My boyfriend wants to join the priesthood


#1

Hi all, I have been with my boyfriend(!) for 7 years, when we met at the beginning of uni it seemed as if we were destined to be together.Early on in the relationship, we got together and started seeing each other, we were young and in love and felt like we were on top of the world. We even talked about the possibility of marriage. At the time we were both only 18 and decided we were foo young to get married then and would wait another 4years or so until we both finished university and settled into our jobs.
As the years passed, my boyfriend confessed he felt a calling to serve the church and enter the priesthood. He had said that he felt strongly about it for some time, that he hadn't had a dilemma in his dreams to serve the church until he met me.

We decided it was best if we stopped dating but remained as just friends, to which we have been for the last 2 years, whilst letting time sort things out. Our careers and jobs have carried us to opposite sides of he country and time and distance have slowly separated us.
I confess, in my mind I wanted him to choose me, to chose a married life with me. But in my heart, I know I want him to be happy in his decision whatever it may be.
Just recently, he decided that his calling to the priesthood was so strong, so right, he is currently looking into it and making plans to make that dream a reality.

I can't help but feel confused, on one hand, I absolutely love him, had always thought (maybe too naivly) that we would be married someday. It comes as a shock that it's no longer a reality for me. I know that I need to be supportive of his choice and I am, I know he would make a wonderful priest, but it's so hard not to feel heartbroken and guilty for wanting him for myself.
The heartache it brings is painful, and is starting to affect my performance at work.*
Please, any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated.*


#2

I can understand why this would cause heartache for you. :( But I think you have to look at it this way- if his true calling was for priesthood, then that means your true calling in love is out there somewhere too! You're young and will find him. Its great that you are being supportive to your ex and what he wants to do. And its only natural that you wanted him to choose you, because you are in love with him. Its a normal feeling to want to be with them even if it may not be the way God intended, but if this is really what God intended, then there is another love out there for you that he did intend for you. Please be open to anybody you meet and you never know what will happen. :) Stay strong.


#3

Dear one,
Allow me first to commend you on the wonderful courage and support that you have given to your dear friend. I'm afraid that many people today would not have shown such a good christian example in your situation. His was, I'm sure, a difficult choice as he discerned his call for you are obviously a woman of Love, faith, and strength.

The emotions you are feeling are natural ones. So don't beat yourself up over these. Certainly you would have these same, or similar, emotions regardless of how you "lost" him as a potential spouse. It is perfectly OK for you to grieve this disappointment - but don't let it overwhelm you.

It appears that your vocation may be to marriage and family. If this is the case then - like your friend -you need to begin concentrating on this. Seeking out a life mate of good Christian character to build a family with.

It could also be that God has work for you to do as a single lay person.

The thing to do is to Thank God for allowing you to be a part of this man's life and discernment. To offer up your grief at "losing" him, but praise God that he has gone on to such a worthy goal.

Then pray just a earnestly for God to reveal to you what he wants you to do next. What is your vocation and God's plan for you?

Peace
James


#4

You need to find something that you love. Something that you do that makes you forgot your heartbreak. Just continue to do it until you have your mind clear and can get over the pain. Time heals all wounds.


#5

[quote="mjs1987, post:4, topic:220237"]
You need to find something that you love. Something that you do that makes you forgot your heartbreak. Just continue to do it until you have your mind clear and can get over the pain. Time heals all wounds.

[/quote]

Thats true, when it comes to a heartbreak, only time will truly heal you. You can find something to distract you, but that only works for the time being.


#6

If you're anything other than Latin Rite you can get married as long as its before he becomes a priest...I believe the term is "white clergy"?


#7

[quote="Matorin, post:6, topic:220237"]
If you're anything other than Latin Rite you can get married as long as its before he becomes a priest...I believe the term is "white clergy"?

[/quote]

Priests can be married?
Thats news to me.


#8

[quote="BlueShadow123, post:7, topic:220237"]
Priests can be married?
Thats news to me.

[/quote]

Depending on the Rite, they can. The priestly celibacy is part of the Roman Rite (and others as well). However, priestly celibacy is a discipline and NOT doctrine. It CAN change and there can be exceptions. The Church allows Anglican coverts to remain married as priests.


#9

[quote="Matorin, post:6, topic:220237"]
If you're anything other than Latin Rite you can get married as long as its before he becomes a priest...I believe the term is "white clergy"?

Depending on the Rite, they can. The priestly celibacy is part of the Roman Rite (and others as well). However, priestly celibacy is a discipline and NOT doctrine. It CAN change and there can be exceptions. The Church allows Anglican coverts to remain married as priests.

[/quote]

I think that if this were the case, it would have been mentioned by the OP. Therefore we must assume that this is the Latin, or Romaan, Rite and therefore marriage won't be an option.

It is true that there have been cases of married priests in the Latin Rite but there are very rare exceptions. An unmarried man who is entering seminary with the intent of being ordained would simply not be permitted to marry.

To me bringing this up is not helpful to the OP who is trying to deal with this change in her life.

Peace
James


#10

I know you have invested several years of your life to this relationship, but it is time to let it go. I know several young ladies who hung on to nowhere relationships, long past when they should have walked away, only to wake up one day to find out they were thirty something and the prospects for finding a good husband and having their own family were pretty small. It won't be easy, but living across the country should help. Start by limiting the communication with him to once a month or less and reduce it down, over time, to maybe Christmas and Birthday cards only. Try to develop some new interests and meet some new people, join a gym or volunteer at the animal shelter, etc... Unless he is a knuckle dragging, ax murdering, stalker, accept all dates, even if you don't feel like going out, you never know when you will meet someone interesting! It will take some time, but try not to dwell on what could have been and look forward to what God has ready for you in the future.


#11

Thankyou so much everyone for your advice, your comments have brought me great encouragement during this difficult time. Though the relationship was great while it lasted, and sad now it's truly ended, though I won't have him in an intimate relationship and it feels like I've "lost" him, I can now focus on a relationship purely as friends, so in fact I have not lost him but rather having him in a different form.*
Though it has not been an easy decision, my choosing to let him go, setting him free to answer God's call puts me at ease, I feel at peace with this decision, as I always knew, I would always put his happiness above mine.*
Though i feel heartbroken, time will heal. I believe it.
"You are called by the Lord to be a success, to enjoy health, and to enjoy a life of victory". For it is only with God's grace that this is possible.
Please pray with me as I ask God for courage and strength through this difficult time.
God Bless,
Vi


#12

Hello Vienna :wink: I’m so glad I came across your post as i am in a similar situation as you. I would like to say that I think you have made the right choice by letting go of him, wanting to be a priest is certainly a fantastic profession to aspire to. Like the other posters have said, you can take comfort in knowing you played such an important part in his journey to fulfill God’s will. When I was going through something like this last year, I made the mistake of letting it get to me, I was really down and depressed for months:(:frowning: my work performance suffered, I neglected my friends, rebelled against everything and just really isolated myself. My world it seems fell apart. I dont want this to happen to you. Even though you may be feeling confused and hurt, it may seem like nothing is making sense, you need to take each day as it comes, focus on what God has planned for you. Please keep me posted on your progress, I am available to discuss it more if you need someone to talk it through with. I am keeping you in my prayers, regards Laura*


#13

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