Biology Major and The Priesthood


#1

Dear CAF,

I am filling out an application for a major scholarship that will give me a full ride throughout undergraduate university. I really need this scholarship, and I was wondering if any one of you guys would please help me answer a question. The question asks me discuss my short and long term goals and if the goals are related. Well my short term goal is to finish my degree in my major in college which is biology. However, my long term goal is to enter the priesthood. But I can't relate the two together. Can anyone please help me by giving me some ideas?

"Although majoring in biology at first glance seems unrelated to a field the priesthood . . . " um.... how can i finish this sentence?


#2

I think you should ask yourself: Why am I interested in biology? Then, What would I do if I obtained a degree in Biology? Most people who study a particular subject were inspired to do so by a book or person or even an article they read. I also recommend sitting down with a priest and discussing it with him. Finally, pray to God for guidance.

Hope this helps,
Ed


#3

Biology is the study of life. You study how it comes to be, how it lives and grows, and how it dies. The priesthood nurtures that life through the journey, preparing it for eternal life with God.

Hope that might help get your juices flowing. Good luck and Merry Christmas!

-Jeanne


#4

Biology studies life in order to understand life and how living things are able to work. God is the creator of life. By studying biology, you are studying God's creation as the steward of creation. As a priest, you care for others who are stewards of creation, telling them of their Creator. By studying biology, you are studying creation, which always points to the Creator. By being a priest, you will need to show people that life comes only from He who gave life. You will need to show them that as humans, dually spiritual and corporal beings, they must not strive for things of the natural world, but rather it is far better to strive to live only for the Creator. Nature is secondary to God, but shows God exists, because it is His work in all things created. Studying living things in biology is the study of beings which God has formed and into which God himself has breathed life. Thus, the study of God, theology, is far higher than that of the study of life, biology, because from God all things emanate. :)


#5

[quote="NguyenKimPhat, post:1, topic:180888"]
Dear CAF,

I am filling out an application for a major scholarship that will give me a full ride throughout undergraduate university. I really need this scholarship, and I was wondering if any one of you guys would please help me answer a question. The question asks me discuss my short and long term goals and if the goals are related. Well my short term goal is to finish my degree in my major in college which is biology. However, my long term goal is to enter the priesthood. But I can't relate the two together. Can anyone please help me by giving me some ideas?

"Although majoring in biology at first glance seems unrelated to a field the priesthood . . . " um.... how can i finish this sentence?

[/quote]

First you need a reality check. If you truly NEED this scholarship, then to declare you are moving toward the priesthood - long term could very well kill the scholarship. Universities today are known to be filled with radical liberal professors that reduce grades of students who do not espouse and hold to their liberal ideas. The biology you learn will be very, very slanted and spun to come to darwinian conclusions, and "other" possible outcomes outside of darwin are failing grades.
Secondly, with all the liberal professors, why will they voluntarily admit a potential priest over another liberal student who may claim Biololgy and the pursuit of proving darwins theory.
I hope you include a lot of Catholic Colleges in your scholarship pursuit.


#6

I would not say that you intend to become a priest. When people are considered for these scholarships, those in charge of making the decision want to see that the person is actually going to become (in this case) a biologist.

It's kind of like if a woman applies for a scholarship and says she plans to be a stay at home mom she will be laughed at and someone who intends to use the degree will be given the scholarship.

Do you intend to be a priest who is also an academic or who also is involved in biology? Talk about that, don't use the word priest.


#7

O___O Actually, as an afterthought, I agree with ffish. I misunderstood you as going for a theology degree, along with that of a biology degree.

I have a degree in biology myself. As ffish said, they will not take you if you say priest. There is a lot of negativity toward religious minded folks, first of all, in giving out science degrees.
If you plan to work as a scientist right after you graduate, then I would say that, but I would not say about future plans about being a priest. If you’re sure you want to do that first, say it in your paper. Be truthful. You don’t have to say about something later on in your future.

Are you sure you want to be a biology major if you want to go into seminary?


#8

I really want to become a priest, but I want to major in biology in order to become a dentist in case God is actually not calling me to the priest hood. For five years now, I have been feeling that God is calling me toward the priesthood, but just in case I am just imagining God's calling, I want to have a back up career within dentistry to support myself if I am not called to be a priest.


#9

I guarantee that you will not get your scholarship if you tell them about being a priest.

You will be able to support yourself if you don’t become a priest. There won’t be an issue if you try going to school later.

Do prayer and fasting for 15 days, like St. John Vianney described. Ask God to help you discern.

Either God is calling you to become a priest or he isn’t. You can still go to school later. Ask God to clarify what he wants you to do. Being a dentist can wait or won’t be necessary at all. It’s a big endeavor which would be wasteful of your time if you were meant to be a priest.

Biology is nice, but won’t help you to get a really high paying job with only an undergrad degree. I would focus on praying for discernment of vocation.


#10

[quote="DihydrogenOxide, post:9, topic:180888"]

Do prayer and fasting for 15 days, like St. John Vianney described. .

[/quote]

Praying and fasting for 15 days? Wow! I have never heard of that practice. Can you please send me a link of the full text where St. John Vianney is describing? Where can I get a fuller description of this practice of 15 days? thank you so much


#11

I actually read it in a book about him. The book is called The Cure of Ars by Rev. O'Brian (TAN publications). A young woman complained to St. Vianney that she did not know her life's vocation. He told her to stay, pray and fast for 15 days that she should learn her vocation. She became a religious sister after discerning.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you discern. I'll pray for you. :gopray:


#12

I am praying the 54 day novena for my discernment process. is that stronger than 15 days of fasting?


#13

Stronger isn’t a good word to use to compare them. It depends upon the God.

I like the 15 day prayer and fasting recommended by St. John Vianney, because fasting is an important component of prayer. John Vianney is the patron of parish priests, but he will be made the patron of all priests at the end of this liturgical year. It would be a good time for you to pray about a priestly vocation to him. You must pray expecting that God will answer.

Also, I recommend that you pray to St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, the patron of vocations.


#14

Umm… for the record… there are a number of Jesuit priests working in the field of biology.

jesuit.org/


#15

[quote="NguyenKimPhat, post:1, topic:180888"]
Dear CAF,

I am filling out an application for a major scholarship that will give me a full ride throughout undergraduate university. I really need this scholarship, and I was wondering if any one of you guys would please help me answer a question. The question asks me discuss my short and long term goals and if the goals are related. Well my short term goal is to finish my degree in my major in college which is biology. However, my long term goal is to enter the priesthood. But I can't relate the two together. Can anyone please help me by giving me some ideas?

"Although majoring in biology at first glance seems unrelated to a field the priesthood . . . " um.... how can i finish this sentence?

[/quote]

Hi NguyenKimPhat,

just wanted to say that I'm in a similar boat to you. I'm studying Theoretical Physics in college while discerning my vocation aswell. I applied for a scholarship in first year (I'm in second year now) that lasted two years, and I got it thank God. Now I'm studying for exams that will give me five years of free education including postgrad/masters, free accommodation etc if I get a first in them. I don't know if I would use all the privileges of this scholarship if I am successful, but I am going to give it a shot anyway, and let the Lord decide.
Don't approach this saying 'but there are many other people who really would use this scholarship more than I would' - go for it yourself, and if it's the will of God, you will succeed, otherwise he'll decide who to give it to. That would be my take on it anyway:)
As for studying biology while knowing you may have a vocation to the priesthood - I'm still figuring that one out. I think it's good for a witness for the Lord to have a solid background in some field outside religion - especially the natural sciences, because here is an area that poses many obstacles for the faith. If you can hold both your faith and the concept of evolution etc in balance, it can be a strong witness to the compatibility of faith and reason. That's what I hope to be able to do with my Physics - for example to believe in both the Creation account of Scripture and the Big Bang Theory and be able to show how they do not contradict each other. Also I think modern science needs a constant reminder of Christian ethics, and I feel that this would be stronger coming from one inside the scientific community itself.
Perhaps this is a bit wishful or naive, I don't know. Just trust everything to the Lord and he will show you the way.
God bless you on your journey:)


#16

To me, it isn't too much of an issue. That's just my opinion. I know one priest about my age (50-somethin') who is an M.D. so likely he entered med school with an undergraduate degree in something scientific. I also know a delightful elderly retired priest who has a Ph.D. in pharmacology. And these two are among my favorite priests!

Go for it. Why not have priests who know about science? ;)


#17

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