With patience, Asch finds his calling

  • March 23, 2011
Russell AschEditor’s note: This is the first in our series of profiles on the men who will graduate from St. Augustine’s Seminary this spring and be ordained to the priesthood for various dioceses.

Russell Asch’s life has been filled with travel, music and culture. Now, it will be filled with the Catholic faith.

The son of opera singers, Asch was born in Montreal but was raised in England. He was an active member of Bevis Marks Sephardic Synagogue during his formative years, as he studied Restoration stone-carving.

It wasn’t until 1997 that Asch, 39, was baptized into the Catholic faith.

“For me, it has very much been the idea of patience,” said Asch about his vocation to Catholic religious life.

“God, does He speak to us? Yes, I believe He does,” he said. “But does He speak to us in vast miracles? Presently, to myself at least, no, and perhaps to most people, not. And that might be a reason for something of a lack of vocations today.”

It was only after working in a bookshop for five years that Asch entered the seminary, as he was becoming more and more familiar with the Toronto Catholic community through visits with his mother. Asch will be ordained in May.

“It’s not been an easy journey, but it’s not been an easy journey for any of the seminarians, or any of us... We’ve all had our ups and downs and we all have our vocations in life.”

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