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Fr. James Altman in an Oct. 23, 2020 interview with LifeSiteNews.

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin, May 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Fr. James Altman, the priest who made headlines last year for boldly stating that “you cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat,” has shared with LifeSiteNews his amazing story of being called to the priesthood.

Altman, who spent 12 years practicing as a lawyer, revealed that prior to his vocation, he dreamed of being married and having a family with 13 children.

“So this was not in the picture, this whole thing,” he said, pointing at himself and his surroundings, as he sat in St. James the Less Catholic Church in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he serves as pastor. “It was a negative, it wasn’t even a neutral.”

“And then, one day, God called,” he said.

Fr. Altman explained, “Some friends had dragged me against my will to an ordination, at the cathedral in Marquette, Michigan.”

He recounted how after the bishop performed the laying on of hands, there came the point “when one by one, every other priest in the cathedral comes up and lays hands on the man’s head, and prays silently.”

Then came what Altman describes as his ten-second life-changing encounter.

“The best way I can think of it is like Pentecost. Because this great weight came down upon me, and a heat. A great heat, so much so that it was like, ‘What’s going on?’”

“And I just knew, in that ten seconds, that my life was over, as I knew it.”


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