Boyfriend feels called to seminary


#1

I’ve seen versions of this predicament on here but not my own. I’ve known my boyfriend since we were babies but only began really talking to him two years ago. I’m 26 and he’s two years younger than me. We’ve been dating for almost two years and have discussed marriage plenty of times. We planned on getting engaged soon. He seemed so eager for our future together. Two or three weeks ago we flew out to NJ to attend his brother’s ordination as deacon. It was beautiful. Even I was touched. But just a few days ago, my boyfriend sat me down and told me lately he hasn’t been able to eat or sleep, that he was struck while visiting the seminary and feels God may be calling him there. He is very confused, as he says he is still in love with me. I’m obviously very confused as well. We began dating after a pilgrimage to Poland. Just before that trip he had prayed to God for his vocation, otherwise he planned on trying the seminary & that’s when we began to know each other. I hadn’t planned on going on the trip at all but was in such a horrible mental state that I ending up buying a ticket at the last minute, desperate for God to show me my own vocation. We fell in love and it all seemed meant to be.

I dont understand how this came on so suddenly. He had planned this big day of my birthday this week and just a few days ago we were discussing our future. He’s angry with God for calling him when he was so happy with me, but says he feels less devoted to us. I try to be there for him, to say all the right things. I’m letting him go away and pray to discern his vocation. I know he is suffering and that also kills me. I do want him to be happy. But I feel so broken and afraid. I haven’t been able to eat in about four days. I’m constantly sick to my stomach. I have anxiety disorder and this just makes it 10x more unbearable. I cannot imagine a future without him. I’m hoping it’s an Abraham situation. My boyfriend brought up that "God gave Abraham what he wanted in life, but he turned away from God and idolized his son. And well you know that story but the point is “look maybe he’s just calling you to see if you would sacrifice this relationship to follow him and if you do remember what happened, he was able to keep what God gave him.”
He seems desperate for that to be true… but too desperate, as if he knows the other option/calling is stronger and that scares him. that bit is just my observation.

I know he will be leaving soon. He is making plans as I type. Do I attempt to do the seemingly impossible and move on? should I have hope for us or is that just letting myself be strung along?
I know I probably should just pray for God’s will, but right now it’s just so hard.

Edit: there was no clear break up (yet). He is leaving for a while to go pray, before he decides if he wants to enroll or not. He is not yet enrolled. If he does, I know that’s a clear break up. As of now, nothing is clear.


#2

Dear… I’m praying for you. :heart: I know what it’s like to lose someone you love. It’s difficult, but after the pain fades away (which might take a while or it might not), you see that it was for the better. My boyfriend and I were young when we were together, I was 14-16 and he was 16-18 (he was two years older than me and we dated for a little over two years). So I can’t say what it’s like to lose someone you almost married, but I do know that it hurt to lose him. It was a struggle, so I sympathize, and so I will pray for you.

You need to pray. Pray for both yourself and for him. Pray that he follows God’s will and not just some feeling he has. Pray that you will do the same. Even if it involves painful sacrifice. God’s will is always better than ours, even if we don’t see that over the pain in the present moment.

My advice is that you should not hope that he comes back to you. Hope that he follows God’s will, whatever that may be. If you need to, find someone in real life to talk to about this.


#3

This is something major for him, not just you. We don’t know what will come of it. What you need to do most is determine what is best for you (probably a sort of schedule), let him know it, and discern it together with him. You should be part of his discernment I think and discussing it periodically at least. You need to let him know what your heart can put up with, maybe that means a period of separation to keep your heart from tearing up.

I know the determining what is best for you is the hardest part. I guess I’d start with the worst case and work backwards. What would you do if he permanently broke up with you? The what would you do if you wanted to see other people. Then what if you weren’t seeing him much and so on. See if you can pick a milestone for each of them and implement them as they come.


#4

You might want to read those other predicaments. You think your story is different, but it really isn’t. You need to let him go figure out what he wants without any interference from you. That’s pretty much what you will hear if you read previous threads on discernment.


#5

Isn’t it possible that he has both a vocation to marriage and a vocation to priesthood? I know i did. That’s why I got married and that’s why the Lord called me to ordination to the priesthood. What’s the dilemma?

In Christ,
Fr. Sebastian
steliasmelkite.org


#6

I would recomend that you do what the girl who was in love with Fr Michael Gaitley MIC did when he told her he thought he had a calling

She prayed for him more than any one else did.

He became a priest, she became a nun (not saying you need to become a nun), and she still prays for him and sends him letters to this day.

Pray for him to find his vocation (whether it’s the priesthood or you) and pray that God will direct you.

And remember: just because he joins the seminary doesn’t automatically mean he will become a priest. Often guys don’t know for sure until they join the seminary… that’s how they find out for sure if they have a calling.

God Bless


#7

Sounds like time to cool things off. A man, telling his girlfriend, he wants to be a Catholc priest is certainly a breakup. So, let it be what it clearly is… a breakup. Surely you want a man called to the vocation of marriage.


#8

It seems pretty clear to me. Say “Have a nice life” and walk out the door. Move on.


#9

I understand that this feels terrible right now, but there are a whole bunch of people in my past who I “could not imagine a future without them” and yet I had one when they either moved on, or I moved on, or they died, etc.

Whether or not this man decides to go off to the seminary, you need to get in the habit of thinking that there will ALWAYS be a future for you as long as God leaves you on this earth, regardless of what other people are doing or whether they are on the earth with you.


#10

Yes. I’ve looked into them more and found some situations quite similar to mine. As difficult as it is, I think all I can do is step back and let God handle this.


#11

Yes. Reminds me of a verse from John.
‘Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”’
thank you.


#12

Its tough having your heart broken, but a man stating he’s matriculating at a seminary to become a Catholic priest is a clear breakup.

I am sure you’ll meet someone else, you are still quite young.


#13

And this verse:
“And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:29‬


#14

Of course, these are obviously Latin rite Catholics, and you know that the two vocations are not compatible for them.


#15

As a married man he can still become a deacon, right? And that’s what he witnessed when he says he found his vocation. So why would after seeing his brother become deacon realized himself wants to serve the Church as clergy and thus he has to breakup with you to become a priest not a deacon like his brother? What? So I would be confused here if I were you. Sounds like a breakup to me too, like @TheOldColonel said.
Let it and him go.


#16

It’s the latter. A man who’s sure of his love sticks by his woman.

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Loss of appetite is normal, but if it persists you need to speak to your doctor. In the meantime, try to stay hydrated.


#17

I think this young man had planned to enter the seminary before he even met this young lady. That’s what I’ve gathered.


#18

Actually, in case you didn’t know the statistics, there are way more married Latin Rite Priests in the United States than there are married Eastern Rite Priests. So it seems that we are not talking about an incompatible issue here, maybe inconsistent, but surely not incompatible.


#19

Statistics aside, this young man is likely not going to be able to become a married Latin Rite Priest in USA any time soon, and that was Paul’s point.

It’s simply not realistic for this girl or even the young man to be hanging on the hope that he can become a married Latin Rite priest and thus have two options. Nor does it sound like the man is strenuously seeking a path to combine the two things.


#20

Continue to pray for him and move on. Your situation is a lot like a couple who graduate from High School and go to separate colleges.

If you start dating another person, it might be nudge that he needs for his life. He will either discover that marriage may be for him or that he accepts a higher calling.

He has told you that you need to plan your future life. You should be meeting other men. If he abandons his path to the priesthood, you can decide whether you want someone who does not feel your relationship is as important as you do.


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