That Undeniable Longing: My Road to and From the Priesthood

by Mark Tedesco

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.



This book is a timely and insightful look at a young man’s journey into the priesthood. It is an engrossing account of Mark’s spiritual and sexual awakening that reveals how the discovery of true self leads to the ability to have successful relationships and the ultimate understanding of love. Mark teaches in a California high school. It is an engaging and thoughtful story.


He states: “I had few friends from my past when I moved back to California in 1996, since, as I have said, in Washington I had had no contact with anyone outside my family who had known me as a priest or as a member of Catholic Family. As a result, in California my former close friends were now strangers, I thought they would consider my leaving to be a betrayal. Perhaps I had caused a scandal. Had I harmed the faith of others? I didn’t know and I didn’t want to know. That would be an unfortunate but unavoidable consequence of my choices. Eventually his fear of encountering someone from my past began to recede. My life in Rome and my life as a priest were part of who I was. Some of my co-workers did know about my past and that was not as terrifying as I had expected it to be. I still didn’t want to be seen as a former priest or anything else, I was a person, not a role, and I would not let myself fall into being treated that way again.”


Mark felt fulfilled in his new career; it seemed to unify his past and his present. He could actually speak to his students about his European experience instead of hiding it. He was still not completely comfortable with others knowing everything about his past because he wasn’t yet at peace with it. He still wondered if he had done the right thing in going to Rome in the first place, or if leaving the priesthood was a terrible thing, He told himself it was better not to think about it. He explains the struggle to the reader and the joy of finding his place in life. It is thoughtfully readable!