By Monica Yantosh
Father Gerry Waterman, the Catholic Campus Minister, says everyone needs a hobby, even priests. But his favorite hobby might come as a surprise.
“Wine is alive. It brings people together,” Waterman said. “It’s a conversation starter.”
Waterman’s relationship with wine began when he was just five years old. He learned to make wine with his grandfather and it was love at first sip.
“It is a tradition that I enjoy, and I’m passionate about it because I started so young,” he said. “And I never abused alcohol as a child, and as a high school student because it was always on our table. You know, we were taught to respect it. And it’s a good thing.”
That relationship is still strong today. Waterman gives wine tastings at Grove Winery in Gibsonville. Being a priest that gives wine tastings may seem strange or contradictory to some, but Waterman doesn’t think so.
“I don’t think people see it as dichotomous. I think, you know, certainly wine is mentioned in the Bible numerous times,” hesaid. “For me, it really brings it home, you know. Jesus said, ‘This is my body, this is my blood.’ And the first miracle was Caana and at the Last Supper he gave them his body. So it’s a spiritual thing for me.”
Waterman said he enjoys the wine tastings and even used to make his own wine. By having this partnership with Grove Winery and the owner, Max Lloyd, Waterman said he hopes to share the fruits of his labor once again.
“I would love to start making wine again in Grove Winery,” Waterman said. “I would love to make a port again and call it whatever Max Lloyd would like to call it…but I’ll do whatever God wants.”