A doctor and a priest


#1

Hello there, brothers and sisters! :)

As I said in a previous thread on this forum, I am discerning a vocation to priesthood. I had some ups and downs on this path lately, but I am still strongly inclined to the idea of serving Out Lord in this way.

Well, the question I have is basicaly this: Would it be possible for me to study medicine and when I would be 24, go as a doctor-missionary to Africa (for example), where I would be both acting as a doctor and study for priesthood?

I know that this might seem a bit too complicated, so, what do you think?


#2

Often times vocations offices will reject (excuse me, delay) candidates because of debt. Financially, the diocese simply can't take on that burden. If you take on all that debt, I suspect they would delay your formation until after you have paid it off. Something to think about...

EDIT: at least this is the case in the US. I am unsure about Europe where you are.


#3

[quote="ThomasMartin, post:1, topic:314243"]
Would it be possible for me to study medicine and when I would be 24, go as a doctor-missionary to Africa (for example), where I would be both acting as a doctor and study for priesthood?

[/quote]

Thomas,

Are you asking whether it would be possible to both work as a doctor and study as a seminarian at the same time?

That would be highly unlikely. Seminary formation is a full-time commitment.

Also, are you thinking of life in a religious community? (It seems so, because if you were thinking of diocesan priesthood, you would go to the seminary where they send you, and not (likely) be looking for seminaries in Africa.)

If you're thinking of religious order priesthood, there's another consideration: you won't be able to walk in there and tell them, "OK, I'm ready to be a priest! Send me to Africa and let me enter seminary there!" :) Instead, it will be up to your superior whether you are given the opportunity to be formed for the priesthood, and the timeline for your formation as a religious will also be determined by him.

S bohom,

G.


#4

There are religious communities where the brother have lay jobs. Did you ever consider one of those?


#5

[quote="ThomasMartin, post:1, topic:314243"]
Hello there, brothers and sisters! :)

As I said in a previous thread on this forum, I am discerning a vocation to priesthood. I had some ups and downs on this path lately, but I am still strongly inclined to the idea of serving Out Lord in this way.

Well, the question I have is basicaly this: Would it be possible for me to study medicine and when I would be 24, go as a doctor-missionary to Africa (for example), where I would be both acting as a doctor and study for priesthood?

I know that this might seem a bit too complicated, so, what do you think?

[/quote]

As a priest...you are already a doctor...a doctor of troubled souls. As a priest, you are also an engineer....who builds bridges to Heaven, an architect who builds the kindom of God.

Anyway, just something to consider, that as a priest, you can be many more than you can possible be.


#6

The Society of Jesus could use a man like you because they do a lot of missionary work and will help you become a doctor.


#7

For example Fr Sheehan SJ,


#8

Look into the Maryknoll community. I know of a Maryknoll priest who is a doctor.


#9

You would have to pay off your debt before you study for the priesthood. It is possible to be a priest with a medical degree, but it is very expensive and time-consuming.

I see that kind of thing among Jesuits. I see priests that are physics professors, doctors, etc.


#10

[quote="ThomasMartin, post:1, topic:314243"]
Hello there, brothers and sisters! :)

As I said in a previous thread on this forum, I am discerning a vocation to priesthood. I had some ups and downs on this path lately, but I am still strongly inclined to the idea of serving Out Lord in this way.

Well, the question I have is basicaly this: Would it be possible for me to study medicine and when I would be 24, go as a doctor-missionary to Africa (for example), where I would be both acting as a doctor and study for priesthood?

I know that this might seem a bit too complicated, so, what do you think?

[/quote]

You could become a doctor, go on a medical mission trip, pay off any debt you have, and then go to the seminary. You might not be able to get that far until you're in your 40's though. Sometimes in life we must choose one good and forsake another good in order to do what God wants us to do. I suggest you find a spiritual director. Opening up to someone else will help you discern God's will for you.


#11

It takes 4 years of medical school and at least 3 to 4 years residency depending on the concentration. You are talking about 8 years investment of both time and money, plus passing numerous exams to be certified and get on the Board.

Becoming a priest takes about the same length of formation. Though all is possible with God, being a MD and a priest is a very long and hard road.


#12

[quote="ThomasMartin, post:1, topic:314243"]

Well, the question I have is basicaly this: Would it be possible for me to study medicine and when I would be 24, go as a doctor-missionary to Africa (for example), where I would be both acting as a doctor and study for priesthood?

[/quote]

It is certainly possible, but it often tends to work the other way around.

For example, I go to Tanzania yearly to do some work in a rural diocese there.

One of the hospitals that the local bishop has set up is staffed by a medical order of sisters out of Germany and Poland.

The Sr Kiara, who heads the hospital is a physician who specialized in infectious disease. She is assisted by 4 other sisters who are all nurses.

Here in Detroit, one of the priests who assists at our parish on weekends is from the D.R. Congo. His order sent him here to become a physcians assistant, so he can assist with the medical needs of the community.

In each case, the order took someone who had already professed and sent them for medical training.

Overall, it is substantially cheaper for an order to do this, as there are a number of Catholic universitiies that will provide the training at a substantially reduced cost, as opposed to the order agreeing to assume the medical school debt of a person coming in, especially if the person has not fully professed to the order.


#13

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