My boyfriend discerning priesthood


Hello everyone,

I’m relatively new here I am hoping I can still generate some responses. My struggle really starts with a desire to trust God but I feel unable to do it. The five months ago I started dating a man who he met in a very divine way. I’m 26 and have been discerning my vocation since I was in my mid teens. For short time I did feel called to religious life and then from there consecrated life. This fall I met a man who made me feel God telling me my vocation was marriage.

Shortly after we met, we began dating. It didn’t take long for the two of us to fall in love with each other and to really discuss the future. It might have seemed early to others but for us it just felt natural and normal. It was fun for us discussing where we would see ourself in the future and what we both wanted. My boyfriend is a devout Catholic and I too am very strong in my Catholic faith. We always kept God in mind as we discussed plans for the future, potential children and where we would potentially live.

My boyfriend had been in the seminary sometime ago, and although I knew it was something he had in his heart I never thought it would come up again after we had met. But in the past few weeks he has told me how he does still feel God calling his heart towards the priesthood. He’s expressed to me that we need to discern our relationship and what we are called to in gods image. Although I understand where he’s coming from, I still cannot help but feel lack of trust in God and frustrations in prayer. I do not want to Stand in the way of Gods plan for both of us, but up until recently I felt that God’s plan for us was to be with one another. Although he has told me if he’s called to marriage he knows it will be me, I cannot help but wonder where we will go from here. I am really struggling also at a personal level as I feel consumed with the desire to know what is happening in our relationship.

I’m not really sure what I’m looking for, perhaps words of wisdom, advice or even just prayers. I do appreciate your reading and anything you can bring to me to help me understand how to bear this cross I would be eternally grateful. Thank you and God bless.


1 Timothy 3:2
A bishop (pastor) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;


It seems to be that you and your boyfriend are right where you need to be right now. Choosing a state of life often isn’t an easy task. Now more than ever, you need to rely on the counsels of your spiritual director. It could be that a good retreat for both of you (separately, of course) is in order.

I’d also recommend a walk through of St Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises. Fr Gallagher’s broadcasts here ( could well be an excellent start.

And know that you both are in my prayers. God bless.


In Catholicism, priests cannot marry.


MikeSoCal, I have no idea really how you were trying to help the o.p.

Jr3699, maybe God is speaking to you both that you are moving TOO FAST. It’s been only a few months and many times, it is just at this juncture when men and women see their boy/girl friends with a clearer eye. Before that, in the rush and thrill of romance, you might not be able to discern things about the other person. It’s why there’s a waiting period, six months, a year, before marriage.

Maybe your boyfriend really is called to the priesthood, or maybe to the single life. Maybe he is called to marriage but is afraid! It sounds like now that all the dreamy talk is over and he and you might be facing a more serious commitment, he needs to back off a little bit.

Rededicate yourself to finding God’s vocation for you. Marriage, a single life, religious life… maybe remove yourself from the romance entirely for lent.


Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance & direction.


Have you thought about going on an individual retreat to help this discernment process? I don’t know your location, but I went to this one place a couple of times for what ended up being a rather intense retreat. I joined the nuns only for prayer times and Mass. There was one nun who was in charge of retreatants. I got with her once a day to discuss what was going on, and where I needed to focus on. Otherwise, I ate alone and everything else. But it did me a lot of good. It’s been many years, but I still remember parts of what I learned. But it was worth it. If you do it individually, it would give you more time to focus on what God wants you to do.


I do not have any advice, other than to pray that God will show you your path. I will pray for both of you…

Prayer to Discern Vocation

Lord, there are so many things in my life that I do not understand,
so many questions about the future that I need to ask.
What is Your plan for me?
What is the work You want me to do?

All I really know is that You love me.
Show me the road You want me to walk –
to fulfillment, to happiness, to holiness.

And if You are calling me to
priesthood or to the religious life, give me the strength to say “yes”
and the grace to begin even now
to prepare myself for the challenge
of a life spent in Your service and
in the care of Your people.

I ask You this in Jesus’ Name.


  • Theodore Cardinal McCarrick
    Archbishop Emeritus of Washington


You need time and God’s help to let this work out for you both. If he is meant to be a priest, he will never be truley happy doing anything else. That will always be on his mind and in his heart. So you don’t want to ‘corner’ him into making a quick decision. The same goes for you and your vocation. Maybe God has something else in mind for you too. Seek Spiritual direction. When I was young for years I wanted to be a Nun and my older sister scared me out of trying. Years later I married and raised a large family and believe me, I love them dearly, but always in the back of my mind I have wondered what it would have been like to be a nun and belong completely to Jesus. Whenever I would see a Nun in her habit, my heart would ache a bit. Prayers for your futures. God Bless, Memaw


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