Cedar Rapids Native March Returns to ‘Hometown’

Fr. Nick March has traveled the world, visited cultures other than his own, and lived for four years in Rome, Italy, where he attended the North American College while preparing for his ordination into the priesthood. This summer, March will return to his hometown of Cedar Rapids to begin in the role of Chaplain at Mount Mercy.

March, the oldest of four siblings, was raised by his parents in Cedar Rapids and attended Regis Catholic High School (before it became Xavier High School). “I have always loved my hometown,” says March. “It is hard to beat what Cedar Rapids has to offer because there are diverse things happening, yet it feels like a small town.”

Since July 2006, March has served as associate pastor of three congregations in northeast Iowa: St. Mary’s in Manchester, St. Patrick’s in Ryan, and Immaculate Conception in Masonville. March was ordained in the Archdiocese of Dubuque, his home diocese, in June 2004 following his diaconate ordination at the beginning of his fourth year at National American College in Rome in October 2003.

March is ready for his new role, and plans to “try to be a presence of Christ to all groups” on campus. One of the things March enjoys about the priesthood is the “intense variety” of the day-to-day duties and that there is “always a fresh, new challenge.” “Being a priest demands flexibility and a comfort level with different groups and situations,” says March. “College was an intense time of searching for me. I was trying to understand my call, and I think it will be wonderful to be a kind of presence to students to help them find their own vocation, and to help them answer the question ‘what is my future, what is meaningful,’ and to show them that they can change the world.”

While on campus March will teach at least one course within the Religious Studies department, and he is already learning more about the institution he will call home. “I am impressed and amazed at the goals the College has set for itself,” says March. “It is positive to push to keep growing, and I’m pleased to be witness to that growth and to be a part of it.”

March understands that filling the shoes of outgoing Chaplain Fr. Jim Brokman could be a challenge. Brokman, who is a long-time friend of March and his family, has no doubts that the young priest will succeed at Mount Mercy. “Fr. Nick is a good man; a person of depth,” says Brokman. “I think our students will find him attractive and be drawn to him. I look for Campus Ministry to be abuzz under his influence.”