How to help my non-Catholic, non-religious dad understand the priesthood?


#1

I'm looking for resources (books, tracts, etc.) that will help my dad understand the discernment process and the vocation. I've gone through several resources but most are written from the point of view that the parents are active Catholics.

A bit of background... I converted my junior year of high school in 2003. I have considered a vocation since way back in RCIC, although I was never open about it until this year. My parents are divorced and my mom is a fallen away Catholic (now into the new-age movement) but has known (actually guessed it) and supported it for a couple years. My dad is a former baptist, has had some bad experiences, and so is generally antagonistic toward religion. When I told him that I was discerning just before Easter this year, it was... not well received... to put it charitably. When I went home to visit for a week this summer, he spent most of it trying to use anti-Catholic rhetoric to show how the Church is bad or the priesthood is unnatural.

I'm trying to find some resources that will help understand both the Church and the priesthood, but isn't too preachy or use too much religion-ese. It's got to be simple and short. I already sent him "Why do Catholics do that?" (hard for me to part with as it was the book I read during my conversion and had lots of my notes in it) and "The Meaning of Vocation in the words of John Paul II." I doubt he will read fully and with an open mind the first and the second he will probably not take seriously, but it was the best I had on hand. It is very hard for me to focus on discerning when I have such a strong voice arguing and condemning it.

So... I'm appealing to you all, dear CAFers, what do you all recommend? :confused:

Pax,
- Drew


#2

Congratulations and please receive my prayers for you as you discern your vocation :thumbsup:

Just from what I've seen on Journey Home, Baptists have deep problems with Catholicism.

I found this website and well... the Catholic stereotypes are comical :rotfl:

catholicbaptist.com/

Not sure if most Baptists believe all of those inaccuracies but they might :blush:

Your Dad wants you to be happy. You want to be happy.

Scott Hahn has a new book out about the priesthood, he once was Protestant.

amazon.com/Many-Are-Called-Rediscovering-Priesthood/dp/0307590771

Perhaps the Compendium of the Catholic Church:

amazon.com/Compendium-Catechism-Catholic-Ratzinger-Benedict/dp/1574557203

amazon.com/Compendium-Catechism-Catholic-Ratzinger-Benedict/product-reviews/1574557203/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1


#3

How Happy I am for you

I don't know any material BUT you can do the following

  • Pray to Madonna Della Strada (Our Lady of Way)
  • Talk to a priest
  • Ask the intercession of the blessed Cardinal Henry Newman who was beatified last Sunday by pope. He was also a convert

You are in my prayers

and don't be confused

Densy


#4

Thanks for your prayers and advice! I'll have to check out those, especially the book by Scott Hahn. He always has something good to say.

I've never heard of the title Madonna della Strada! It was Mary and St. Pio together who guided me along the path of faith. I will certainly make use of that in my prayer.

Blessed (belated) Feast of St. Pio!


#5

:)

[quote="audeamusfiat, post:1, topic:213356"]
I'm looking for resources (books, tracts, etc.) that will help my dad understand the discernment process and the vocation. I've gone through several resources but most are written from the point of view that the parents are active Catholics.

A bit of background... I converted my junior year of high school in 2003. I have considered a vocation since way back in RCIC, although I was never open about it until this year. My parents are divorced and my mom is a fallen away Catholic (now into the new-age movement) but has known (actually guessed it) and supported it for a couple years. My dad is a former baptist, has had some bad experiences, and so is generally antagonistic toward religion. When I told him that I was discerning just before Easter this year, it was... not well received... to put it charitably. When I went home to visit for a week this summer, he spent most of it trying to use anti-Catholic rhetoric to show how the Church is bad or the priesthood is unnatural.

I'm trying to find some resources that will help understand both the Church and the priesthood, but isn't too preachy or use too much religion-ese. It's got to be simple and short. I already sent him "Why do Catholics do that?" (hard for me to part with as it was the book I read during my conversion and had lots of my notes in it) and "The Meaning of Vocation in the words of John Paul II." I doubt he will read fully and with an open mind the first and the second he will probably not take seriously, but it was the best I had on hand. It is very hard for me to focus on discerning when I have such a strong voice arguing and condemning it.

So... I'm appealing to you all, dear CAFers, what do you all recommend? :confused:

Pax,
- Drew

[/quote]

Hi audeamusfiat!

I really can't offer you any resources, but I can maybe help by showing our relations?? For starters, you are highly looked up to by me, because you have made a move that I am struggling to make. I am discerning the the vocation of religious life, particularly Third Order Dominican. However, I am afraid to tell non-Cahtolics that I'm discerning this vocation. Especially my mother, since she is a very opinionated non-believer, and I'm afraid to even mention the word nun around her. Don't get me wrong, I love my mother very much, but she can be hard on her words and I'm afraid that she will crush my desires of becoming a sister. :( Fortunatly, My father would most likely support me and maybe even encourage me. Then again, that's only a guess... I do however, have a sister who is recently baptised Catholic. In fact, she was the one who got me into the church. :) Now, we just have to get the parents and the other five sisters to join the church..

Anywho, back to discernment. I am finding it very helpful and refreshing to converse my discernment with various amounts of people who are devout in the Catholic faith. I have actually gained alot of confidence in my spiritual life, from listening to others and gathering up a great support system :) Which is what I need! And I'm hoping that I will gain even more confidence, so that I can tell my family while being worry free!

If you don't mind me asking, How did you find the courage to tell your parents??

Now in regards to your father, I only have a few suggestions to offer.

First, you don't always have to tell people your knowledge of the truth. Sometimes its best to show it to them, “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words” - St. Francis of Assisi. Show your father the love that Christ has for you. Love is very attractive to everyone, and your attractiveness will get his attention for sure.

Second, which is simular to the first suggestion. Maybe he doesn't need to be explained to about the Priesthood. Maybe, after you show him that love and kindness, he will allow you to slowly weave the Church into his life. You should never force things on people. especially, when it comes to religion. Be gentle with this subject, be Christ like.

Thirdly, and most importantly, pray. pray.pray. and pray. Did I say pray?? Jesus is the one person who knows everything about you. He also knows everything about your father. There is no person in this world that could give you better advice than our Jesus Christ. You want answers? Pray.

P.s The advice that I have given you, is what I learned from past experiences. I have troubles with my family, and just with people in general, but I am finding it more effective to silence my words. Of course, when God sends graces and gives me an oppurtunity, talk talk talk! but in the meantime... Also along with silence, I am finding love, patience, self control, trust, obedience, and much much more! ~ :thumbsup:

I hope for all the best, and you will be in my prayers :)
May God Bless you


#6

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