Pat Broussard was recently ordained a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
His close friend, a former Mormon missionary from Utah named Andrew Blackwell, was there to support him.
The Rev. Broussard's unusual journey to becoming a Catholic priest started when he befriended Blackwell and his mission companion about 15 years ago. The 56-year-old recently shared his experience with theadvocate.com.
"I promise you, you will never see it with a Mormon and a Catholic the way this has unfolded,” Blackwell said in the article. “Pat is my brother. I love Pat as much as any man can love someone he’s not related to. He’s one of the best human beings I’ve ever met in my entire life.”
In 2002, missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knocked on Broussard's door. Instead of sending them away, he invited them in and offered food. The Louisiana man was raised in the Catholic faith but was not very religious at the time, so the missionaries invited him to find a deeper relationship with God through the LDS faith.
“What I experienced was they were more interested in my eternal soul and cared about me as a human being, which resonated with me,” Broussard said in the article. “They taught me a lot about their faith, but they never put it to me as though, ‘You have to believe this or you’ll never be in heaven.’”
Although Broussard didn't ultimately get baptized, he and Blackwell formed a special bond that would carry on through his mission and beyond. They supported each other during personal trials and in time, Blackwell encouraged his friend to become a priest, he said in the article.
“I’ve never seen a more Christ-like example of love and charity and kindness than came from him,” Blackwell said in the article. “I think Pat has a mission. Anybody who runs into him, they know he’s special.”
Read the entire article here.