A Sign?

I am starting to apply to colleges but am kind of lost in my discernment process. I am thinking about applying to college seminary but I don’t know if I should. I struggle with a lot of character flaws, pride I think being among the worst of them, and I don’t want to enter seminary because I confuse God’s calling with my personal preference (the priesthood to me seems more attractive than married or single life as a member of the laity).

I recently had an experience with a dying older friend of mine, whom I loved dearly, and in my final conversation with him, he told me to “be a good priest.” He was an extremely holy, humble, and devout man so I thought it could have been a sign from God. That being said however, my dad did tell him before hand I was wanting to enter seminary, but I find it weird that he didn’t say something like “discern God’s will,” or “go into seminary and leave if its not for you.” He spoke definitively.

Any thoughts on what I should do? My desire to serve God seems to be in constant conflict with my proud, almost Pharisee-like, Catholic nature.

If you’re discerning the priesthood you should have a spiritual director. Your director would be in the best position to answer your questions and help you figure out where God is calling you.

If all priests had to be perfectly humble we might have 9 of them. Follow your heart and see where God leads you. Seminary can lead to many things, not all of them priesthood. Going and finding you do not have a vocation is not failure, it’s part of the processes of your life. If you long for a celibate and God-centered existence there are also religious orders where you can live that life and eschew the ordination you fear might feed your prideful nature.

Go where you long to go and do the best you can and let God lead you. You don’t decide everything right now. It’s not an event; it’s a process.

I have heard from several places:
“If you are discerning a vocation you should act as though the choice was certain…” The Lord will lead you in time to that certainty - one way or the other.

The choice to apply to a seminary or novitiate programme is not like wedding vows. it is like asking a girl out for the first time. There will be many years of guided discernment between that moment and a final decision to take permanent vows.

Another interesting point: most selection criteria include a explicit, mandatory criterion that the applicant should be able to grow and improve in their personal and spiritual development from the program. therefore someone who was not a sinner, but a “perfect” person would actually not qualify, and would have to be rejected!.

The church is not a Hotel for Saints. It is a hospital for sinners! that includes everyone from a drug using “swinger” asking to join the RCIA, not even aware of most of his sins, right up to saints like Mother Theresa and the Pope himself. there have only been 2 humans who have lived past the Age of Reason who have not sinned. One of those was God himself, and the other was His Mother, and was divinely protected from sin by an extraordinary intervention by God (not her own effort).

Thanks for the advice everyone! If I were to apply to seminary, what in general (seeing as not every diocese is the same) should I expect next? Like a test, separate college application, etc?

When God talks it’s good to listen. Talk to a vocation director ASAP: he will help you discern (warning he might be biased though;).

Good luck and God Bless:thumbsup:

From this thread;
Exiled Chinese Priest Tells of Persecution

His grandmother, who somehow knew his future, told him when he was a young boy, that “when you grow up, you will be a priest. You will go to seminary. You will offer sacrifice. Then you go to prison.”

Good article! :slight_smile:

You call the vocation director of your Diocese and make an appointment. You can also consider a religious order.

If you wanted to find out the admission procedure for ANY college, what would you do?

Go to the source!

Applying to the seminary involves being interviewed. Filling out application forms, obtaining references from friends, answering pyshcological questions and being interviewed by a pyschologist. The rector makes the final decision.

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