By David Tisdale
HATTIESBURG – He entertained the idea of becoming a priest throughout high school, but it wasn’t until college that Ocean Springs native Adam Frey heard the call to commit to the vocation. Now a seminarian affiliated with Saint Joseph Seminary in Covington, La., Frey is back in the Diocese of Biloxi currently assigned this summer at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic.
“I was never truly open to the possibility of being called at that time (during high school),” Frey said. “Then in college at the University of South Alabama, the priest there told us to open our hearts to the Lord’s will in our life. So with that in mind, along with going to daily Mass, weekly adoration and serving at Mass for the first time, I became more open to the priesthood.”
Soon, he would experience a powerful encounter that initiated that journey.
“The turning point was once when I had a strong encounter with Lord before Mass that I could not ignore, and after that I talked with the priest about my discernment to that point.”
When Frey applied to serve as a seminarian in the Diocese of Biloxi, Bishop Roger Morin gave him a copy of a book on St. Therese of Lisieux and her “little way” in life. Appreciating the small but significant gifts and blessings God places in our path, he says, play a big role in guiding him in his daily journey and he sees that continuing into the priesthood. “I found a connection with her in finding joy in the little things in life,” he said.
During his time at St. Thomas, Frey said he has found real joy in his visits with those in assisted living centers and hospital patients. “For some of these people, you are the only person they see outside the center,” he said. “It’s wonderful that in seeing their reaction to seeing you is in part because they know you have Jesus in with you in the Eucharist.”
Frey is a graduate of Ocean Springs High School, where he was a member of the Blue-Grey Pride Band. He earned the Eagle Scout designation, the highest rank in the Boy Scout organization, and is also a member of Knights of Columbus. He is the son of Michelle and Robert Frey and has a brother, Darren. His assignment with the diocese is something of a homecoming, one he hopes will continue in service going forward, including being a resource for high school and college students like those he has encountered at St. Thomas, and perhaps provide counsel to someone who, like Frey was only a few years earlier, is considering a life of service to his or her faith. “I would enjoy working with the youth of the Diocese, including at St. Patrick High School or continuing at St. Thomas in Hattiesburg, because it is at these places where they are thinking about what they want to do with their life,” Frey said. “Some of them may have thought about a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, and I would like to be able to help them to better discern His will.”