Am I called to the priesthood?

Hi all,

I would like to ask you for an advice. A year ago, I had relationship with the girl - I was at the last year of my university. I wanted to have a girlfriend and I convinced myself that she is right person for me. I started to date her but I could feel that it is not good - we had a problem to find common topic and it was not good relationship. After one month of the relationship a strong idea that I should become a priest came to my mind. I was really against it and was trying to push it away. Fortunately, we have broke up and it helped me a lot. I felt again ok and my thoughts about priesthood left. Only sometimes when there was some discussion about priest - I started to feel a fear that I could become also a priest. But besides that I did not have at all ideas in my mind that God is calling me to the priesthood. I was studying hardly and working and enjoying my life. After a half year, I met another girl - I was attracted to her but after the previous experience I was extremely afraid to start new relationship - so I was trying to make a good friendship with her and did not try to date her. After some time, it has changed and we started to date - it was nice, romantic and I have enjoyed those times. However, when we became a couple - my ideas about the priesthood started again - it was connected with strong depressions and anxiety. It seems to me that I am somehow afraid of becoming a priest. At this time, I am still in the relationship and I like her just the problem is that these thoughts do not allow me to love her fully. I am trying to pray to God so he will show me the way but seems I do not pray in a good way or enough as I do not receive any answer. The ideas about the priesthood are really strong and I do not want to suppress them - on the other hand I am somehow sure that if we would break up I would not have these thoughts so strong and even I think they would not appear again. I have never had longer relationship than this one. I was dating many girls but it ended really quickly - either me or them escaped from these relationships. My question and doubts are whether these ideas are from God or it is just some protection mechanism of my mind how to protect myself and escape from the relationship to avoid having a broken heart. It seems strange for me that these ideas pop up only when I am in the relationship and not when I am single. Do u have some advice how I should proceed as this state do not make me happy and sometimes I feel I should escape from the relationship. On the other hand she is extremely nice girl and I consider her as one of the best girls I have ever met and it could be stupid to loose her if these thoughts about the priesthood are not from God. I did not tell her about my feelings - should I tell her about it? Do u have some similar experience? I am was speaking with two priests about it and one told me that when God calls us - it should not be connected with the fear and depressions another suggested me to pray more so God will show me the way. I do not know how to continue, I am loosing all the passion from my life, starting to not like my work any more that I have loved before and do not enjoy anything I did before. Do u have some advises?


My advice is that you go to your priest or spiritual advisor, or the vocations director for your diocese. They can give you better, more personal advice than anyone over the internet can and can help you through a journey of discernment - it is not something that you can say ‘this is my situation, explain x, y and z that happened’ and get a yes/no response.

Shouldn’t you ask yourself that question?

I am trying to find out this answers, but I am so confused that I cannot find some reasonable response to my thoughts. I am trying to pray that God will make my desire for a vocation stronger if it is his will and same with the girlfriend - to love her more if it is his will. On the other hand, I mentioned I had many relations that did not work out - and I am just wondering if I am not so hurted that I am afraid of the relationship and this is the way how to escape from it. I am afraid if I will not answer soon that my relationship will break down and then I will not even think about my calling to the priesthood. The problem is that this confusion and feelings are causing that I cannot see my problem objectively and I am not able to find out some solution and it ends up that I am stuck.

Why don’t you be honest with this girl and sit down and tell her your feelings about your relationship with her . Then determine by the end of your discussion on whether or not your breaking up . (it seems you might break up ) Once that is finished , then stay single for a while , do not try to get a relationship for about 6months to a year , if these priestly thoughts start popping up , then this most likely be asking that you may need to enter the seminary . Now this is a very important decision , (I am sure I did not need to remind you of that )Once you enter priesthood , no more woman.You do not want to enter into priesthood and then regret your choice years down the road. In the 7 years in Seminary if you feel the slightest feeling that you may not be able to make it a single man then my advice would be to get out of there its not for you . I know a former seminarian that was in 6 years and dropped out and my council sponsored him . NOW , the reason that I gave you a mouth full is that I saw lack of commenting and put from others and you indicated that you want someone to point you a particular direction , hope I was helpful, Frankie

Pray about it. The thought of becoming a priest keeps coming back to you. It may be the Lord’s invitation - a call to the priesthood. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.

I would suggest that you talk with her and keep the dating casual since you have not discerned marriage. You need to have the time to find out who you are and in what life you would be happy and productive. Unless you come to a clear conviction that you are called to marriage you can’t really get serious with her but that does not mean you have to break up either.

I also agree that you should seek a spiritual director, but also, pray this prayer because I know it helps me to discern if I’m supposed to be a nun or not. This is the prayer: Dear Father, please show me if I’m supposed to be a priest or not, by strengthening in me, your will, and lessening my own will. By the way, believe that God will answer this prayer, but also know that this really does take time to find and discern. Also it may help to pray for the gift of wisdom, and the ability to discern your purpose in life, by praying to the Holy Spirit, this will open your eyes to stuff you would’ve never thought of before. Don’t be afraid if you are called to become a priest because it’ll just strength your relationship with God if you do become a priest. If you decided to not become a priest be not afraid, for you can still have relationship with God, and someday maybe if God willing, your wife too. I’ll be praying for you, thanks for sharing this.

I am in the same boat. I am not currently following the catholic faith but I have in the past. I have felt the call to be a nun but I also feel anxious and not very good about it. I doesn’t feel like the right thing to do since I have no interest in being a nun but I also feel like I fail at relationships. I pray but I feel like it is not enough. I understand your pain. I want a family and to get married butI have this constant nagging thought about being a nun and it drives me crazy and I am not happy about it either…it brings my life down. :frowning: I hope that you have had more luck than me. Keep praying!

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