Ex-N.J. Gov. McGreevey Training To Become Priest

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Five years ago, former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey came out in a his famous "gay American" speech, explaining that he had cheated on his wife with a man. (File)
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(11/21/2006)
Related LinksEx-NJ Gov. McGreevey Training To Become Priest
Five years ago, former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey came out in a his famous "gay American" speech, explaining that he had cheated on his wife with a man. Now, the former governor appears well on his way to becoming the leader of his own Episcopal congregation, CBS station WCBS-TV reports.

Members of Hoboken's All Saints Episcopal Church, where McGreevey is training, say he is on a praise-worthy path.

"He's fantastic – we love having him here," Hoboken resident Jill Preston said.

"I support his right to explore philosophy and faith, and I wish him luck," parishioner Mike Redmond said.

"You know what – if he's happy, then I'm happy for him," resident Christine O'Conner said.

But elsewhere in Hoboken, the reaction is the opposite.

"Wow, a priest, huh?" Hoboken resident Rob Kotick said. "He cheated on his wife."

"I think it's ironic that he is trying to be a priest," said resident Graham Walker.

McGreevey seems determined to get past his previous difficulties, including his stunning 2004 confession in which he revealed an affair with another man that ended his marriage and political career. Last year, in his divorce trial, he testified that he is nearly broke.

"Because of this case, I have been financially crippled," McGreevey testified.

Life as an Episcopal priest will not, on its own, restore McGreevey's formerly lavish lifestyle. The starting salary can be as little as $30,000 a year.

McGreevey has said for a long time he knew he wanted a life dedicated to God and helping others.

McGreevey told WCBS-TV that it would be inappropriate for him to comment on camera at this time, but said his spiritual journey is going very well.

"We were engaged in public work when he was the governor, so it's very interesting to now have him on the other side come and see the side of the church that is trying to do effective work in the public arena," All Saints Episcopal Reverend Geoffrey Curtiss said. "To watch him grow and learn about how important the church can be – homeless ministry, prison, feeding the poor, having food pantries."

McGreevy expects to remain at the Hoboken church, assisting Reverend Curtiss, until his Seminary graduation next spring.
 
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