I am Being Called, How do I tell my Dad?


#1

I know deep down I am being called to become a nun. But I don’t know how to approach my dad. I didn’t realize it would be so hard because #1: I am afraid he won’t take me seriously and #2 He won’t want me to go.

Any advice?

Thank you and God Bless!


#2

I hope you do have a vocation because we (our society) desperately needs religious. Have you been in contact with a spiritual director regarding your vocation? What religious order do you feel drawn to? Careful discernment is important. If you feel you would like further discernment as to whether you are being called to the religious life, I highly recommend the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. A 30 day silent retreat with an individual spiritual director is best. Another option is being lead in everyday life though these exercises with the aid of a competent director…it will take about 36 weeks. If you have a spiritual director and have discerned a vocation, perhaps you and your dad could arrange a meeting with her/him to discuss your potential call.


#3

I would think the most important thing is to be true to God and to yourself. If you are truly feeling God calling you, then in preparation for telling your dad, “arm” yourself with all the knowledge you can. Try to think of any questions he might have and have answers ready for him. Write down all the reasons you really want to become a nun.

My husband wanted to become a priest from a young age, but allowed his mother to talk him out of it. He ended up falling away from the church and after we married he came back to the church and I converted. Now he wishes with all his heart to be able to concentrate all his time and energy on serving God through the church and laments the fact that he is unable to even become a deacon untill the age of 35. He has no doubts about our marriage, he simply wishes he could follow both the vocation of marriage and the vocation of priesthood.


#4

I think most people struggle with telling their parents about a vocation (either religious or secular). When I was 22 years old, I dropped out of college and informed my parents I was going to be a police officer - a far cry from religious orders. My mother flipped, she was terrified I would be hurt or…hahaha…worse - arrest my little brother. I think it was a matter of convincing her that it was what I felt was right for me to do.

In your situation, it requires a higher commitment and requires more understanding from parents. And typical American families discourage their children from answering the call to religious life, which doesn’t put the odds in your favor. I think, ultimately, a father always wants his daughter to be happy and even if you face adversity at first, he would probably come to accept it. Besides, he must have had a part in your raising and religious foundations.

I for one admire your desire to answer your call. My 7 year old daughter is already telling me she is never getting married, maybe she will have the same thing to tell me some day…


#5

Don’t do it, marry me instead!!! :eek:

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I just can’t find too many faithful Catholic females that are the same age as me. I’m starting to think I’m going to become a priest just because of a lack of other options. (Not to mention, you’re really pretty:o)

Back on topic though, I think everyone else has given good advice. I can’t think of anything else to add, so I’ll just say good luck with telling your dad. You’ll be in my prayers.


#6

There is no real way to know until you tell them. You may be supprised.

For me, the I just told my parents I was thinking about about the priesthood. They were against it, but they knew they could not talk me out of it (I am more pigheaded then they are:whistle: ).

Although I am still under discernment (I think it will take about another year), my parents are finally warming up to it. Religious callings run in both sides of the family.

As for you, I do not know if you have done it yet, but get a Spiritual Director to help you in your journey. In you case, look for one in one of the orders (You do not say which ones you are looking at) that you are thinking of. A good source for information about religious communities in your area is:
Religious Ministries
I hope this helps.

PF


#7

MidnightSun02:

my personal advice is this (and please be warned, I am not yet a “Confirmed Catholic”, I am still in RCIA classes):

Since you are in college, why not finish college (unless it is putting you into financial debt which makes becoming a nun more difficult). It is quite likely that a college degree will be helpful in your vocation as a nun.

When you finish college, if you think the same way you presently think, then just go ahead. You are of age. The process is not so sudden anyway is it? The first year or so is as a novice and you can change your mind while you are a novice.

Perhaps the most important thing is for you to contact your diocese’s the director of vocations (if there is one). Or contact an appropriate person at the religious organization that interests you. But don’t let this disrupt your present studies.

Pray. Consider reading the book “The Imitation of Mary” by Alexander de Rouville (Catholic Book Publishing Co). "To make the right choice of a vocation we need a conjunction of events and circumstances such as Providence ordinarily provides for faithful souls who consult God on the choice of a state of life."

Find St. Montfort’s “Spiritual Maxims of Eternal Wisdom”; and read the First Maxim. I found it at the end of Montfort’s “The Love of Eternal Wisdom” (Montfort Publications).

Paragraph 3. “Beware of the purely natural affections of your relatives and friends when they are an obstacle to your salvation or to your perfection.”

Paragraph 4. “Do not be afraid to disoblige or to displease others if you must do so to carry your cross after Me.”

God bless you MidnightSun02, and I hope you are doing well in college.

jmm08


#8

I would pray about it and just tell him. If you know God is calling you, everthing will work out just fine. Have faith in that.


#9

Thanks everyone for all your advice! Jmm08, I was thinking about finishing school and perhaps getting a teaching degree. (though I’ll admit there will be a bit I’ll have to owe soon afterwards!! eep!). But I think I will wait and see where I am at in a couple of years.

Alterserver07, thank you for your simple advice…I think that is what I really wanted to hear because I am so mixed up in feelings right now. I mean just when I had my future sorted out (sort of) things change so drastically!! You’re right, if He really wants me to serve Him I’ll just have to put my faith completely in Him and all will go well.

RichSpidizzy, thank you for your flattering comment! I have been in your boat as of late…actually for a couple of years I have been in the same situation as you. Except my dilemma is, not only can I find good Christian fellow, but some of the good Christian fellows I meet I feel are too GOOD for me! :frowning:

Honestly, I’ll admit, I have no clue as to which order I want to join or anything. There is still soooo much I need to learn before I can fully and totally commit.

God Bless you all! :slight_smile:

~Kerry


#10

Rich, Awesome Comment :thumbsup:

Kerry, the only guy thats too good for you died 2000 years ago… dont forget that, and yeah, just pray, God works his wonders no matter what your gonna try and do… ive seen some of his good works… ill say a prayer for you…
And rich, ill say an extra one for you to find the one He’s sending your way :tiphat:


#11

MidnightSun,

Check this site out:

religiouslife.com/mpd01.phtml

it is a ‘test’ to help you determine if you are being called

SG


#12

[quote=MidnightSun02]I know deep down I am being called to become a nun. But I don’t know how to approach my dad. I didn’t realize it would be so hard because #1: I am afraid he won’t take me seriously and #2 He won’t want me to go.

Any advice?

Thank you and God Bless!
[/quote]

What ever your choice. I hope you think about it very carefully. Just remember that what ever the reaction your father has remember its because he loves you. And that he is just worried about you, because being a nun isn’t excatly a easy vocation…If you do choose to become a nun CONGRATS… I always admire people who have such strong faith… and in the long run i think your father will also accept it and will take take as much pride in you for being a nun as he would if you were to become a lawyer.


#13

Hello MidnightSun02!

I was terrified to tell my parents (mom in particular) about my Calling. But you know what? Since I was scard to tell them, I prayed to Jesus for strength and to say the right words. I totally depended on Him and it was wonderful- while I was talking to my parnets, I felt this wonderful power and I was strengthened as I sat there. My mom still reacted very harshly, but I was able to handle it and explain where I was coming from. I felt as if I was being sheilded and that the power I felt and the words I was saying, were not my own, but Christ’s. He was gaurding me and took care of me, when I would have been crushed otherwise.

I guess what I’m trying to say is rely on Him. He will not disapoint you. (but I’m sure you know that already! :smiley: )

I’ll pray for you! :thumbsup:


#14

I am a 23 year old graduate student in electrical engineering, and I just told my family that I applied to my local seminary for the priestly formation program. Let me tell you how it went. Maybe it will help you.

My dad, who is a professor of engineering, always had dreams for me to be a great engineer, earn a doctorate, and become a professor as well. When I told him, he responded that he was not too shocked and that even while I was studying engineering, he thought I was wasting some other talent that I had. He seemed to understand, and although he is an agnostic, he told me that I had to go “where I hear the music.”

In a twist, my mom, who is a faithful Catholic, tried to get me to reconsider. She wanted me to stick with my studies and eventually get a job in industry.

This is exactly the opposite of what I expected. It just shows you that there is no template that will tell you how your parents will respond. You just have to be honest and tell you father. It will make you feel better, and his response may be surprising. I will pray for you.


#15

[quote=MidnightSun02]…
Honestly, I’ll admit, I have no clue as to which order I want to join or anything. There is still soooo much I need to learn before I can fully and totally commit. …
[/quote]

MidnightSun02: I am not yet confirmed as a Roman Catholic, but rather I am in RCIA and still learning. I just finished listening to Fulton Sheen speak on “Confirmation” – see bishop-sheen.org/Talks.html talk #27 of 50. The title of Fulton Sheen’s talk may be somewhat misleading. Because it has so much meaning regarding the role of the laity in the Church. I suppose it is possible that many forget the meaning of “Confirmation” and that few review what it means after they have been Confirmed.

Suggestion to MidnightSun02 (and to others): Please listen to Fulton Sheen’s talk #27 of 50 (“Confirmation”). In part, Fulton Sheen’s talk is about how we Christian laity – who are not (or not yet) “religious” in terms of our occupation or our state of life – that we have a very important role to play here and now. That we are to be witnesses for Christ by the way we live and in the manner we conduct ourselves. That our gift from Christ is to become a means by which others may seek Christ. I suppose that God’s Grace in our lives may well be proportionate to our willingness to do something with His Grace towards reaching others with His love. Thank you for praying for me since I am still some ways from being confirmed or being in “full communion” with the Catholic Church.

My suggestion is merely to review and renew your own Confirmation. To recognize what it is that you are already called to be and to consider that at least for now, this is an important role to continue. I’m too ignorant to know how you renew your Confirmation – it is a Holy Sacrament that is only received once like Baptism. However, with Holy Water we can sprinkle ourselves to recall to mind our Baptism. Perhaps too we can similarly renew ourselves to our Confirmation.

I watched the Easter Vigil and I wasn’t ready yet. Perhaps I am only about half way ready.

Forgive me if my remarks here are not appropriate to your situation. I always get a little excited when I learn something new.


#16

KBarn!

That was kinda comical! As a fellow engineer (I have my B.S. from CSM in Chemical Engineering), I still think it is so much more important to follow your heart. The priesthood needs a ‘Few Good Men’! I for one admire all who take on the awesome responsibility of Holy Orders, have a special gift and it has obviouls displyed itself to your dad.

SG


#17

I know a perfect order for you. It is a fairly new order called The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. (Yes, they have perpetual adoration and when they become teaching nuns they teach their students …even kindergarteners to appreciate the eucharist) Ever since I heard about their order I have been sending them a modest contribution and they have been sending me news letters with pictures of the most beautiful women in the world!! You mentioned you were interested in teaching and they are a teaching order…just like your mom or grandmother had. Here is a quote from one of my newsletters:

“The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are enjoying a virtually unprecedented growth in vocations that has seen our numbers grow more than one thousand percent in a mere seven years. Each one of these new vocations represents a holy young woman who has surrendered her life to serve as a teacher in Catholic schools.”

I also read in one of their letters that they are expanding and will be starting communities in states other than Michigan. I strongly urge you to go to their web site and I will say a prayer right now that you will consider them.

  [www.sistersofmary.org]("http://www.sistersofmary.org")

#18

That is a beautiful site, thank you so much! I will certainly look into it!

Blessings

~Kerry


#19

[quote=KBarn]I am a 23 year old graduate student in electrical engineering, and I just told my family that I applied to my local seminary for the priestly formation program. Let me tell you how it went. Maybe it will help you.

My dad, who is a professor of engineering, always had dreams for me to be a great engineer, earn a doctorate, and become a professor as well. When I told him, he responded that he was not too shocked and that even while I was studying engineering, he thought I was wasting some other talent that I had. He seemed to understand, and although he is an agnostic, he told me that I had to go “where I hear the music.”

In a twist, my mom, who is a faithful Catholic, tried to get me to reconsider. She wanted me to stick with my studies and eventually get a job in industry.

This is exactly the opposite of what I expected. It just shows you that there is no template that will tell you how your parents will respond. You just have to be honest and tell you father. It will make you feel better, and his response may be surprising. I will pray for you.
[/quote]

Funny story, showing that God has a sense of humor. Maybe your father is more tuned in than he realizes. God bless you all.


#20

[quote=KBarn]I am a 23 year old graduate student in electrical engineering, and I just told my family that I applied to my local seminary for the priestly formation program. Let me tell you how it went. Maybe it will help you.

My dad, who is a professor of engineering, always had dreams for me to be a great engineer, earn a doctorate, and become a professor as well. When I told him, he responded that he was not too shocked and that even while I was studying engineering, he thought I was wasting some other talent that I had. He seemed to understand, and although he is an agnostic, he told me that I had to go “where I hear the music.”

In a twist, my mom, who is a faithful Catholic, tried to get me to reconsider. She wanted me to stick with my studies and eventually get a job in industry.

This is exactly the opposite of what I expected. It just shows you that there is no template that will tell you how your parents will respond. You just have to be honest and tell you father. It will make you feel better, and his response may be surprising. I will pray for you.
[/quote]

Dear KBarn,

I just stumbled onto one of your posts, and, noting that you are in Madison, checked the bio. I then read a few more posts, and discovered that you are the most atypical UW student, grad or otherwise, I have ever come across! You are not only quietly firm in your convictions, but express yourself so well, and obviously are not threatened by the rampant political correctness that permeates most universities, especially Madison.

I graduated from UW many years ago and now have a granddaughter in her second year. I was unhappy with this choice, but had little input in the decision; her parents wanted a close school (We are in the Twin Cities.). Her brother just graduated from Carleton, and Emily Anne knew that she didn’t want a small school. Thus, Madison.

I am curious to know where you did your undergrad work and if you consider yourself unique in the values you have indicated. Is it possible that there is another side to the UW population than the stereotypical one? To this point, Emily’s world is one of much work (She has received excellent grades.), some social activity through her sorority, and she will spend next spring semester in Italy. So, it seems to be “working out” at the moment. Do you have any suggestions?

Sorry for such rambling thoughts, but I did want to contact you. (And, by the way, a recent ordinand for the St. Paul/Mpls. Archdiocese was an electrical engineer!)

God bless, :slight_smile:
Anna


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