see a priest who sat in the same seats, who studied the same courses and who had the same teachers," said Market.

Ordained last May, Market, 29, is now serving in the Peterborough diocese at Our Lady of the Assumption Church.

Born in Toronto, his parents, both immigrants from Croatia, met at a parish dance in Toronto in 1975.

"My parents first taught me my faith and my parish supported me in my faith but I'm certain that my high school formation was pivotal," said Market.

During his high school years, Market said he was comfortable either becoming a doctor or a priest.

"I found that there was no competition between the two," he said. "Both were wonderful callings and the Lord was calling me to either of them. I answered the call to the priesthood and I'm very happy for saying yes."

Market was able to take the first steps toward his other calling to medicine with the full scholarship he received from York University to study biology, chemistry and math. But he didn't finish his degree, leaving York for studies at St. Augustine's Seminary.

A little over five months into the priesthood, Market said he couldn't imagine a more beautiful life.

"To have the gift and the opportunity to celebrate Holy Mass each day is just extraordinary…Being a priest is far more beautiful than I could ever imagine," he said.

Everything he learned from his teachers during his Chaminade years helped to ground him, he said.

"They were really good in laying the groundwork telling us Catholic young men that God is good and that God is calling us to great things."

And Market never forgot his alma mater.

"When I was at the seminary, on various occasions I would go visit certain classes and certain teachers at Chaminade, so I've always kept the connection. And I thank God that they are thanking God for the gift of the priesthood."

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