Career Change: Lawyer to Priest

June 1, 2013 Updated Jun 1, 2013 at 6:57 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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June 1, 2013 Updated Jun 1, 2013 at 6:57 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) The transition from lawyer to priest is not one you hear about very often, but that's exactly what happened Saturday morning at St. Joseph Cathedral.

John Stanton, former accountant and attorney, was officially ordained as a Catholic priest, through the sacramental ritual of lying prostrate on the ground and prayed over by Bishop Richard Malone.

"Just such an incredible experience, beyond this world," Father Stanton said.

"There's nothing as wonderful and nothing that evokes more gratitude in the heart of a bishop, in my heart, than the day of ordination. God has given us a wonderful new priest," Bishop Malone added.

Stanton spent over 10 years practicing law in Buffalo before deciding to switch careers and become a priest. He says his faith has always been an important part of his life, now he just has a new way of using and expressing that faith in his new day job.

"All of the gifts that I had can be used in ministry, so it's not necessarily a change, just using all the gifts that God has graced me with," Stanton said.

Stanton will be assigned to one of the most famous churches in Buffalo, Our Lady of Victory Basilica, a place with special meaning for the new priest and former lawyer.

"Before I took the CPA exam, I went to OLV to pray that I would pass it like every Catholic would do," the new priest recalled. "And then when I went for the bar exam I did the same thing."

Father Stanton then co-celebrated his first mass alongside Bishop Malone, one of his many new duties as a priest. But there are some things he won't have to do anymore.

"You won't have to do any litigation though," the bishop joked.