We have a lot of “Ask a (Whatever)” threads pop up on here, so I thought I would start one for anyone who has questions to ask of a real, live seminarian! Anything you might want to know about discernment, seminary life, the application process, or whatever, feel free to ask! And other seminarians and priests could even join in as well to answer.
This is kind of a long story, but the short version is that I grew up Catholic, but wasn’t well catechized. I started studying on my own when I was a teenager, mostly apologetics books to argue with people I went to school with. I ended up going to a Catholic college and studying Theology, and while I was there things just kept happening that led me toward the priesthood–not just the deepening of my prayer life, but different relationships and interactions that pointed the path out to me.
Were there any major turning points in your discernment process or was it more gradual?
It was both, really. I think there was a vague attraction to the priesthood at the beginning, and that grew over time as my prayer life did, but there were also key “mileposts” that really showed me the way, key turning points that highlighted where God was leading me.
I am 27, and will turn 28 in a couple weeks. I have a BA in Theology and Philosophy, and then attained a B.Phil in the first two years of seminary (pre-theology) and am about to complete my MA (concentration in Scripture), MDiv, and STB through the seminary.
How did people in your surrounding react? Former classmates, friends, family, parents. In depth please, this fascinates me immensely. I can imagine that your parents weren’t that happy. That’s something I hear often with seminarians. No grandchildren for example.
The other question.
In the Netherlands most of the flock are very liberal, with some conservative communities. But the recent seminarians are more and more conservative. Often this will result in troubles between the new young priest and his diocese. Is this a development you recognise in the USA (or where you’re from)?
So, our day at Seminary starts in the Heart of our house - in the Chapel, infront of the Lord at 6 o’clock, at 6.30 there are Lauds, then at 6.45 Holy Mass, at 7.30 Breakfast, at 8 o’clock we start morning classes at Faculty, at 12.45 Sext - Daily prayer with Angelus (Regina coeli vel al.), at 1 o’clock Lunch, then at 2 o’clock whether classes or study time or break, at 3 o’clock (Hour of Divine Mercy)Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament, from 4.00 to 4.30 - free time, at 4.30 strict study time, at 6.45 Vespers in Chapel, 7.00 - Supper, at 8 o’clock different activities e.g. Cultural Evenings, Spiritual Sermon, discussions, choir - schola, hanging out with brothers etc. just cool stuff… and then at 10 o’clock we have Complines and great silence till morning…
And we have many, many other activities indeed…
''How did people in your surrounding react? Former classmates, friends, family, parents. In depth please, this fascinates me immensely. I can imagine that your parents weren’t that happy. That’s something I hear often with seminarians. No grandchildren for example.
The other question.
In the Netherlands most of the flock are very liberal, with some conservative communities. But the recent seminarians are more and more conservative. Often this will result in troubles between the new young priest and his diocese. Is this a development you recognise in the -]USA (or where you’re from)/-] Slovenia?’’
And something completely irrelevant.
I’ve been to Slovenia (and Slovakia).
Why are they named similary do the names have a similar origin.
You just know… You cannot make “experiment of vocation”, you have to have faith, confidence in God’s Providence and help. You cannot know for sure that God is calling you, you could just begin an adventure - because a vocation - priesthood is and never ending adventure and say “Here I am, my Lord, do with me what ever is your will; I love you with all my heart, I trust you and I know that I will be happy only if I will fulfill your will.” … I know it is not an easy job. But it’s worthy.
Pray, pray and pray - only in prayer could God reveals you - what you should do. I’ll pray for you.
Reaction of my family was really bad. I had left my home even before I’ve finished Gymnasium (High School/Lyceé) and lived live for a year at our Diocesan Residence. And after all I am an only child, so it’s even harder for my parents because I’m to becoming a priest. They haven’t accepted yet but I am sure someday they will… God will provide! And yes, many my brothers here in Seminary have more or less the same experience. If you have any detail questions you may send me PM.
Yes, I am one of more conservative and traditional one. Often there are troubles but nothing seriously. We have two different opinions, we see holiness in a different way but still our center is our Lord.
Lovely. It’s because of Latin and Greek - Sclaveni and Σκλαύηνοι. At these areas for centuries had lived one nation, but because of different impacts it had devised in smaller nations each with it’s own culture, language and tradition. It’s interesting in Slovak language, Slovakia is named Slovenija, as it’s Slovenian name for our country - Slovenija (Slovenia).
For the most part, people around me were pretty happy and mostly unsurprised. I was in a Catholic college at the time I began to seriously discern, and I had already taken on a sort of big brother role in the community, so it seemed very natural. People knew as well that I had a good prayer life and was studying Theology besides, so it seemed further to be a good fit. As for my parents, my mother, who was brought up Catholic, was initially apprehensive, but she later came around when she saw I was serious about it. She thought, I think, that I was reacting that way to a breakup I’d just been through (when really, the breakup was just another step in the process, sort of the next thing that needed to happen–I was already sort of pointed in that direction as it were). But she eventually was on board. My father, who was not brought up Catholic, and he was very supportive from the start, asking questions about what the process would involve, and fairly practical things about student debt, housing, etc. Both my parents were supportive all throughout, though, as has been most of my family.
As for the liberal/conservative dynamic, you can kind of see that in some dioceses, where younger priests tend to be of one mindset and older of another. In my own diocese, there are distinctions, there are factions and groups of priests, as will happen in any large organization. But I’m blessed to be part of a diocese where everyone seems to get along, even across certain ideological lines. So it really all depends where one ends up.
Since the requirement of celibacy for Latin rite catholics is tradition and not dogma it could be changed. But only marriage before ordination will happen and marriage after ordination is out of the question (except for some really rare cases).
But what if married men were able to become priests. You already were ordained. So you wouldn’t be able to get married if you wanted to remain serving the church as a priest.
elibate in fact is a discipline and yes it is not dogma. Yes it could be changed BUT it is not. I am happy that there is a requirement of celibacy because I believe that celibacy will help me being better priest, better spiritual father. I see celibacy as blessing and advantage and not as obstacle. There is problem only when you accept it (only) as requirement, commandment and not as free decision. It’s not easy - I don’s say that but it brings happiness after all.
If I would not be called to be a priest and I would be called to marriage and family life I would love to have a family, children and wife and… and… But I am not. I am called to be a Priest, so there is no discussion about that, that how it is.
So why I would be slighted because of something that I see as blessing?
May God bless you,
please am a female 23 yrs old decerning to become a religious but I have… please can I have ur no I will call and discourse this with u. I cant type all of it here thanks. God bless u send ur rebly to my email address.
Since I’m from Slovenia, EUROPE; I truly do not recommend that (time difference, costs). Please calm down, do not hurry find a good Spiritual/Vocational Director or any other priest and discourse with him.
God is patient - so be you! You may of course write me again if you want - PM may be?