I think I've accepted the calling, but I have some questions


#1

I’ve been feeling tortured ever since I put a Miraculous Medal around my neck in regards to whether to be a priest or get married.

Now, after some serious prayer, discernment (weighing the pros and cons), talking with a priest during Confession, and looking online at various vocations-related videos, I think I’ve accepted the calling to become a priest.

Now I still am having reservations of course. I’m kind of sad about the prospect of giving up, to be blunt, women, sex, and (biological) children of my own. I still am a male and have attractions towards females, and I still flirt with girls (it’s really natural and I really don’t think to do it, but I just do). But I know that this will all have to stop once I am ordained.

But I do have a few questions…

#1: I’m trying to prepare for celibacy right now, so I don’t suddenly hit a huge wall once I am ordained. What can I do to prepare for celibacy? Please don’t say “Stop talking to women” or something that will deem me a social outcast and/or is completely impossible for someone who is a Senior in High School

#2: When and where can I attend a seminary to become a priest, and how long are seminaries usually? God-willing, I plan to attend college starting Fall 2011 and my two main choices are Fordham University and the Catholic University of America, if this matters in relation to the question. Both colleges are far away from home, and I won’t be attending my current parish.

#3: I’m curious: Are seminarians allowed to have girlfriends up until they are ordained?

#4: This one is to nuns, priests, monks, and consecrated virgins (if there are any on this forum), but especially priests who have to see women on a near-daily basis in their parishes: How do you deal with the challenge of celibacy vs. attraction each and every day?

Thanks!


#2

Anothetr priest. Praise God! :extrahappy::clapping:

Sorrry about the (sorta) hijack.:o


#3

[quote="MarianD, post:1, topic:216564"]

1: I'm trying to prepare for celibacy right now, so I don't suddenly hit a huge wall once I am ordained. What can I do to prepare for celibacy? Please don't say "Stop talking to women" or something that will deem me a social outcast and/or is completely impossible for someone who is a Senior in High School

2: When and where can I attend a seminary to become a priest, and how long are seminaries usually? God-willing, I plan to attend college starting Fall 2011 and my two main choices are Fordham University and the Catholic University of America, if this matters in relation to the question. Both colleges are far away from home, and I won't be attending my current parish.

3: I'm curious: Are seminarians allowed to have girlfriends up until they are ordained?

4: This one is to nuns, priests, monks, and consecrated virgins (if there are any on this forum), but especially priests who have to see women on a near-daily basis in their parishes: How do you deal with the challenge of celibacy vs. attraction each and every day?

Thanks!

[/quote]

1: Priests aren't supposed to lack all feelings towards women, or the desire to be married or have a wife. Those are natural. The priest simply sets those feelings aside for his vocation.

2: My brother is studying to become a priest, and I believe he told me it's about 7 years in all.

3: Almost certainly not. Anyway, if someone had a girlfriend all the while they were in the seminary, I would be VERY doubtful their vocation was real.

4: Can't answer this of course. ;)


#4

[quote="MarianD, post:1, topic:216564"]
I've been feeling tortured ever since I put a Miraculous Medal around my neck in regards to whether to be a priest or get married.

Now, after some serious prayer, discernment (weighing the pros and cons), talking with a priest during Confession, and looking online at various vocations-related videos, I think I've accepted the calling to become a priest.

Now I still am having reservations of course. I'm kind of sad about the prospect of giving up, to be blunt, women, sex, and (biological) children of my own. I still am a male and have attractions towards females, and I still flirt with girls (it's really natural and I really don't think to do it, but I just do). But I know that this will all have to stop once I am ordained.

But I do have a few questions...

1: I'm trying to prepare for celibacy right now, so I don't suddenly hit a huge wall once I am ordained. What can I do to prepare for celibacy? Please don't say "Stop talking to women" or something that will deem me a social outcast and/or is completely impossible for someone who is a Senior in High School

2: When and where can I attend a seminary to become a priest, and how long are seminaries usually? God-willing, I plan to attend college starting Fall 2011 and my two main choices are Fordham University and the Catholic University of America, if this matters in relation to the question. Both colleges are far away from home, and I won't be attending my current parish.

3: I'm curious: Are seminarians allowed to have girlfriends up until they are ordained?

4: This one is to nuns, priests, monks, and consecrated virgins (if there are any on this forum), but especially priests who have to see women on a near-daily basis in their parishes: How do you deal with the challenge of celibacy vs. attraction each and every day?

Thanks!

[/quote]

Have you become Cathlic? It's very hard at the stage you are at right now because you are a senior in high school and need direction for where to go from there, but would it be possible for you to put off making a decision until you have been Catholic for at least a year or two? Of course, this is not to say that you do not really have a vocation to the priesthood. You may have a very clear calling, but I can only speak to what I can tell from your post. I myself converted as a high-schooler and immediatly thought I was called to the religious life. It's very common for converts to feel this way at first because we are filled with zeal for God and want to give ourselves to Him completely. We see the religious life as a great good so we desire it. However, most religious orders require that you be Catholic for at least two or three years before they will accept you because they want to make sure your zeal will last. I'm not sure about seminaries.

I think it's wise to go to college first. I'm at a small Catholic College in Kansas called Benedictine College. The community here is amazing and really has helped me grow in my relationship with God. Also the teachings here are very orthodox and we have mass four times every weekday. If I can reccomend any place it would be here. lol. That's my spiel. I'm just saying that it would be wise to go to a college that has a very strong Catholic community and opportunities to discern more as you mature in the faith. I think Catholic University of America has been getting more orthodox professors. I don't know about Fordham. Maybe after you've been at school for a couple of years solidifying your faith and continuing your discernment, you may decide that seminary is where you should be. Many young men from my school have left to attend seminary. If you major in philosophy, you will get through seminary faster since the first couple of years of seminary is all philosophy.

I can't imagine that you would want to date and go to seminary at the same time. Since when you are in the seminary you are not planning to get married and there is no reason date you are not planning on getting married. You wouldn't want to become attached to a woman of have her get attached to you. You would just have to break up in the end. I would never date anyone in the seminary (no matter the fact that seminarians tend to be the most attractive of men - must be that they are trying to be holy, lol). Just as you would never date anyone who was preparing to become as sister.

Something that a wise nun once told me about celibacy comes to mind. She reminded me of the words of Jesus on the subject, "Those who can recieve it, should." If you can be celibate and chaste, and you feel that God is truly calling you, I think you should seriously consider it.


#5

[quote="MarianD, post:1, topic:216564"]
I've been feeling tortured ever since I put a Miraculous Medal around my neck in regards to whether to be a priest or get married.

Now, after some serious prayer, discernment (weighing the pros and cons), talking with a priest during Confession, and looking online at various vocations-related videos, I think I've accepted the calling to become a priest.

Now I still am having reservations of course. I'm kind of sad about the prospect of giving up, to be blunt, women, sex, and (biological) children of my own. I still am a male and have attractions towards females, and I still flirt with girls (it's really natural and I really don't think to do it, but I just do). But I know that this will all have to stop once I am ordained.

But I do have a few questions...

1: I'm trying to prepare for celibacy right now, so I don't suddenly hit a huge wall once I am ordained. What can I do to prepare for celibacy? Please don't say "Stop talking to women" or something that will deem me a social outcast and/or is completely impossible for someone who is a Senior in High School

2: When and where can I attend a seminary to become a priest, and how long are seminaries usually? God-willing, I plan to attend college starting Fall 2011 and my two main choices are Fordham University and the Catholic University of America, if this matters in relation to the question. Both colleges are far away from home, and I won't be attending my current parish.

3: I'm curious: Are seminarians allowed to have girlfriends up until they are ordained?

4: This one is to nuns, priests, monks, and consecrated virgins (if there are any on this forum), but especially priests who have to see women on a near-daily basis in their parishes: How do you deal with the challenge of celibacy vs. attraction each and every day?

Thanks!

[/quote]

  1. Well you can simply not date. That's always one way to begin. Then simply avoid the usual sins involving lust, such as not looking at women the wrong way, masturbation, pornography, etc.

  2. How long seminary takes depends. It is usually a minimum of 8 years, although I've heard that it lasts 12 years for the Jesuits. As to where you go, that depends. If you discern that God wishes for you to be a diocesan priest then you shall go wherever your bishop sends the seminarians. A religious order will send you wherever their own seminary is.

  3. Not at all. Dating while you're in seminary is frequently indicative of a lack of commitment to celibacy and ones vocation. If I ever started dating a girl while I am here in seminary the rector would give me a swift boot out the door.

  4. Well...I'm not really on that list, but I am already living celibate, so I can say a bit. Honestly, the way I deal with it is simply with prayer, and the fortitude that God gives me. I will not say that it is easy. However, God will give you the grace to endure if this is what he is calling you to. It's important to always remember that you can do it. It's not impossible. Just endure as you would with all temptations.

Also, make sure to really discern whether or not you are to be a secular or religious priest. It's a huge choice, and something that I struggled with some time. You should not try to go to seminary before you at least have a good idea as to where God is calling you. You don't need to be 100% sure, but you should fairly confident.


#6

[quote="MarianD, post:1, topic:216564"]
I've been feeling tortured ever since I put a Miraculous Medal around my neck in regards to whether to be a priest or get married.

Now, after some serious prayer, discernment (weighing the pros and cons), talking with a priest during Confession, and looking online at various vocations-related videos, I think I've accepted the calling to become a priest.

Now I still am having reservations of course. I'm kind of sad about the prospect of giving up, to be blunt, women, sex, and (biological) children of my own. I still am a male and have attractions towards females, and I still flirt with girls (it's really natural and I really don't think to do it, but I just do). But I know that this will all have to stop once I am ordained.

But I do have a few questions...

[/quote]

I just have one piece of advice, and that is don't feel trapped. God doesn't trap people or make them feel like they've been backed into a corner. At it's very essence, a vocation is still a choice that you have to make of your own free will (the same way you must make the conscience choice to believe in God at all).
Remember also, God does not ultimately call people to failure.

Ok, I guess I have 2 pieces. Choose something you want to study at university at a university you want to study at. I can't remember what the number is, but the only prerequisite for most seminaries are several classes in Philosophy (4 or something like that) and a Bachelors Degree (any Bachelors degree, the chaplain at our catholic college did his first degree in Mechanical Engineering).
This goes back to my first point. The last thing you want is to go through undergrad with blinders on and find in 4 years that your called to something else. That's the felling of being tapped.

Ok, I lied, I have 3. Don't rush. You have at least 4 years in undergrad at college before you're even academically qualified. Take lots of time to stop and pray; go to daily Mass if you can. I heard a priest once say that the best way to know if you're called to a certain life is to live out the aspects of it in your own life, and for a priest that is prayer and Mass (the 2 biggies).

Ok, just forget the counting at this point. Go date (chastely). I'm serious. Just the other day I heard a speaker say that "you can't loose what you've never had" (or something to that effect). Of course we need more priests, but the last thing we want is a miserable priest. You may be called to the priesthood; you may be called to marriage.
Most of all, get a spiritual director to bounce ideas off of. Do not use CAF as spiritual direction. The very last thing you want is 2 dozen people telling you how you should live your life according to what they think.


#7

Great! I’m also planning on entering the seminary to discern my call to be a diocesan priest. Good luck and may God show you his will! I’ll only answer the questions I know the answer to below.

#1. It’s absolutely normal to be attracted to women. In fact, I know several secular VDs that would view it as a red flag if you didn’t tell them off the bat that you wanted to have children, marry, et cetera. If you’re referring to masturbation or sexual thoughts, my best advice is stay busy. Work out, study, read the bible, say the divine office, whatever you like to do. I find I am in my most difficult trials when I have idle time (“idle hands are the devil’s playing ground”).

#2. For just seminary (undergrad and grad), it’s eight years, unless you already have an undergraduate degree. If you have a four year degree, USCCB requires you have at least 30 hours philosophy and 12 hours theology (although some of the hours can be waived) prior to entering major seminary. If you become a religious, it can take longer, and it varies from one order or congregation to another. If you’re interested in becoming a religious priest, I suggest you contact that congregation’s (or order) VD.

#3. Technically, yes, you can, but you really shouldn’t. My spiritual director has said to “always be on the look out for Mrs. Right, as that might be a sign from God,” however, you should be studying to become totally devoted to your future spouse, the Church. Once you are ordained (to the deaconate) you are required by cannon law to remain celibate. Having a girlfriend, even if it be non-sexual, would be counter to this promise.

#4. Not one yet, so I can’t answer!

However, if you’re interested in the priesthood or religous life, you really shouldn’t be relying on what you read online, or even this forum (unfortunately there is a lot of bad information about the vocations…even on this forum). No matter whether or not you’re interested in the diocesan priesthood, you should first contact your local VD (vocations director), which you can find here: ncdvd.org/vocation_directors.asp

He or she will be more than able to answer your questions and get you on the right track.

Secondly, just because you’ve ascertained you want or believed you are called to the religous life doesn’t mean you will enter. Seminary itself is not an affirmation of vocation but another step in the discernment process. Remember this when you talk to your VD.

Once again, best of luck and take care. I’ll pray for you if you pray for me! :thumbsup:


#8

There really is not a lot you do to prepare for celibacy except for living your life chastly. Celibacy is the promise made at ordination not to marry. It has nothing to do with not associating with women. Dating would not be a good idea though.

#2: When and where can I attend a seminary to become a priest, and how long are seminaries usually? God-willing, I plan to attend college starting Fall 2011 and my two main choices are Fordham University and the Catholic University of America, if this matters in relation to the question. Both colleges are far away from home, and I won’t be attending my current parish.

This will depend on the diocese you are accepted by, they will send you to a seminary, some may give you a choice of two or so but most just send their guys to one seminary nearby or within the diocese.

You should at least get a bachelors degree in philosophy, as has been listed above, you need 30 credits of philosophy and 12 credits of theology to enter into an Masters of Divinity (the degree required for ordination in the United States) program and they must be from good Catholic institutions so make sure you clear it with the diocese.

#3: I’m curious: Are seminarians allowed to have girlfriends up until they are ordained?

Absolutly not! No, No, NO! Dating is preparing for marriage, why lie to this girl because you are not planning on marrying her or any other woman. It would be viewed as a huge red flag by your formators if they found out.

Now you can have girls that are your friends but you should only associate with them in groups or in very public places.

#4: This one is to nuns, priests, monks, and consecrated virgins (if there are any on this forum), but especially priests who have to see women on a near-daily basis in their parishes: How do you deal with the challenge of celibacy vs. attraction each and every day?

You left out sisters and brothers in your list. We deal with it just as everyone else in the world deals with it. How do married people deal with it? It is something that you learn to handle becasue if you can not then you are not even called to marriage as you will be tempted by the opposite sex there too.


#9

I’m confused. You dislike the new translation so intensely as to confuse fact with opinion, but you want to say it ever day? Or is your intention to offer the Mass in latin?


#10

Did you honestly mix my opinion of the new translation with my desire to serve God’s people in a life of sacrifice? Or are you just trying to question a legitimate vocation (all of which are God-inspired)?

From other posts of mine, you can see that I dislike the clerical celibacy rule. Yet, if it is God’s Will that I become a priest, I’ll still follow it. I’m allowed to state my opinion, but I can’t necessarily (and won’t) follow it all the time.


#11

Congrats! Fordham is an awesome school! You will have lots of opportunity to discern while you are attending classes. The Jesuit professors that teach there will be happy to help you will your calling. Everything will fall into place and you mature and grow! I will pray for your vocation.:thumbsup:


#12

[quote="MarianD, post:10, topic:216564"]
Did you honestly mix my opinion of the new translation with my desire to serve God's people in a life of sacrifice? Or are you just trying to question a legitimate vocation (all of which are God-inspired)?

[/quote]

I asked you a question, one which you avoided. If you hate the new translation, why would you want to say it every day? My concern is that if you sign up to do something you don't like, you'll ultimately grow weary and resentful of it and start saying things like this:

From other posts of mine, you can see that I dislike the clerical celibacy rule. Yet, if it is God's Will that I become a priest, I'll still follow it. I'm allowed to state my opinion, but I can't necessarily (and won't) follow it all the time.

Where your opinion is at odds with the Church's rules and teaching, no, you should not state it publicly. Clerics who engage in public dissent harm the unity of the Church.

Clever rhetorical move, by the way, twisting my comment to look like I'm resisting the divine will—but not particularly satisfying since it amounts to arguing that you must be correctly perceiving your vocation since God gives some people vocations. It's not quite circular, but it's close.


#13

[quote="SimonDodd, post:12, topic:216564"]
I asked you a question, one which you avoided. If you hate the new translation, why would you want to say it every day? My concern is that if you sign up to do something you don't like, you'll ultimately grow weary and resentful of it and start saying things like this:

[/quote]

I answered your question. I said "I'll follow it".

Where your opinion is at odds with the Church's rules and teaching, no, you should not state it publicly. Clerics who engage in public dissent harm the unity of the Church.

I'm not a priest right now, so I can state my dissenting opinions on a message board, so long as I don't tell people to take my opinions as fact and follow them.

Clever rhetorical move, by the way, twisting my comment to look like I'm resisting the divine will—but not particularly satisfying since it amounts to arguing that you must be correctly perceiving your vocation since God gives some people vocations. It's not quite circular, but it's close.

No rhetoric, just stating my interpretation of your post

I guess only when you feel the calling can you be absolutely certain of it. Whichever vocation you choose---marriage, priesthood, brotherhood, etc.---you'll be certain of the calling and certain you've made the right decision should you choose to accept it. And you'll know that, no matter what your opinions on something relating to your vocation is, you won't like people questioning your commitment. Especially after actually discerning this vocation and learning to reject every plan you originally had.

But I don't feel like arguing over something trivial like this. I made this thread to ask questions, not debate my opinions on the new American translation. Having opinions doesn't make one a good or bad priest. It makes one a human being.


#14

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