Can I still become a priest?

Recently I have been saying that if the churched lifted the dicipline of chastity, I would deffinitely become a priest. I have been dating my fiance for almost 8 years and we were going to be married this coming June so the “chastity and no marriage” thing just didn’t work for me.

I have just dicovered that she has not been honest with me in regards to a male “friend” she works with. Allthough I don’t think she has been cheating on me in the strictest sense of the word, this brings up serious trust issues. I have decided I will be breaking off the engagement and ending a beautiful 8 year relationship.

Since I doubt I’ll ever be able to love another woman (I only have one heart and I gave it to my fiance long ago), I only have two things that can be hurdles in me becoming a priest:

  1. I am 24 years old, is that too old to start seminary?
  2. I have been intimate with my fiance. Since I have to live a chaste life as a priest, does it matter whether or not I lived a chaste life before becoming a priest?

P.S. sorry if this was too much info or if I got too personal. I’m just going through a rough time emotionally and I needed to get this out. Thanks.

Dear Rich,

First of all everyone is called to chastity. Married people are to be chaste according to their vocation (i.e., monogamous). For religious and priests in the Western Church, living a chaste life means living a celibate life. Celibacy is what you say has kept you from studying for the priesthood.

You are certainly not too old to begin studying for the priesthood. Your past sins are not a problem either. Nevertheless, I think you should wait awhile. I frankly don’t buy the “one heart” thing at this point. Give yourself some time to get used to being available again and see what happens. Also it might be good to remember that the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church do receive married men into the priesthood.

Maybe God is calling you to be a priest and maybe not. Work on building up your prayer life. Meditate daily on our Lord’s passion. Attend daily Mass if possible. Pray the rosary. Spend time regularly before the Blessed Sacrament. The Lord will let you know.

I will be praying also.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit