Dueling vocations


In October, I met a girl who could not have been closer to my “dream girl.” We have so, so much in common, love all the same things, have the same vision for the future, want all the same things. We have started to discuss engagement. Yet, here recently over the past few weeks, I have begun to feel a call to the priesthood. I have always felt a little tug in that direction, but it was never overpoweringly obvious. Yet, now, when I go to Mass and watch my priest and friend celebrate Mass, I feel a deep longing to perform the same duties. I want to give my life to Christ, regardless if it means being married to my girlfriend or to the Church. But now I’m stuck… It feels like God is making me choose between the woman of my dreams and being a priest and serving the Church. Has anyone else felt this before? What pieces of advice would you give?

I have already been going to spiritual direction with my priest and have disclosed this to him. I will be meeting with my diocesan vocations director soon. Yet, I haven’t told my girlfriend yet… Any advice or encouragement is welcomed!


Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your life’s choices.


Actually you can serve the Church as a priest or married.

I did have once in my life where I felt I was given the alternative of remaining with my boyfriend, at that time, and letting him go into some kind of calling. I struggled with it for 3 days, and when I finally gave up who I thought was the love of my life, for God, expecting nothing in return, I had a really powerful spiritual experience.

I don´t know if that’s your path, though, since everyone is different. Some are called to marry. So, it seems to be a matter of discernment, as well.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


Should you decide that this young lady is the “one for you” you might consider the permanent Diaconate program in the future should it be offered in your diocese. Not a priest and yet still in deep service to the Church - a dual vocation :slight_smile:


There’s also that! :thumbsup::yup:


i’ve been in the same boat as you and can understand somewhat what you are struggling with. First off though, just know that if you are dating a girl, you are discerning a call to marriage, not the priesthood. more importantly, you cannot discern two vocations at the same time, especially ones that are so polar opposite as the priesthood and married life. the only way to discern if you are called to the priesthood is to go to seminary and try it out. keep in mind, going to seminary doesn’t mean you are going to be a priest!. that is the biggest misconception everyone makes and it unfortunately drives a lot of guys away from the going there. Seminary is where one goes to DISCERN if they are called to the priesthood. Second, that small voice that is possibly calling you to the priesthood will never go away or be satisfied until you try seminary. i would recommend that you try seminary, and if you go there and find out “hey this isnt for me,” then you lose nothing and gain much knowledge and insight. You ll have learned that the priesthood is not for you and will have satisfied that voice in your head. Or maybe vice versa, you will find you are called to be a priest! lastly, tell your girlfriend your feelings. Tell her how you honestly feel. it will show her that you trust her, are honest, and builds good communication. it is not fair to her for you to not tell her that you are contemplating the priesthood. she seems to want to marry you, and if you are sort of not sure about it and arent feeling the same way, you need to tell her. good luck!


Our current pastor was engaged when he decided he had to explore a vocation as a priest. They broke off their engagement so he could discern, and the rest – seeing as he’s now our pastor – is history :smiley:

Keep speaking with your spiritual director, keep praying, and have peace. We’ll be praying for you, too!

God bless you!



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