September 22, 2014

MISSION, B.C. – An Edmonton man has taken the next step toward the priesthood after seven years of living in a Benedictine monastery.

Frater Caesarius Marple was ordained a deacon at Westminster Abbey Aug. 31.

"I was completely confident in the mercy of God. There wasn't really any nervousness," said Marple, 27, after his ordination.

Born in Edmonton to a family of 10, Marple loved family life but also felt a nudge toward a priestly vocation. At the end of high school he entered the seminary for a year to discern.

Charles Marple, the new deacon's father, said he always thought his son John, who later took the name Caesarius, would have a family and children of his own.

"He just loves kids, and was very good with our handicapped daughter Mary," Charles recalled.

"He came home one day from high school and he said, 'Dad, I'm not sure if God's calling me or not, but I want to give him the first option.'"

Marple left his home for Mission nine years ago. "I went to the seminary thinking, 'If God doesn't call me, he will let me know,'" he recounted.

But he didn't want to become a monk. While the seminarians teased him, saying he'd do well to use his Grade 8 piano skills on the monastery's organ, Marple resisted the call.

"The more I said 'no' to God, the more he said 'yes.' He doesn't force his hand," he said. "If you fight God, you can't find true peace."

The restless seminarian added the Divine Mercy Chaplet to his daily prayers, and after three weeks, felt he received the grace to accept his destiny in the monastery. He entered in 2007.

"It's a blessing, really," Charles remarked. "The Lord has called him and he has responded. That's what we want for all of our children."