I have discerned a vocation

Hello all,

I have discerned a priestly vocation months ago, and I was wondering what to do next. I am 15 years old, and very active in my parish. I can’t tell my parents, because my mom believes things like me going to adoration is false piety.

What should I do?

Sam
Samrhuntington@gmail.com

Sam, good luck to you - you might want to take your email address off your post, as this is a forum viewable to the public. :slight_smile:

You should make an appointment with the Vocations Director of your diocese and speak with him. He will tell you what is required to prepare for and enter seminary. He will also suggest that you get actively involved in your parish, develop an active prayer life, and obtain a spiritual director.

Sam,
So glad to see your post this morning! May God Bless you on your journey! Have you visited Jerry Usher’s website, vocationboom.com? There is a lot of great information on there. I also really like the Archdiocese of Washington, DC’s vocation page, dcpriest.org. I would recommend you make an appointment with your Pastor (or another Priest you are close with) and tell him. It’s probably good idea for you to start regular spiritual direction, if you aren’t already doing so.

Don’t be afraid to tell Father that it is a secret with your parents at this point. He will be able to advise you. Many Priests have faced similar opposition from their parents, I promise. Father Mitch Pacwa’s father was completely against him becoming a priest. He told Father Mitch that he would cut him out of his will, and the day Father Mitch celebrated his first mass, his father did just that. Despite this opposition, Father Mitch knew his vocation and has helped countless souls now! If you have a true vocation, Our Lord will guide you through any opposition from your family. Do not be discouraged!

JMR

Write various seminaries you are interested in

Hello everyone, I have drafted an email to my mother, and I was hoping you all could review it…

Pt. 1
​Dear mother,
I have trying to think of a good way to tell you this, and I can’t think of one, so here goes…

Remember when I wanted to be an IT Tech?, this is not the case anymore.
I know what I need to do now, and before you laugh, just continue on with an open mind.

We were praying in life teen in the form of adoration of the blessed sacrament, and I was kneeling down front. I saw something move. I look up, and the crucifix is turned towards me,and begins to speak. “Sam, be a priest, be a priest in my Name to spread my word to the people of Earth, be a priest. I prayed every night about it, and I received no response. However, the next time we did adoration, the same thing happened, same exact message, and everything, and furthermore, this time I was the last to rise to my feet. I heard at the end, " Time to go Now!” “Come back soon!”
I have prayed about it, and discerned what God wants me to do.
Read on. This would be a good fit, with only 16 people.

How should I react if my son or daughter talks to me about becoming a priest, nun, or brother?

If this hasn’t happened yet, maybe you ought to ask yourself how you or your spouse might react. Would it be shock? Concern? Skepticism? Would this be a dream come true for you or your worst nightmare? Knowing and understanding your own feelings and your reasons for them is an important step in knowing how to respond to your son or daughter. The vast majority of teens (even me) today feel that if they told their parents they were even “just thinking” about priesthood or religious life, their parents would be completely opposed to the idea, laugh at them, or in some other way not take them seriously.

I just found out my son or daughter is well along in the decision to enter seminary or a religious community. Why didn’t he or she talk with me?

Try not to be offended or hurt that your son or daughter didn’t confide in you until now. When considering a calling, men and women often wish to keep things confidential from the people closest to them until they are ready to talk about it. Rest assured your son or daughter both needs and desires your support and encouragement. In fact, your support as a parent is most likely valued more than that of any other figure in your son’s or daughter’s life. (Yep!!)

Here is info In the Blessed Jose Sanchez Del Rio Seminary.

Q. What do I need to do in order to apply?
A. High school age boys who wish to join must follow a two step process

  1. They must fill out and submit a completed application packet.
  2. Most importantly, the prospective seminarian will need to have an interview with the Rector or someone designated by him. Admission to the seminary is contingent on this interview.

Q. What are the graduation requirements at the Blessed Jose Sanchez Del Rio Seminary?
A. Mother of Divine Grace School offers a standard academic diploma and transcript. As an established, respected, and accredited private school our transcript is accepted by colleges throughout the United States. Graduation from Mother of Divine Grace School requires completion of 22.5 credits (225 units).

Q. Is there a tuition cost that the seminarians need to pay?
A. Yes, there is a minimal tuition that we ask the parents to contribute. This tuition helps with the cost of formation and the daily living expenses. If for some reason, however, a family is unable to pay the prospective seminarian will not be turned away. We believe that there is nothing more precious than a priestly vocation, and we want to ​​do everything possible to help young men called to the priesthood to discern their vocation and to preserve it.

High School Seminary
512 E. Mulberry St.
Mankato, MN 56001
tel: 507-387-2565
email: ivehss@ive.org
Web:iveminorseminary.org/

Hello everyone, I have drafted an email to my mother, and I was hoping you all could review it…

Pt. 2

​Here is other ​cool stuff I found…​ ​
I don’t want my son to be lonely.
As a priest, your son will replace the comfort of a family with a deeper relationship with God and a commitment to serving the community. He will have the support of his brethren and spiritual relationships with the members of his parish. His duties will be challenging and are extremely important to the people he serves. Each week, a priest enters the lives of dozens of his parishioners at their most vital moments: in the baptism of a newborn child, in the absolution of decades of previously unrepented sin, in the consecration and distribution of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, in the exchange of marital vows before God, in the anointing of the sick and in the funeral of a deceased member of the Church. Because he is “priest,” because he stands in the person of Jesus Christ, the priest is a central part of their lives in these precious occasions. In saying the prayers of the Daily Office and in celebrating daily Mass where Christ becomes truly present in the Holy Eucharist, the priest is in constant contact with our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Will he be happy and fulfilled without a family?
When God calls someone to a specific vocation such as the priesthood, it is up to that person to accept the call or not. God does not force, He only calls. But, as many priests will tell you, if the Lord wants a man to be a priest, it will be the happiest and most fulfilling life he could possibly lead. After all, God is the source of all joy and lasting fulfillment.

We want him to be successful.
If you measure success by money, children, or other common goals to a secular life, then in your eyes your son will not be successful. If you measure success through your son’s eyes, his desire to answer the call and meet the challenges of leading a life in Christ and serving people to find the same, then you will be on the same page as he is and see the possibilities. The priesthood is an uncommon life and a few rare men are blessed with the calling and the skills to serve the Lord in this capacity. A priest holds an indispensable role. In the sacraments, Christ acts through his priests and provides the graces needed to reach heaven: it is the priest who gives absolution for sin; it is the priest who consecrates the Holy Eucharist; it is the priest who anoints the sick and dying. In short, it is the priest, standing in persona Christi, who prepares the soul for death and eternal life. The successes of a good priest echo through all of eternity, long after this earth has passed.

What is the role of parents in encouraging vocations?

Ultimately you love and support them. The grace that God gives parents is what best nourishes and supports the young person. Thinking always as your son or daughter first is best. Continue to have expectations of him or her.

A vocation is quite simply a call from God. God gives each one of us a vocation and has blessed us with certain abilities and talents. Some of us are called to be married. Others are called to be single. Still others are called to the priesthood or to religious life. One vocation is not better than another. We hope that if your child shows an interest in religious life or the priesthood you will be supportive and encouraging.

I just found out my son or daughter is well along in the decision to enter seminary or a religious community. Why didn’t he or she talk with me?

PLEASE​ Try not to be offended or hurt that ​I didn’t confide in you until now. When considering a calling, men and women often wish to keep things confidential from the people closest to them until they are ready to talk about it. Rest assured your son or daughter both needs and desires your support and encouragement. In fact, your support as a parent is most likely valued more than that of any other figure in your son’s or daughter’s life.

Hello everyone, I have drafted an email to my mother, and I was hoping you all could review it…

Pt. 3

Who pays for everything?

Each religious community and diocese establishes its own financial policies concerning its candidates.

Typically, candidates for a religious community are expected to cover the cost of their tuition, room and board and, other related expenses until they profess vows. Dioceses often help their seminarians cover part of their expenses. For both, candidates for religious communities and dioceses, scholarships, loans and grants are available. A

​l​ack ​​ of finances should never prevent someone from responding to God’s call to religious life or the priesthood. Speak to your diocesan vocation director to learn more.
Do priests and sisters remain connected to their families?

Yes, priests and sisters continue to support and be supported by the members of their families. They visit family members and take part in family celebrations and events. Many families find an even stronger bond with children and siblings who have chosen a Church-related vocation. In a unique way, the parish/community also becomes an extended family for them.

If your son’s discernment leads him to enter seminary, his departure will be similar to a son leaving home to attend college or to enlist in the military. There will be an inevitable transition period for all parties. If a son enters seminary to study for the priesthood, he will most likely make visits home during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and over the summer vacation each year. Throughout his formation in seminary, he will be encouraged to maintain and develop family relationships through occasional visits and by frequent communication.

I’m worried that my son or daughter will be lonely living a celibate lifestyle.

There is a difference between aloneness and loneliness. A celibate life can be a fulfilling life. Moments of solitude or aloneness are required for prayer, reflection, homily preparation, and rest. Still, no vocation is immune to loneliness; every human being has some lonely moments, whether he or she is married, single, priest or religious. Priests and religious must always be vigilant in maintaining healthy relationships with family, friends, brother priests, parishioners, and/or fellow members of one’s religious community, as well as enjoying recreational pursuits.

Sam

Wow! I am happy to see this post, Sam! May God bless you in this calling! Not all teens today are brave enough to even discern religious life.

Anyways, continue to be active in your parish. Contact the vocations director in your diocese so he can help you guide which order you want to be in. As for your mom, is she Catholic? if she is, then I would pray for her plus show her (in the most charitable way) the significance of Eucharistic adoration and how it can help you further.

St. John Bosco said that there are two things that the devil is deadly afraid of: a soul who takes communion and who goes to adoration frequently.

Discerning any type of vocation will involve a whole lot of temptations and trials, going to adoration and talking to Jesus in the Eucharist, developing a deeper prayer life and receiving guidance from a spiritual director will help you see the signs more clearly.

Our spiritual director came by accident in our life, he is a great parish priest and a great confessor and we just grew close to him to the point that he flew half way across the world to bless our marriage in the sacrament.

I suggest getting a priest as a spiritual director since you are discerning that route, it will be wise to hear advice from someone who also went through what you are experiencing right now. Plus, its easier to have him as a confessor as well since he knows where you are at.

Prayers and blessings to you and on your discernment and journey!

Sam, I read your email and it looks ok. But some parts are missing and some parts I think needs to be removed.

First off, parents want to know that they are loved no matter what. For her to may sound upset about your decision is a natural thing as a mother as she may have wanted you to be with someone and have a family. tell her that you love her, but God gave you a calling you cannot just ignore.

Second, the info about the seminary I think needs to be removed. It feels like you are already rubbing it in her face. Break it to her gently, by your own words. The info on the seminaries can come later after she has seen your intention.

Third, be prepared. Parents react differently to these types of news and be prepared for anything. If she gets upset, give her time, prayer and attention. DO NOT ignore her or stay away from her.

Lastly…pray…pray…pray. this will be hard news on any parent who does not seem to understand the value of this vocation. So pray for yourself that you may approach this in a calm manner, pray for your parents so that they may see and understand your calling.

Make it short and sweet, seeing a lot of words personally make me dizzy and I get distracted fast. Shorten your email and make it personal, if she has questions then that’s the time you show her info on the seminaries, or tell her what you know. least you can do is do the research for her so you can answer her questions.

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength & fortitude in your discernment. And yes, go take your email address off your post!

Sam: Don’t worry a lot about informing your parents just now. If you can take courses related to Theology (Catholic) do so. That way you could be learning about the Bible and Church teachings while still in HS. Also, discuss this with your priest and see if there are materials he can have you read or study on the side. Check into some retreats at your local Archdiocese or even different kinds of missionary work.

In these ways you can remain active in your parish, study on the side and continue your discernment process. There are many different possibilities in terms of being a priest, different orders and ministries to look into. Use this time to study them and get to know those involved in them. Pray and listen. You have time now to do all this.

Sam, how wonderful that you are discerning a vocation to the priesthood! It is a gift to hear the call so young. Now with this gift of being so young, gives you the time to prepare for your future. You have time to organize your studies to prepare for your roll as priest, time to deepen your faith and knowledge before entering the seminary and time to prepare your parents for your journey!

The FIRST step you must do in regards to your parents is to pray for them. You must approach their soul before their mind and bodies. Pray a memorare for them every day or even a decade of the Rosary for them. You will see amazing things in their faith as your own faith grows. There is no need to send such an email to your parents just yet. Talk to your priest and he can guide you in the steps to your vocation. Together, you and your director will decide when it is right to tell your parents.

The thing that you must focus on now is to finish High School, and to do a good job in order to give God glory. Does God really want a slacker priest? NO! So strive to achieve the best you can in school. Doing this in light of your faith will also help your parents realize that the vocation of priesthood is the correct path for you.

I have 2 children that have declared a single vocation (one to make her oblation soon.) I see only good things as they follow their path. They are still themselves, but BETTER. This is how, as a mother, I see that they are following God’s will. Following their vocation has only made them happier, stronger and more confident in their work and studies. My oldest is struggling with his discernment, it is not so clear for him. We keep praying for him and telling him to pray. He will hear God’s voice when it is time and I do not worry that he’ll “miss” the call. He will do God’s Will and I have faith that God will only allow what is best for him.

Follow God’s path, but don’t jump too far ahead. You are 15 and have the role of a high schooler that you must fulfill. Do that well so your parents can have trust and faith in your next role as a seminarian.

Sam,
You have a wonderful story about receiving this vocation. Perhaps a handwritten letter would be more meaningful than an email.

JMR

Dear Brother in Christ, Sam,

We are on the same road and with similar problems. Only difference between us is age, I’m a little older then you. Pray for your parents - that’s only way. And after all, it’s your decision. God’s calling is real Blessing, pure Love and Hapiness, don’t forget that.

Please pray for me and count on mine.

In prayer with you… In Christo Rege,
frater Attempto

Hi Sam!

I am also currently discerning a vocation to the priesthood possibly. Many people have told me I should discern but I am trying to be willing in my own heart and soul to be able to accept the will of God in my life for whatever that may be, I am not currently sure.

I would like to recommend a website for you. Go to: www.gopriest.com this website is very cool because you can request these two free books be sent to you through the mail. The main book that comes with it is one of the number one books recommended to those discerning the diocesan priesthood. It is called: To Save a Thousand Souls. Also there is a small booklet that will come with it entitled something like “Is God calling you to be a priest?”

I highly recommend this to you. May God bless you in your journey through life. I will keep you in my prayers.

-Landon

Wow you are truly blessed and it’s brilliant to see this and I thank God he is potentially sending more laborers to the harvest! The advice I give to you is to build a very good relationship with the vocations director and get a spiritual director maybe?.. The church will guide you and providing your bishop will be supportive in your application in the future you will truly be following the Lords Holy Will which he plans for you… Build a great devotion to our blessed mother Mary and she will guide you along your path. Feel free to message me anytime :slight_smile: God bless you:thumbsup::slight_smile:

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