His plan was to take over the farm. His plan was to stay in his hometown, Golva, North Dakota. He was going to have a family and become a permanent deacon. Then, he found his true calling.
Deacon Adam Maus, 33, will be ordained a priest June 12. After becoming more involved in the church and community once he came back home from college, he knew God wanted something bigger for him.
Maus says his passion began when he was invited to a Bible study. He was reluctant at first, but quickly developed a newfound relationship with God, as well as a strong prayer routine.
“I went to the Bible study and I really encountered the living word of God and I got lit on fire in a big way,” Maus said in his Bismarck Diocese online vocation video
Eventually, Maus got more and more involved in his church; he co-taught a CCD class because he figured the best way to learn about faith was to teach it.
“At the end of that year I knew I was being called to something more; I didn’t really know what it was,” Maus said. “One day a light kind of went on - I could be a permanent deacon.”
A family friend approached Maus one day after Mass. She told him that she was praying for him to become a priest. He dismissed the idea, but it stayed in the back of his mind.
“Looking back, that is so beautiful how people pray for vocations,” Maus said. “It’s incredible, the support I had from the start.”
The call to priesthood was soon being echoed. Maus says that deep down he knew it was his calling, but he didn’t think he was worthy of the position. After a lot of reflection and prayer, Maus knew this was the real call.
“I had great guidance and am very grateful for it, but it would be unfair to say that I would be on a different path otherwise, because this call came from God,” Maus said. “God was very generous to me through all the people in my life and spiritually.”
Once Maus made his decision, he had to tell his parents he would be pursuing the priesthood instead of taking over the farm. He says his father was immediately supportive and proud, but his mother took a little extra time getting used to the idea. Shortly after, he went to a live-in weekend at the now-closed Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo to experience what he would be doing in order to become a priest.
“When I went to the live-in weekend at Cardinal Muench Seminary I didn't have any doubts about the priesthood, only some anxiety about committing. After I went to confession on the first night of the live-in weekend, I was totally put at ease and peace knowing that I was where I was supposed to be and this is what I was supposed to do,” Maus said. “That peace is unlike any other feeling one can have. I just knew, and said ‘Okay Lord, let’s do it.’”
Maus says his last months at home were beautiful; he spent them with his father, who was battling cancer. He passed away in 2007 before Maus left for Fargo to begin his studies.
The people that Maus has met in his years preparing for priesthood have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on him.
“It has been a blessing to have the kind of fraternity that I have experienced in each of the two seminaries that I attended. It is not true to say that all in the house are equally best friends, but we are all on the same track, experiencing similar things and being formed after the heart of Christ,” Maus said. “It is a unique and positive fraternity through experience, making us close.”
Maus is both ready and excited to become an ordained priest. He says he is most looking forward to bringing people to Christ, and Christ to people.
“It has been a great ride. The seven years spent in the seminary have been a tremendous blessing,” Maus said. “The formation and education has been top notch and will serve me well in the future.”
Maus’s first Mass as an ordained priest will be in his hometown.
“This means a great deal to me. Not only because everyone at home has been so supportive, but also because each of the people I know, in their own way, have helped form me as a man and have aided my formation to the sacred priesthood,” Maus said. “I also have a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the patron saint of my home church in Golva. I attribute this call to the priesthood and the generous outpouring of God's love upon myself and home community to her intercession.”
Priesthood wasn’t his original plan, but Maus is ready for the unknown. He knows God will lead him in the right direction as He always has.
“I have never regretted the decision, nor have I wanted to pursue anything else,” Maus said. “That has been a great blessing, to not struggle with discerning whether or not I was called to the priesthood throughout my time in the seminary.”
Maus’ ordination Mass will be held Thursday, June 12 at 3 p.m. at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck. All are welcome to attend.
>> View the Bismarck Diocese press release
regarding Maus' ordination