Can an engineer become a priest?


#1

I need some help on this one. I’ll start with a little background on myself. I was raised Protestant and was always very religious and active in my church/youth group all through high school. I even volunteered to work with middle school kids in my youth group 3+ days per week and on retreats while in high school, and even worked with a different church as a youth intern over a summer. I’ve always loved ministry. I feel most alive when I’m working for the Lord, whether it’s teaching a Bible lesson or trying to get 10 middle school kids to go to sleep on a summer retreat. A little over a year ago, the Lord put me on a journey for truth, and I will be confirmed Catholic next week (I’m SO excited!!! :D).
Now I feel like the Lord may be calling me into full time ministry, namely the priesthood. I felt the call in high school (when I was a protestant), but was encouraged to pursue my secular goals (engineering, like my dad) and do ministry on the side/ in my free time. However, now that I’m in college, I think I feel the call getting stronger. I’m almost done with my engineering degree, but as time goes on I just don’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I’d rather spend however many years God gives me on this earth helping people directly, and bringing them to Him. I don’t even mind the celibacy part. I know it seems odd, but that’s the truth. I haven’t dated thus far in college and I really don’t feel the need to.
Anyway, this brings me to my problem: I’m almost done with an engineering degree, and I don’t have the scholarship funds left to change my major. From what I’ve read, seminaries want someone with something like 2 years of philosophy, but that is not going to happen. Did I miss my opportunity?

*Sorry I ranted a bit. I haven’t worked up the courage to talk to anyone else about this yet. Thanks for your assistance!


#2

Certainly there are priests who studied engineering and a multiude of other sciences. Priests come from all backgrounds.

I do encourage you to take the time to savor your conversion. And to finish your studies. Certainly continue to be active at the Newman Center or local parish, speak to your priests about what they do, but don’t rush to think of yourself as having a vocation to the priesthood until you’ve spent some time as a regular lay Catholic. :slight_smile:


#3

Our Bishop has an engineering degree, and he is an excellent Bishop!


#4

Father Terry Donahue of the Companions of the Cross is a graduate of M.I.T.


#5

[quote="smp501, post:1, topic:279310"]
I need some help on this one. I'll start with a little background on myself. I was raised Protestant and was always very religious and active in my church/youth group all through high school. I even volunteered to work with middle school kids in my youth group 3+ days per week and on retreats while in high school, and even worked with a different church as a youth intern over a summer. I've always loved ministry. I feel most alive when I'm working for the Lord, whether it's teaching a Bible lesson or trying to get 10 middle school kids to go to sleep on a summer retreat. A little over a year ago, the Lord put me on a journey for truth, and I will be confirmed Catholic next week (I'm SO excited!!! :D).
Now I feel like the Lord may be calling me into full time ministry, namely the priesthood. I felt the call in high school (when I was a protestant), but was encouraged to pursue my secular goals (engineering, like my dad) and do ministry on the side/ in my free time. However, now that I'm in college, I think I feel the call getting stronger. I'm almost done with my engineering degree, but as time goes on I just don't see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I'd rather spend however many years God gives me on this earth helping people directly, and bringing them to Him. I don't even mind the celibacy part. I know it seems odd, but that's the truth. I haven't dated thus far in college and I really don't feel the need to.
Anyway, this brings me to my problem: I'm almost done with an engineering degree, and I don't have the scholarship funds left to change my major. From what I've read, seminaries want someone with something like 2 years of philosophy, but that is not going to happen. Did I miss my opportunity?

*Sorry I ranted a bit. I haven't worked up the courage to talk to anyone else about this yet. Thanks for your assistance!

[/quote]

Well I would like to start by saying WELCOME HOME BROTHER!

You there is a Priest near Boston who actually has a ph.d in Neuroscience. I'm really in the same boat although I'm not even discerning the priest hood. I'm the last of my family so I have to have kids someday, and it's a blessing to carry that Cross. I think it really actually helps in evangelizing and reaching out to others. I also help as a counselor for a group of Columbian Squires witch is the youth arm of the Knights of Columbus.

I don't think it's to late for you. It may help to discern a little longer. I think if God really wants you to become a priest or is calling you to be one then he's got your back with the decisions you would need to make in order to make it happen.


#6

The first step is to talk to the vocations director of the diocese. You can get his name from the Parish.

Priest come from all backgrounds. If you have a civil engineering degree, you could be the head of a diocese committee on construction or civil/building projects.

You would have an excellent background. You taking up engineering means when in seminary, you will just have to spend extra years studying philosophy. So it may take you longer than someone already with a philosophy major.

God bless in your vocation.


#7

Both my priest and my deacon were engineers/ graduated with engineering degrees!! :smiley:


#8

The Bishop of the U.P. of Michigan was studying for his Master’s in metallurgic engineering when he was called to become a priest and he did not finish his Master’s (I happen to go to the school he attended). I also have a friend who finished his Master’s in computer science this summer and entered the seminary this fall. So I don’t think it matters what your degree is in per se, but they want you to get a college degree before seminary.


#9

My former pastor had a degree in construction engineering, and ran his own business for a few years, before he answered God’s call to the priesthood. I think it gave him a “feel” for those of us in the business world and some of the problems we faced.

God bless him, R.I.P.


#10

[quote="smp501, post:1, topic:279310"]
I need some help on this one. I'll start with a little background on myself. I was raised Protestant and was always very religious and active in my church/youth group all through high school. I even volunteered to work with middle school kids in my youth group 3+ days per week and on retreats while in high school, and even worked with a different church as a youth intern over a summer. I've always loved ministry. I feel most alive when I'm working for the Lord, whether it's teaching a Bible lesson or trying to get 10 middle school kids to go to sleep on a summer retreat. A little over a year ago, the Lord put me on a journey for truth, and I will be confirmed Catholic next week (I'm SO excited!!! :D).
Now I feel like the Lord may be calling me into full time ministry, namely the priesthood. I felt the call in high school (when I was a protestant), but was encouraged to pursue my secular goals (engineering, like my dad) and do ministry on the side/ in my free time. However, now that I'm in college, I think I feel the call getting stronger. I'm almost done with my engineering degree, but as time goes on I just don't see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I'd rather spend however many years God gives me on this earth helping people directly, and bringing them to Him. I don't even mind the celibacy part. I know it seems odd, but that's the truth. I haven't dated thus far in college and I really don't feel the need to.
Anyway, this brings me to my problem: I'm almost done with an engineering degree, and I don't have the scholarship funds left to change my major. From what I've read, seminaries want someone with something like 2 years of philosophy, but that is not going to happen. Did I miss my opportunity?

*Sorry I ranted a bit. I haven't worked up the courage to talk to anyone else about this yet. Thanks for your assistance!

[/quote]

I noticed in your "location" that you are in my backyard too!!

Welcome Home!!


#11

Wow, thanks everybody! I had no idea! I guess I was under the assumption that all priests know that's what they want to do before they enter college. I really appreciate everybody's input.


#12

The priest at my parish was previously an engineer.


#13

It could just be me but in previous places I worked, a lot of the engineers there were those with religious belief. Mostly Christian, I really think there is a connection.


#14

Monsignor Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître was a Belgian priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven. Lemaître proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe.

I went to confession where the priest was a mechanical engineer.

I went to confession where the priest was an electrical engineer, now he is the priest at my sons' school.

My son's science teacher has PhD in engineering from MIT and she is a religious sister.

Look a this link: List of Roman Catholic cleric–scientists


#15

And don't forget that every Pope is an engineer - of sorts: "Pontifex Maximus" --* Supreme Bridge-Builder.*


#16

Yes of course,

It’s God who calls to the priesthood regardless your degree or training. In my case I’m Materials and Chemical Engineer, I worked 6 years and now i’m in the process of admission to the major seminary :slight_smile:

God Bless You.


#17

[quote="jesusmylover, post:16, topic:279310"]
Yes of course,

It's God who calls to the priesthood regardless your degree or training. In my case I'm Materials and Chemical Engineer, I worked 6 years and now i'm in the process of admission to the major seminary :-)

God Bless You.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

I'm graduation this year with a major in civil-environmental engineering (just got to get through finals), and I also just went through the process of applying to the Seminary (it's a looong tale). I received notice from my Bishop earlier this month that I'd been accepted, so I'll be starting (Re-starting? Continuing? Transferring into? I'll eventually figure out what to call it) this fall.

I was in a co-op program, so I did have some engineering experience. It was fun, the jobs (especially my last one) were interesting and engaging (and they paid very well, enough to get me though undergrad with no loans), but it felt like God was calling me to do more and be more, and that can and does happen to people in any profession or career. So, here's hoping it all works out. :crossrc:


#18

[quote="curlycool89, post:17, topic:279310"]
:thumbsup:

I'm graduation this year with a major in civil-environmental engineering (just got to get through finals), and I also just went through the process of applying to the Seminary (it's a looong tale). I received notice from my Bishop earlier this month that I'd been accepted, so I'll be starting (Re-starting? Continuing? Transferring into? I'll eventually figure out what to call it) this fall.

I was in a co-op program, so I did have some engineering experience. It was fun, the jobs (especially my last one) were interesting and engaging (and they paid very well, enough to get me though undergrad with no loans), but it felt like God was calling me to do more and be more, and that can and does happen to people in any profession or career. So, here's hoping it all works out. :crossrc:

[/quote]

Oh cool, good news. I'm really happy for you and my prayers are with you in this process.
You made the best choice, and you will rev rive the best reward, more interesting than a good pay :-)


#19

Welcome home! It’s amazing the changes that God can do to our hearts if we simply heed the calls to His will for us.

In regards to being an engineer: I have a very dear friend who got his Master’s in Computer Science and less than a year later joined the Clear Creek Benedictine Monks who only have two computers in their whole monastery. Both of my parish priests have Master’s degrees, one in Church History, but the other in Biological Engineering. He was in the middle of getting his degree when he heard the call. He finished it, then went into the seminary.

In other words, if God is calling you, He will lead you where you need to go. Just spend lots of time on your knees, learning to know God and learning how to listen to what He is trying to say to you.


#20

Fr. Tom Rosica (CEO of Salt + Light tv) mentioned at Rise Up in Vancouver that the “pay is terrible, and the hours are long, but the benefits are out of this world”.

Luckily, life’s not about how much money you make. :slight_smile:


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