How am I going to tell my father?


Hello. I just turned 20 today, but for the past couple of days I have been worrying about how I may have to tell my dad one day that I want to be a priest. I definitely feel the call to the priesthood. I can feel the call getting stronger and stronger every year. It is just a matter of time now before I figure out what religious order Jesus calls me to join. (Right now it looks like the Capuchins or Conventual Franciscans)

However I am worried about how my father would react. He is a non-practicing protestant, (but I don’t think he has any real convictions). We have never talked about faith at home. But my mom told me one day that my dad feels rejected by the Catholic church because he is not allowed to receive communion. Not only that, upon seeing in my dorm room a statue of Mary and printed cut out pictures of saints, he told my mom privately that he felt that the Church is stealing his son and in a moment of frustration said that he wished he had stopped her from raising me catholic. (My mom and my dad love each other but have a lot of contempt for each other).

I think telling him is going to be the hardest thing I will have to do in my life so far. I keep asking Mary to save a little bit of each grace from my nightly rosaries to prepare me and my dad for that day. My other worry is that he might lash out at my mom for not putting a stop to my vocation or for raising me catholic. If he is angry, I just pray that all the anger is channeled at me.

My dad is not a bad man, he is great, self-sacrificing, and loving person. I thank God that he is my dad and that he raised me with love. However, he will not be happy when I tell him this.

If anyone else can relate to this, your advice would be GREATLY appreciated.
Thank you, and a prayer would be appreciated as well.



Congratulations on your possible calling.

I have no profound advice (or even flippant advice) but I will keep you in my prayers.

God bless.



Well you could bring up the subject in Casual Conversation… Check his response before going further…
if it’s Immediately Negative… then at least you will know, before you tell him that it’s what you want to do… it may also be easier is he know’s your partaking in church activity…
Maybe as a parent, he might be concerned that you are making lifetime choices before you get some life experience… you are after all only 20…

Good Luck,& keep us informed…


Perhaps you could send a PM to the OP of following threads who had a similar concern couple of days ago and could advice you more practically. However notice that in the end he ignored all advices from CAF members in the first thread and followed his heart. And the result was fantastic. This to tell you know better your father than any of us and how you could approach this. I am praying for your vocation.


My dear brother and friend!
I don’t have any advice for you because I’m in the same situation.
But … I pray for you and especially for your parents. May God bless you all!

In Christ, Our Lord,
Your brother Attempto


All I can say is don’t let his response to it deter you. One of the reasons I didn’t go into the seminary for minor formation when I was young was because my protestant step mother didn’t really approve. I can’t tell you how much I regret it all these years later. Perhaps tell him once you’re past the point of no return and already enrolled in the seminary? I really don’t know. You want to live your life in persona Christi; how could he possibly be upset? If your father wants to receive Holy Communion he needs to convert, go to confession, and promise to God to amend his life. Why should he be upset at the church for something he won’t do? Of course don’t ask him these things. I know how frustrating it can be to deal with a sometimes reasonless father.


Pray on it. If you are indeed called to the priesthood, you will have to rely on The Lord for your strength. We all must, but especially for the priest, his first grounding must be in confidence to proclaim the Gospel. The reaction of your father is not atypical, even for families of strong Catholic identity. Speak to your parish priest, but in all things rely on The Lord who calls you.

Thank you for responding to God’s call. You are in my prayers.

P.S. Have you discerned whether or not you are called to the diocesan priesthood? Not that the religious orders are bad or less, but the diocesan priesthood is also a possibility.


Don’t let what he says deter you. If you and your parents could sit down and talk about your plans for the future, it might give them some insight as to why you are doing this. Its not necessarily going to make them understand perfectly but hey, its worth a shot, right?

Also, we share a birthday. Sorry, just noticed that and I find it cool.:o


Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from following your true vocation. Talk to a priest about it and just keep in mind that many times a priest son can eventually bring about the conversion of the non catholic parent. My uncle did that for my Grandfather who was never baptized. It took a few years but it happened. Your all in my prayers. God Bless and a Holy, Blessed New Year. Memaw


“My dad is not a bad man, he is great, self-sacrificing, and loving person. I thank God that he is my dad and that he raised me with love. However, he will not be happy when I tell him this.”

You are a man now, and God is calling you to service. Sit down with your dad and tell him how you feel about him and then tell him what God is leading you to do.

He may not understand but it is out of his hands and in God’s hands. Respect and love your father but fear and obey God.


The book “To Save a Thousand Souls” came immediately to mind when I read this thread.

Perhaps one of the thousand souls the OP is destined to save is his father’s.


I can sort of relate but not exactly. Firstly you’re very lucky to have a parent that did raise you Catholic. My dad’s side is Catholic but my dad just wasn’t really big on religion in fact I think he picked up paganism at one point (I bet that made my grandmother is turning over in her grave :banghead: ) but my mom raised us in many different churches my theory is she went wherever the Jamaicans went (I am half Jamaican) I ended up going to Catholic school for 2 years I was around 8 when I decided I wanted to be Catholic and my mom would not hear of it. I am going to be 19 next month and I had plans to be Catholic by this Easter sort of a late birthday present to myself I suppose. Anyways, I was supposed to move out for college and I had set up something with campus ministry and everything was ready but then my mom made me stay at home and go do college here. Well in July I plan on getting on a plane back to my hometown going back to the other church I attended and I plan on being catholic as a 20th birthday present to myself :thumbsup:

The moral is if this is something you want and that you know you are being called to it don’t let anything stand in your way. I know what I have to do and I will make it a reality. You should do the same and don’t stop praying for your dad sounds like a great guy


My advice as someone who had a father with a very strong will is respectfully demonstrate your conviction to him by your confidence and determination, which I’m sure the Lord will provide you at the proper moment.


Thanks everyone for the prayers and advice, I really appreciate it. I just bought “to save a thousand souls” on the kindle and started reading. I don’t think I will tell him for a while yet, but I will come back to this forum before I tell him. Thank you everyone.


In addition to what’s been said, I’d suggest that, when you do tell him, you can soften the blow by emphasising that you are trying out life with a community, to see whether it’s for you. Even if in your own heart you are 100% convinced that you will be seeing it through to solemn vows, you don’t need to say so because (1) you don’t know whether the community you’re going to is the one you are being called to, and won’t know until you’ve lived there for some time, and (2) phrasing it this way, as ‘just temporary for now’ and ‘I just need to try it and experience it for myself up close’, besides being factually true, will make it easier for him to adjust.

Especially to a non-Catholic, who probably knows next to nothing about religious orders, he might have a vague idea that once you walk into a friary, they make you take your solemn vows and can never get out again. The reality, of being an inquirer, then a postulant, then novice, then in temporary vows, is a lot less scary, and at each stage of the way you have an opportunity to explain why you’re taking the following step, give witness to the life you’re living and what it’s turning out like for you, and so make things easier to accept and adjust to for him too.

You’ll be in my prayers!


Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

I would pray a nine day rosary novena before you tell him. Ask the Blessed Mother to help you with it, and it will go smoothly. Put in the work first.:hammering:


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