Call to the preisthood?


#1

Hi I have recently graduated from High School, and I plan on attending Loyola University in the fall.

I thought about the priesthood once when I was around 10, but when I brought it up with my father he quickly tried to persude me to think about a different vocation, so I gave it a rest. However, when highschool rolled around, the thought came back to me when I was in the middle of some deep soul-searching, and I have never been able to shake it ever since. Now I am beginning to feel an ever-strengthening pull towards a religious life.

Now I am starting to worry a little bit, what if God is calling me to be a priest? I dont know if I could be a very good one, I can be kind of awkward sometimes, but besides that, what about my college degree? Is it possible to incorporate a job with the preisthood? Plus how would I even begin to confront my father about this if the time comes around? He was absolutely adament on me not being a preist. My father loves me very much and above all he wants me to be happy and successfull. But the preisthood does not fit his criteria for that. So I am not sure what to do. Perhaps it is too early to worry about this.

But I do feel some sort of call in my heart to serve Christ, that much I am sure of. And for some reason it is impossible for me to imagine myself being married or living a married life. Perhaps that is a clue for something. If you like, you can say a prayer for me after reading this.

God bless everyone.


#2

What diocese are you from? My diocese sends their college seminarians to Loyola! Also, I think my parents are somewhat similar in that they would prefer I follow a different path. Ultimately whatever God calls you to be will 1. Help the most people 2. Make you the happiest. It is your life and if you are trying to listen to what God is telling you to be, parents have no right to stand in your way. That being said, parents usually fight the vocation because they do no understand what it truly means to be a priest. Remember they are looking at it from a married point of view. Up until I started educating them, my family thought a priest just said mass on saturdays and sundays and then prayed the rest of the day :doh2:


#3

I am going to attend Loyola University of Maryland. Even though my dad does not want me to be a pirest, my mother is completley on board with it though. She is a very devout Catholic, and my father is a Baptist who drifted away.

Anyway, is it possible to get a degree and a job and to become a preist as well? Don’t the jesuits do something along those lines with education?


#4

[quote="300WhiteKnights, post:3, topic:283576"]
I am going to attend Loyola University of Maryland. Even though my dad does not want me to be a pirest, my mother is completley on board with it though. She is a very devout Catholic, and my father is a Baptist who drifted away.

Anyway, is it possible to get a degree and a job and to become a preist as well? Don't the jesuits do something along those lines with education?

[/quote]

Oh I thought you meant Loyola in Chicago haha! And that's good that at least one of them understands!

You could get a job and then become a priest but once you become a priest you must be obedient to the bishop of your diocese. The Church takes care of you but at the same time you must take care of the Church in whatever way the bishop sees fit. It is extremely unlikely that you would have a secular job as a priest because priests are very busy people. They must be available at anytime during the day for the dying, go baptize, preach, participate in mass, counsel families, or in our case guide those discerning priesthood. There really is not much time to do another job. If you wanted to work with others in different types of jobs. I recommend you look into religious orders for like Franciscans (who tend to the poor and deprived), Dominicans (who teach), etc. instead of diocesan priesthood.


#5

Your diocese will have a Vocation director (likely found on the diocese website) who would be able to help you with this; they’re trained not to be pushy either! With their help, you could figure out if you have a vocation to married life, priesthood, religious life as a monk, single life; he would help you figure out where you are being called to go by God!

I wouldn’t focus on your dad right now until you actually know more about the priesthood; father’s tend to like facts laid out in front of them with concrete plans. Discussing daydreams of a seemingly easy life is no way to win a father over :yukonjoe:

Just some thoughts!


#6

That’s actually a pretty common worry people have. The mantra that we always say is that “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called”.

As for the college degree, I take a position that some people cringe at. You’re not sure right now, so I say go and take a degree in whatever it is that you’re interested in. Mine’s in engineering for example. I’m of the opinion that it’s good to have a little life experience after high school, preferably living away from home. It most definitely helps you grow as a person (in my own personal experience).

If you have a vocation to the priesthood, then it will be there in 4 years and you will know it, that’s a guarantee. Get some good orthodox Catholic friends to hang out with to support your faith and your discernment.

The reason I say get a degree in something you enjoy is that it gives you greater options. It is not uncommon, nor is it in any way shameful for a man to drop out of seminary if they feel (in consultation with their spiritual director and seminary formatters) that they are no longer called to the priesthood. That can be a burden, however, on seminarians doing an undergrad degree because they don’t know where to go if all they’ve got is half a degree in Arts with a major in philosophy (especially if they really didn’t like philosophy). Is that person really free in their decision? They might feel like they should just grin and bear it until they’ve at least finished the undergrad even though that may not be the best thing spiritually for them to do (Even the most faithful, orthodox Catholic could end up feeling resentful, or angry, or like God “trapped” them).

For someone like myself, I’ve still got my degree in engineering. Right now I’ve been accepted to start in the Seminary in the fall and feel a strong call to the priesthood (God willing). That could change, and it is my duty to leave that door propped open until (again, God willing) I’m called to Holy Orders by my bishop. If it does change, I know I have another option that I still love.

I find that this question can take 2 inter-related directions.

On the one hand, if you’re ordained a priest then you will be expected to do priest work (which will largely be parish work). Part of being a priest is giving up other paths your life can take. Sacrifices have to be made.

The other point that people sometimes think is that they feel that they’re other skills may be wasted or what not because they chose the priesthood. That can be a tough one to get over, but you have to trust that God has taken you down this path for a reason. I know it sounds funny, but you also have to realize that you can’t save the world by yourself. Someone like a doctor might say “my skills are badly needed in medicine so I shouldn’t leave”, but we have to accept that that world will move on without us. That can be hard.

Like others said, look into religious orders too. There may be a religious order/congregation who’s focus (charism) is really in line with what you want to do.

It might be a good start to not think about it as a confrontation.

If/when the time comes, you’ll just need to say that “this is my decision and this is what will make me happy”. Success is such a subjective term today and it’s very hard to pin down exactly what success means anymore. On the other hand, finding a vocation is usually very obvious because the fruits of finding where God wants you to be are always peace and joy. Peace because you know this is where you’re meant to be; joy because you enjoy doing it with all your heart through the good times and through the rough times (joy does not mean “happy all the time” as society would suggest).


#7

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