Father Adam Kotas

Las Vegas - St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Roman Catholic Church

As a young child in Poland, I suffered from respiratory diseases which left lasting damage on my lungs, and this is why I have severe asthma and allergies and breathing issues that are exacerbated by a damp and humid climate. This is why, for health reasons, I was transferred to Las Vegas, where I served as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Husband of Mary Parish. I was only there for a year and a half, even though I was doing fabulous work there with packed Bible Studies and Bible boot camps. Young people especially and those who were never interested in church were flocking to my Masses; strangely to me, this drew the ire of the Pastor and other local Roman Catholic priests who instead of learning from what I was doing blamed me for taking their people away. I was told “you want people to like you” and “you do things to endear yourself to people.”   It seems those were not desirable characteristics for a Parochial Vicar in that parish. When I first arrived at St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Church, one of the parishioners told me that a very popular  previous assistant pastor was kicked out just after months of being in the parish because the people liked him too much and the Pastor was jealous. She warned me but there was not much I could do because I don’t know how to make people not like me, I have to be myself. The Gospel is Good News and I want to be Good News not bad news. My heart bleeds for the priests who hate me; I pray for them every day and I wish them well and I feel sad that they see ministry as a competition for popularity and that for many in the institutional church it’s all about power and control and titles. No wonder so many people want nothing to do with religion. Frankly I don’t blame them, and after everything I have been through I want nothing to do with institutional religion either, I just want Jesus, I want faith. I want valid and legitimate and licit sacraments delivered and packaged in an inviting way. 

It is very sad for me that so many ministers of the Gospel are “embittered moralists” who spew rules and regulations at people but forget to follow them themselves which is why I pray every day “God save me from religious people.” It was religious people and religion that crucified Jesus and it has been religion and religious people that have abused me in so many ways which is why I have dropped religion. The word religion means “to be enslaved”, it comes from the Latin “re-ligare”, to bind something, and so religion makes slaves out of people whereas Jesus frees us. I am free and in this freedom I have chosen to pursue ministry in a free church, the Polish National Catholic Church, a 100 % valid and legitimate and licit Catholic church with valid and legitimate and licit sacraments, all recognized as such by the Vatican.