Help with vocation and rejection


Hello all, I have been struggling quite a bit over the last month in all aspects of my life. I came into the Church in 2011 and have always felt something along the lines of a call to serve in a capacity outside that of what may be considered the norm. I have made inquiries with different orders - Schoenstatt, Franciscans, Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius - as well as the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and Juneau in Alaska. Most recently the Juneau Diocese invited me up for a week in October and I believed things went incredibly well. So much so that I quit my job and gave up pretty much everything in anticipation of pursuing what appeared to be THE opportunity to truly and fully discern my vocation.

Now it appears that the Alaska opportunity may never come to fruition and I feel like I am stuck in life without much to even hope for so far as my vocation is concerned. I have had some profound connections with Carmel and the Byzantine Rite since returning from Alaska, perhaps that is something to look into.

Forgive my frustration but I am constantly hearing about the need for vocations this and that and at least in my experience I have had an incredible willingness to further discern but no entity will even allow me to have a meaningful opportunity to do so. Any thoughts or ideas on what I might consider doing from here?


Have you asked any of them why they refused you? would be helpful to know what is blocking them accepting you .


Forgive me for not further clarifying. I just feel like I have been met with nothing but rejection in light of nothing having worked out as of yet. So many people have encouraged me to pursue a vocation to the priesthood, religious life, etc to include my spiritual director who is a priest with St. John Cantius. Maybe none of this is for me yet it seems like all the other doors in my life had closed and the doors to such a vocation opened. Now it just feels like all the doors are closed, hence rejection.

Part of my feeling this way is because I have no job and I only have $1.70 remaining after having used up the money I saved to move to Alaska. It is difficult when you are unemployed voluntarily because you sought to serve a greater purpose, now I have been without any purpose for over two months and I am just waiting to hear about any vocation opportunity, job offer, any way of simply sustaining myself in the world, etc.


Keep discerning.
And get a job in the meantime.

Ask.God for what you want and then thank Him 100% positive thoughts without doubting without negative thoughts and God will provide for you

Keep discerning. But do get a job also.


I am thinking that they are not refusing you out of hand, but are contemplating that you have not been a Catholic all that long. Most orders want converts to be Catholics for about 10 years of so. In the meantime get involved in local charities and works of Mercy to increase your Spiritual Portfolio. They will also be a help to you in finding a job or housing. You may have a pie in the sky concept of what the priesthood or brotherhood is like. It is hard work and persistence of spirit. I will pray for you.


Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your discernment.


When you say you have made inquiries into various Orders, did you just call and state your interest or did you formally start the process of application? Have you lived-in with any of these communities or had regular meetings with their formation directors? Have they actually told you that you cannot enter or are they waiting for something such as the start of a term? If they have actually rejected you (which implies that you first made a clear offer) then ask why. Many orders have reasons why they cannot take a postulant such as for ill health, age, education in the case of orders that perform specific professions. Many saints and blesseds wanted to enter religious life but we’re prevented by age, illness, education etc. Perhaps it is your vocation to bear this Cross-and Crosses do hurt.

You say that it “is difficult when you are unemployed voluntarily because you sought to serve a greater purpose” and that you “have been without any purpose for over two months” .You are still a servant of God and the Church. Your purpose is whatever is in front of you right now. I want to be married but right now my purpose is to be single. Pray to St Therese. She knows what it’s like to have to wait.

I wish you well in your vocation journey. I hope you find a place which is a good fit. I will pray for you. It sounds like a very difficult time. Remember you are always accepted and loved by God.


Consider the life of St. Paul as he traveled thousands of mile evangelizing the early church. It didn’t go the way he thought it would, happen in the time frame he expected, nor end the way we’d think is a success. Vocation is not a job we pursue but a door opened by God.


Keep praying, don’t lose hope. The Servant of God Fr. Patrick Peyton was rejected several times. In the meantime, how would you feel about lay apostolates? There are many that will give you room and board and small pay. I don’t know where you are located but may I suggest the Catholic Worker Movement? They are all over the world. Good luck!


You are indeed a brave man to place yourself before the modern administration of the Church. Whatever you are doing now, you are doing it wrong. So, don’t give up; don’t despair as you have obviously thrown yourself at God. Let Him catch you; which He does quite often after you hit the ground. He is funny like that. Realising that you are going about it wrong; work out the right way. Get feed back on your failed applications. You have not been that clear as to your present process. Get work. Orders don’t like to think that you are desperate due to poverty. Reassess your approach and PRAY. May the Lord recognise in you the building stone that has been rejected and make another St. Francis which we so sorely need. Good men are never wasted by God; they are His hands.


I wouldn’t say he is going about it the wrong way. How would we know? I would guess that the Church has become more selective and careful as to who is admitted into the seminary these days. I do agree that feedback is a good step to take. Also, keep in mind that he has not been a Catholic very long. We don’t know his educational background or even if he has a criminal past-which I doubt. But there are all kinds of factors taken into account before someone is admitted to the seminary. In a sense it is a “job” as a priest is a 24/7 “worker” of the Church. A vocational director/team will look at all kinds of info. and impressions or vibes of the applicant. I am not trying to discourage him, but to work toward his goal. Education is a key factor theses days as is some experience. They are not the make or break conditions, but as in any kind of “job” they will be considered. I suggest that a two year stint in the Peace Core or charitable service will go a long way in his pursuit to the Priesthood or Brotherhood. Peace and prayers.


You make very wise suggestions. I agree that we know nothing of the posters process towards a vocation. Perseverance is important if we are to succeed in anything, however the priesthood is a choice made by God, not ourselves. I wish the poster the very best as I do you also. A wise post.




I recommend you pray for the holy souls in purgatory and ask their intercession to help you find the right religious order for you…especially pray for the souls of religious and priests in purgatory and ask them to help you find an order that will accept you…

If you read both links in my post you will see the holy souls obtain favours for us from God if we pray for them…

Here’s a holy souls prayer

Prayer For The Souls In Purgatory Who Can Obtain Fast And Visible Help For Us!

Eternal Father, i offer you the precious blood of jesus, in union with all the masses being said this day throughout the whole world,
For all the holy souls in purgatory, and also for the souls in purgatory whose prayers can obtain fast and visible help, in desperate, complicated, difficult, hopeless, urgent situations.

And I beg you Eternal Father to please grant to me through the Prayers and Intercessions of The Holy Souls in purgatory the following prayer requests (name requests).

Just another thought…if you have suffered rejection,it doesn’t mean you aren’t called to the religious life…it just means that God may want you to serve him in a different religious order because it may benefit your soul more…

Good luck and God bless you

Crystal waters



My prayers daily for you also. I am so sorry that all this has happened to you :

***“Part of my feeling this way is because I have no job and I only have $1.70 remaining after having used up the money I saved to move to Alaska. It is difficult when you are unemployed voluntarily because you sought to serve a greater purpose, now I have been without any purpose for over two months and I am just waiting to hear about any vocation opportunity, job offer, any way of simply sustaining myself in the world, etc.” ***

  • very often it can be those who are indeed called to a certain vocation that satan will pull out all stoppers to block. The nun who taught me in college told me that if satan sighted one inch of good to be done, that thing would do all in its power to prevent it. I hope your current life problems will quickly resolve for you and soon and that you will be able indeed to sustain yourself in the world and that The Lord will show you your path and vocation and soon. Your current trial and suffering is terrible.
    Our Lady of Perpetual Help guide, guard and protect.


Hi again, Kenny Kamel

I am hoping you will keep us in the loop as to how things are going with you. I will be keeping you in daily prayer, please keep us all in your own prayers.

Quite a few of our saints have had a difficult path into religious life and/or priesthood - it seems to me the common denominator in the lives of such saints is that they refused to give up (perseverance). Perseverance and strength of soul come under Fortitude, one of the seven Gifts of The Holy Spirit at Confirmation i.e. wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of The Lord. The gift of fortitude, our last gift to consider, enables a person “to overcome difficulties or to endure pain and suffering with the strength and power infused by God.” Through fortitude, the Holy Spirit inspires and energizes a person to undertake great things joyfully and without fear despite obstacles.

Patron Saints of perseverance under ‘impossible’ or difficult circumstances are St Jude (apostle) and St Rita of Cascia - wife, mother, religious and saint. I have put ‘impossible’ in inverted commas as all things are possible to God.

Mar Ch10 V27 “And Jesus looking on them, saith: With men it is impossible; but not with God: for all things are possible with God.” **Mark Ch9 V22 **“If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

Kenny, do you know a priest or even a nun experienced in spiritual direction who could support and encourage you at an extremely difficult time.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help guide, guard and protect.

Regards…Barb :slight_smile:


Please stop seeing this as rejection; that is the terminology of the world not religious vocation. Frankly you jumped the gun by moving and made assumptions that were imprudent and unwise and that may well be why you were refused. Obedience to the Order is the lynchpin of religious life and you took admission as for granted. May sound harsh but your difficult situation is of your own making and the happy thing is that you can set this right and learn from it and be a better person whatever the future holds for you. Find work, support yourself, and in time, maybe a lot of time, think this through again. Someone close to me waited thirty years… be strong! Accept where you are and grow from there.


Thank you Barb, I think when I originally posted in creating this thread I was having a bit of a meltdown over the prevailing circumstances in my life. I have gained employment and will start in a new job on Monday. A local Secular Carmelite group has reached out to invite me to participate in their activities, many others have been incredibly gracious in their support during this time of trial in my life.

Frankly I think it best to just move on in life and if a vocation outside of virginity for the sake of the kingdom or holy matrimony should be what God would Will for me I am confident He will reveal it to me. Thanks to all for your consideration.



Really good to hear from you, Kenny and thank you for the update. What wonderful news - that you have employment and that a local Carmelite secular group has reached out to you - this should be a great support along the way. Warming to the core too that “many others have been incredibly gracious in their support”.
Time to very humbly give much thanks to God for speedy answers to prayer.
As to your last paragraph, it is a healthy way on every level to move on and in confidence that God will indeed reveal to you your path and vocation in life. Any vocation and call can have a ‘colourful history’ with twists and turns and even up a few creeks “God writes straight in crooked lines”. In my own past journey are a few twists and turns and “up a creek”. I am privately vowed now over 30 years.
We can all have meltdowns, I think, when God’s Blessings are present in very strange clothing indeed - and life seems to be chucking negatives at us from right, left and centre. That is not at all unusual - how we work through such situations is the important factor…and that “working through” might include talking even complaining with others about our unhappy and confusing state. “Bear ye one another’s burdens”

Off me pulpit!

Good to hear from you, Kenny. I will be looking forward to reading your posts into CAF as our journeys roll on. God’s Blessings on your new employment. Keeping you in prayer and please keep us in your own…warm regards…Barb:)


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