The Rev. Vince Guest, installed Saturday night as pastor of the Roman Catholic Parish of the Holy Cross in Bridgeton, entered the seminary after high school. But he didn't become a priest until he was more than 50 years old.
"After a few years at St. Charles Seminary, I questioned if God was calling me," said Guest, 53. "I had never dated. I needed to be sure."
So he left seminary for graduate school, getting a master's degree in government administration at the University of Pennsylvania, and started working in politics. He worked on Bob Casey's campaign for governor, then in Casey's administration as deputy secretary of the commonwealth, and special assistant to the governor.
"I met lots of good people in politics," Guest said.
He continued on a trajectory for a political career, going to law school in his early 30s and working for a Philadelphia firm. At one point, he had an offer from the Attorney General's Office.
"The position there was working with the death penalty, and my conscience couldn't allow that," Guest said.
Instead, he took a job with the Camden Center for Law and Social Justice, funded in part by the Catholic Diocese of Camden. There, he worked on immigration and domestic violence cases. Later, he handled child welfare cases for the New Jersey Attorney General's Office in Atlantic City.
And he dated, but something kept him from marrying, he said. In 2009, he realized that even with a great job and a house in Brigantine, something was missing. He sold the house, quit his job and went back to seminary at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
After being ordained in 2012, he was assigned to Holy Cross as parochial vicar, where he started a law clinic that helps the poor with immigration issues.
Miss Kiosk Queen
Chef Annmarie Chelius' Advanced Pastry class at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College created Miss America-themed pastries in the "Miss Kiosk Queen Competition" on Sept. 13. Winner AnnaMarie DeMarco, of Blackwood, made a pre-packaged Rice Krispies treat topped with a thin layer of white fondant and stenciled with a four-point Miss America crown, a college representative said.
DeMarco's prize was the chance to work with chef Kelly Roberts, a former academy student and owner of Kelly's Bake Shoppe in Northfield, at her two kiosks in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall during the Miss America Competition on Sept. 15. Judges were Roberts and Miss America Association volunteer Cynthia Dougherty.
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