I feel lost...


My name is Joshua. I have posted on this site before that I was considering a vocation, and I need some help now from some fellow Catholics.

My father and I have never been close. My father and mother were never married, and I live with my mother. I visited my father every other weekend and once a day growing up, until I was old enough to drive myself back and forth and etc… Up until about a year ago, we were fine I guess. I say “I guess” because my father and I were never close, he would talk about my mother very negatively in front of me, even when I was little, and I never appreciated that. He would also make me leave Mass as soon as I got the Eucharist because he thought the rest was a “waste”, when I was old enough I just stayed and walked home. Any way, I have told my family off and on since I was about… I don’t know… 13-14ish that I wanted to discern the priesthood. My mother and my grandparents on this side of the family were very supportive, took me to Mass more, (like on the weekdays when/if school was not an issue), and allowed me to talk to several priests about it. My father on the other hand, scoffed me. Recently, he told me Catholicism should be just a phase of my life. And that if I enter the priesthood, it’s only because I want to be a rapist. I’ve also been struggling financially with getting through college, but I’ve been slowly making it, I had to take this semester off to rethink about cost, apply to a closer more affordable college, but not give up a good education in the process

My father has insulted me many times, and while I try to explain to him how much my faith means to me, he just laughs and tells me a son should be obedient to his father. I replied with a son should only be obedient to his Creator, but respectful to his birth parents as the Bible teaches. He started swearing at me at and called my mother some nasty things. I tried to stay calm, but eventually could not handle the situation any more and left and returned home in tears. I text him, (text because I couldn’t deal with talking to him at the moment), that I was upset that he wants to think everything just works out in the end without effort. I also told him my family is not my blood relatives. My family are the ones who support me when I’m down and will be there no matter what. For that reason, I believe the Church to be my true family. But don’t get me wrong, I love and will do anything for my mother and family as well, but I just don’t want to pretend that it is OK for my father to insult my Catholicism and expect me to drop it for him.

Also, he insists that I’ve been lying to him throughout the years over numerous things. Over my mother spending the child support on booze and partying, (if you knew my mom, you’d laugh at that claim), and other such things. Also, he had bought me a car for my 16th birthday, and when I was 18, a friend of mine tried to drive her car off a local bridge and commit suicide. Thankfully, I found out from a friend and drove my car into hers before she could get close enough to the car. She was fine, but the car was totaled. I took her home, and while her car was also wrecked, her parents had money enough to fix it. I went back to my car and told my father I hydroplaned and lost control. His first response was that “You should be lucky I don’t kill you.” My mother’s on the other hand was “Are you OK?” I know the Bible says to respect your mother and father, and I always will. I am thankful for being born, and thankful for what he has done, but I don’t what him to continually insult my faith and actions. He acts like just because I’m 19 I don’t know the world. I admit, I have MUCH to learn about life, but for a kid who has seen his best friend kill herself, stop several people from committing suicide, and lived homeless for a portion as his life, I’d expect a little slack. I’m not bragging about the things I’ve done by any means, but I want him to understand I do know what I’m talking about here and there.

Any way, sorry for the long rant, but any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

You are 19. That makes you an adult. You are not obliged to obey him any more, and you’re never obliged to cop abuse from a parent.

If he can’t treat you with respect, including respecting your faith and vocational choices, you may need to spend less time around him. You can make this clear to him and give him the choice…to continue the abuse and not see you, or to respect you and get to spend time with you.

You can’t control whether he will understand you, but you can control whether you allow him to disrespect you. If you show him that you’re a man and won’t take any **** (by walking away, not be getting into heated arguments), he’ll probably show you more respect anyway.

Joshua, may God continue to bless and strengthen you.
You are a son to be proud of, and it is your Dad’s sad loss that he cannot see this.
Stay strong,
with God’s help.
You need not to mind the harsh things your Dad says and does, just continue to try to remain as calm and courteous as you can manage with determination and God’s grace.
Those things are a reminder that your Dad needs prayers.
It appears that you have a better perspective than your Dad. Not every boy or girl manages to grow up balanced and compassionate and it appears your Dad has suffered this loss. Fathers and mothers are children who physically became adults, but sometimes have skewed understanding and damaged natures,
but you have not, despite challenges, so thanks be to God.
Eternally, your parents are blessed that you are and intend to be an authentic Catholic Christian.


Trishie has said pretty much everything that I would say to you also.

There is really nothing you can do for your father. Your heart is wounded by him and yet you have not “barred the door” but would welcome him should he come to you in a spirit of reconciliation.

He is obviously a very troubled person. Anger, resentment, and a selfish need to “control” seem to be strong demons in his life. How he came to this we cannot know.
But God has blessed you with a tremendous gift - empathy and good sense.
Use both of them to remain firm in your own convictions while also hoping to help your dad.

In the final analysis, you have to do what is right for you. It is he who will have to change. Your example, especially should you enter the priesthood, may enrage him at first, but over the years, who knows.


My advice is to see and talk to your father as little as possible. He is not acting as a father to you and is tearing down your faith and your spirit. Limit your contact to texting, perhaps a phone call now and then. You do not have to be in his company any more and I do not believe that you should.

Pity about the car. Maybe that was the only way for you to stop this suicide attempt at the time. Maybe not. But whatever - the action was taken and thank God neither of you were hurt, nor any innocent bystanders. It was the right thing to do if it stopped your friend from taking her life. It would be hard for a selfish person to see the value in such a choice - they would think about the value of the car perhaps more than the value of your friend’s life. I pray that she got help after this and is in a stable condition now and no longer suicidal. Many people would not go as far as you did in order to save her.

If you do not have a spiritual director, ask your priest about it ASAP. Also, you need to speak to the vocations director in your Diocese about your possible discernment of the priesthood. Go forward with your possible call to a priestly vocation. It is between you and God, and while it is nice if your parents are supportive, this is YOUR life and YOUR calling.

May God richly bless you as you discern. You will be in my prayers in a special way.

I just want to second what the other posters have said. You are a son any parents should be proud of. It’s a shame your father doesn’t appreciate his Catholic faith or understand it well, but don’t let that stop you from discerning the priesthood, which is a noble profession as you know.
You are an adult, and don’t need to be around people who are mean or speak disrespectfully of your faith or your mother.
God bless and keep you.

I agree with others. You are a good young man and you do NOT have to listen to someone talk negatively to you or your mom. I would definetely limit contact to texting until your dad can show respect. But also PLEASE PRAY for your dad. I think it was St Monica who prayed for her rebel son St Augustine who turned his life around. Hopefully, God will answer your prayers in the same way


Hi everyone,

Thank you for the advice, I have tried my best to stay away from him and not communicate with him. However, I had recently hung out with one of my cousins on that side of the family, and I was very upset with what he has been telling others about me. A few years ago, I attempted suicide and had committed self injury, thankfully now though, with the help of my faith community, therapy, and friends, I have come out from the way of living and have sense strengthened my relationship with God. I had also applied to the military recently and was turned down due to my self injury scars being recent, which is perfectly understandable. My father has been telling his side of the family that I was rejected from the military because I “tried to off myself” and “I have no respect for the gift of love HE gave me”. This made me furious. First off, God gave me life, not him. Sure, he had a role, but he completely denies the part where my mother had to carry me around for nine months, give birth, etc… I get upset when people call suicide “trying to off themselves”, as bad as suicide is, it takes a desperate person to even consider it, and desperation is synonymous with fear in my books. I think my father just has no regard for

Would cutting off contact completely for now be a good idea? It seems to be the only option.

Yes - I think that "cutting off contact with him may be your only option for now.
As for what he tells others…Not much you can do about that except to discontinue telling him things…:shrug:

Sad - but for now…It’s is probably best.


Hi Joshua, some very good advice have been giving you here. And since I’m not good in the advice department, I am however good in praying. So, I’ll be praying for your dad, and you. May the Holy spirit continue to guide you.

God bless

jesus g

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