Fr. Ricardo Davis blesses well-wishers after he was ordained to the priesthood May 9 at St. Michael’s Cathedral. Photo by Evan Boudreau

Priesthood wins in struggle with celebrity

  • May 11, 2015

TORONTO - Fr. Ricardo Davis struggled with a calling from two cities half a world apart.

One called him towards a life of celebrity, the other to a life of celibacy.

“The two cities are Hollywood and Rome,” said Davis, ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Toronto on May 9 at St. Michael’s Cathedral. “Cities that symbolized two paths that were opened to me. Cities that in a sense I always felt torn between.”

Although born into the Catholic faith in Jamaica, Davis grew up in Toronto, the capital of the very secularized Canada. It’s an upbringing that left Davis craving the Western world’s glamour.

“My dream was to become a big time director in Hollywood, making big movies, schmoozing with celebrities and living the Hollywood lifestyle,” he said.

So Davis headed to Toronto’s Ryerson University where he earned a bachelor of fine arts with a focus in film studies. He then landed a job in the film industry, a step closer to the Hollywood lifestyle he so craved.

“And yet there was a part of me that was very much drawn to ministry in the Church,” he said. “This constant tension between these two cities, these two forces or these possible roads in life made it difficult for me to settle on any one path as both were appealing to me for various reasons.”

Feeling less than content in the film industry, Davis began taking on a number of roles at his parish, St. Michael’s Cathedral, eventually taking over as head sacristan.

“During those years the cathedral community saw the worst of me and for some reason still believed that I had a call to the priesthood, encouraging me to rise above my sense of unworthiness and to answer God’s call in my life.”

After a number of years and encouragement from the cathedral community, Davis enrolled at St. Augustine’s Seminary. Eight years later he is now a priest who will serve at St. Patrick’s parish in Markham, Ont.

“Although I flirted with the idea of living and working in Hollywood for a while I was never able to fully shake the feeling deep down that I was meant to be a priest.”

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