This is a question that has been going around in my head for a while now. I converted to Catholicism a few years ago after being raised as a Protestant. I was married before I became Catholic. Since converting, I have felt that I may be being called to a role in the ordained ministry. Since I am married, this has been felt as a calling to be a deacon. However, I also feel that I could have made a good priest. How does one know that I was not called to be a priest but simply realized it too late. Obviously, I have a wonderful wife and great kids and I would not want, nor do I believe God would ever call me to give that up to become a priest, but is it possible that there would be a way for me to remain married and become a priest or am I simply misunderstanding what it is I am being called to do, and really I have been called to be a married permanent deacon? I hope that my question makes sense, I know that it may be a bit rambling.
Have you investigated the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church? They allow married men to become priests, and are fully Catholic. Though, they share the same doctrine, their practices are a bit different in terms of how mass is done and some theology. But you never know.
A calling is a very personal thing. I suggest you find a good priest and make an appointment to speak with them. What you’re feeling could be several things…it could be a calling to a greater holiness (which is very common with new good converts) to be the “priest/leader” of your home, it could be a call to do something very special in life, it could be a call to the diaconate or some secular order.
I know there have been made some exceptions to people who have entered into catholicism fully not knowing what the priesthood is and what it demands and they got married before they converted… i know there are some cases where they were allowed to become priests (but this is the exception and not the rule) after they went through the proper theological classes and such.
This stirring in your heart is real and you need to get to the bottom of it. I suggest:
Finding a eucharistic adoration chapel in your area and making an appointment with God on a weekly/daily basis to spend more time with Him and to speak with Him on whats in your heart. To make a real good confession and recieve the eucharist. After a little time with this, I’d go find that priest I mentioned and ask him what you should do. A good priest should be able to help clear up misunderstandings, find out where you stand and what you need to work on, and what avenues are open for u.
This is great that you’re responding to God and questioning and thinking. Most people don’t go that far and just blow this all off.
Good luck to you!
Do you have a spiritual director? If not, getting one is a good place to start. A director can help you discern where God may be calling you. You might want to talk with your pastor to see if he can recommend a spiritual director for you.
We know that God is not a God of confusion. If you were ever called to priesthood in the Latin Rite, that call stopped when you were married, and there is no use speculating about it. I saw that another poster recommended you investigate the Eastern Rites if you think you may have a genuine calling to the priesthood.
But remember that through our baptism, we are all priests, prophets, and kings. We are all called to holiness and members of the common priesthood of all believers. You may be feeling strongly a call to greater holiness. It may be a call to service in the Church, such as serving as a catechist, or to obtaining an academic degree to open up more avenues of service. It may be a call to the ordained diaconate or a call to serve as a lay liturgical assistant of some sort, such as a lector or EMHC.
Please continue to pray, but rest assured there cannot currently (since you are married) be a call to priesthood in the Latin Rite. God would not call you to abandon one vocation for another!