A group of men receive a blessing from Fr. David Twaddle, shortly after he was ordained to the priesthood in a ceremony at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Cathedral May 9. Photo by Evan Boudreau

New priest rediscovered his love of the Church in aftermath of 9/11

  • May 11, 2015

TORONTO - Fr. David Twaddle always wanted a career where his work would be close to Heaven, but being a priest wasn’t his first choice.

“If you were to tell me 15 years ago that I would be ... preparing for ordination to the priesthood I would never have believed you,” said Twaddle prior to his May 9 ordination to the priesthood at St. Michael’s Cathedral. “When I was in high school I thought I had my whole life planned out. I had a huge passion for aviation and I really enjoyed working with my hands so I really wanted wanted to be an aircraft mechanic.”

So after graduating from high school in Unionville, Ont., Twaddle headed to Canadore College in North Bay, Ont., to study aircraft mechanics.

“When I graduated in 2001 I got my first job at Buttonville Municipal Airport working for a flight training school,” said the 45-year-old.

That September brought Twaddle’s aviation dreams crashing down when two planes slammed into the World Trade Centre’s two towers.

“After the attacks the aviation industry turned upside down,” he said. “I lost my job along with many of my colleagues and finding a job back in aviation was almost impossible. I was unemployed for a few months trying to get back into the work force and while I had all this free time on my hands I found a Bible in my room I hadn’t touched in a few years and I started reading through it.”

As Twaddle turned the pages day-by-day, he began “rediscovering and relearning” the faith he grew up immersed in as a young altar server.

Eventually Twaddle’s mother caught wind of her son’s newfound foundation in faith and invited him to Sunday Mass.

“Returning to Mass on Sunday morning after so many years was a wonderful experience,” he said. “I wanted more and I kept coming back.”

Feeling a renewed sense of peace, joy and faith, Twaddle became more involved in the Church. He was invited to a Called by Name conference where he heard Cardinal Thomas Collins speak about the priesthood and answering a vocation calling.

“This is when I thought maybe Jesus is calling me to be a priest,” he said. “But I struggled with this for the next couple of years until in 2008 I decided that I needed to leave my life behind and focus on this possible calling.”

That September, seven years after losing his dream job, Twaddle became a seminarian at Toronto’s St. Augustine’s Seminary.

“And I don’t regret this decision one bit,” said the new priest who will server at St. Francis of Xavier Church in Mississauga, Ont.

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