Family vs. Priesthood


#1

I feel that God is calling me to be a priest in His church. However, my biggest problem is that my parents do not support me. Why? Well, I come from an ethnic Chinese background, and I am also the only and last male in the family. If I do not have kids, the family name will come to an end, and for many Asians that is a big taboo. Many would consider it my duty to reproduce in order to carry on the family name. If I do not have kids, my mother said that my extended family will disown me and hate me for it. However, my desire to serve God is greater than all other things in my life. I have been through many trials and tribulations, and the only reason I am here today is because of the Lord’s grace. (I use to run with the wrong crowds, and got involved in the bad things, but I was eventually able to get out of that life because of God’s mercy) Now, I truly want to devote my life to serving God as a priest in His holy church, but at the same time I really want my parent’s blessing in doing so. I believe that this may be a test from God to see if I will choose to follow His will over the expectations of my family. At this moment in time, I am still working on convincing my parents, but either way I will pursue priesthood, sooner or later.

Also, some additional info that may or my not affect this situation: My parents are both Protestant, and are Christians who do not go to deep in their faith. They believe in just practising the most basic fundamentals. However, I consider myself a very deeply spiritual individual. I focus most of my time every day in prayer, reading the bible, reading about my faith, singing hymns and other related things.

I really do not know how to go about things right now, and would appreciate anyones comments and input.

Thanks and God bless!


#2

Someday, whether or not you become a priest, you will have to decide if you want to become an adult or let your mother run your life forever. This is a good time to begin developing healthy boundaries.


#3

Praying for you. Congratulations!


#4

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance & direction on your discernment.


#5

go to your diocese director of vocations and have them hook you up with a spiritual director and hopefully someone that is familiar with your culture and its issues. You might not get their blessing especially at first for the stated reasons you listed. But, realize that there are a number of saints that didn’t exactly have family support in their efforts in becoming Priests. I think you could look to someone like St. Thomas Aquinas whose family was against him becoming a priest. St. Francis of Assisi likewise broke with his father in his efforts to follow God (I know St. Francis of Assisi wasn’t a priest but a deacon but he did brake with his father). Maybe others can bring up some other saints. I think though if you could meet regularly with a spiritual director preferable one that is Chinese would be the most helpful to you. God Bless.


#6

Eastern Catholic Churches ordain married men so that would be one way to have your cake and eat it too.


#7

You seem to be on the right path. No offense to your family, but the Catholic faith will always be more important than culture. When we meet our God in heaven we will be celebrating the Catholic faith, not our cultures. Your family may not like it, but the Holy Spirit may be guiding you now so that in the future you will guide your family to the faith. This could be a test for your entire family; is their culture more important or is God more important?

Also, your family assumes you’ll have children and at least one will be a boy, but what if you have all girls or marry someone who unable to have children. I could be a spiteful person sometimes, so if my family tried to pull that on me I’d tell them I’m going to find a woman who is infertile and only adopt girls. :smiley:

But if you’re not Eastern Catholic that’s like cheating. :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

It’s more a cultural thing, not so much just his mother.:shrug:

It’s a tough spot, but here’s my advice OP:

(For context, I asked my friend if she thought I should go for the priesthood. She said that I should date, and then if that doesn’t work out give it a shot. I then said this:)

Here’s the dilemma… If one is a God-fearing individual, believes in Jesus Christ, etc… And then feels that God Himself is calling him to something. Shouldn’t you follow that first, and test that, before trying anything else? I would conjecture that it is a bit of a snub against God to do otherwise.


I’ll be praying for you.


closed #9

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