Hi. I’m having a bit of a problem. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost three years now. We have discussed marriage and starting a family and are basically waiting until he has finished school and we are able to afford living on our own as a married couple. When we met, he did not practice any faith. I have been Catholic my entire life. Last year, he entered the RCIA program and has become Catholic. My being Catholic had a lot to do with him choosing this faith, but ultimately he chose Catholicism and it seems to be a good fit. Last week he told me that he had met with a priest because he felt he was being called to the priesthood. I was stunned. I did not see this coming at all. I broke down hysterically crying because I was totally blindsided. I think about the future and all I see is my life with him. I see us getting married, having children, raising our family and growing old together. He is the love of my life and I cannot imagine my life without him in it. As he continued to tell me about this, he also broke down crying. He told me that he loves me and wants to marry me have children raise our family and grow old with me. Sometimes I feel like maybe he’s not really feeling a call to the priesthood but he is simply experiencing his new found faith and it is just a lot to take in. I don’t understand how he can feel that way about me and still want to become a priest, knowing that we won’t have each other in our lives anymore. Needless to say, I am heartbroken about this situation and I feel very insecure about our relationship and about my faith now. Because I showed him the Catholic faith I am unfortunately questioning my own faith. I don’t understand how God could bring someone into my life and have me fall in love with them and want to spend forever with them just to take them away. I worry that I am going to do something or say something wrong that will push him away from me and towards the priesthood when he still seems so confused over it all. I also worry that if he goes to visit the seminary (which the priest suggested) they will try to persuade him to become a priest instead of letting him decide for himself. I feel very lost and confused and was hoping that someone will give me their thoughts as an outsider looking into the situation.
End the relationship until he, on his own, without being prompted by you, comes back to you. In the mean time, date someone else and consider this guy an ex. Otherwise he will have this in the back of his mind for as long as he will be with you. Is that what you want in your marriage, a husband with lingering regret?
You’re on to something when you say this is about his new found faith. Time will tell. Keep in mind that his consideration of the priesthood is not all about you, so top taking it personally.
And honey, if you can’t imagine life without him, then you need to think twice about marriage for yourself. Because that’s not what marriage is for. It’s a contract more serious than a mortgage, not a birthday party where you are given a human being to cure your loneliness.
Finally, you are going to get at least one poster on here informing you of options for entering a married priesthood (you will be told all about eastern-rite Catholic churches and about the permanent diaconate), but I am warning you that a new convert is an unsuitable candidate for any kind of holy orders in any Catholic church, eastern or western.
jennifer all we can do is pray for you. i thought of being a priest myself before i got married. i love my wife and kids to bits but the truth is i know i should have gone on to be a priest. my prayers go with you.
I don’t understand how God could bring someone into my life and have me fall in love with them and want to spend forever with them just to take them away.
Yeah, well, look at the Pieta honey. Our religion is not about your glory, it’s about His. Maybe you should have paid more attention in class, like your boyfriend did.
God never promised you that you would always have appropriate feelings.
Encourage your friend to follow God’s will unconditionally in his life, and give good example by following His will unconditionally in yours. Not many women are given the honor of being in your position. Thank God for intervening so miraculously and beautifully in your life.
I don’t know how this is going to turn out. I don’t know how it should turn out. None of us online know you or your boyfriend, and even if we did, we wouldn’t necessarily know God’s will for the two of you. Discerning a vocation is an extremely personal matter between one human being and God.
Jennifer, the priest won’t try to ‘force’ him into becoming a priest. There is a careful process of discernment. It is in no one’s interest to channel a man into the priesthood if he is unsuitable or it isn’t actually his calling. There would be greater wariness due to the fact that he is newly Catholic, with all the dedication and enthusiasm that comes with that. This would be approached very carefully, and assessed with balanced wisdom. Not everyone who believes he is called is in fact called. My son believed God wanted him to be a priest, but at age 19, the discernment followed that he was not in fact called, which was carefully assessed by the priests, at great sadness to himself at that time.
You have been dreaming of life with your boyfriend for three years. You are understandably hurt and probably also have some anger in the sense of betrayal that you feel, and some of that anger may be directed towards God. It is difficult to detach from our feelings whether or not our vocation and our eternal destiny is as we are attached to feeling and believing it is, or God has another vision for our lives.
If he is called to be a priest then it also could be bad for your future if you block him or make things emotionally too difficult for him.
In the end, each of us is responsible to God.
It would also be on our conscience if we block a genuine vocation and so deny the eternal souls of others, the graces and blessings God intends through our living out of our genuine vocation.
God grant you some peace and a little patience while this issue is being resolved…and if your boyfriend does ‘go to the seminary’ and his possible vocation is dismissed, or treated with quiet and careful assessment, then at least you’ll both know. If he doesn’t, he will always wonder, which isn’t helpful to the relationship.
I hope and pray everything works out for the best.
I wonder if you can give any more insight into why you didn’t choose the priesthood, that can give the OP an idea what her boyfriend may be pondering. What you said is huge, but I don’t want to pry if its too hard for you to talk about.
yeah no problem it was the celebacy thing which i had most problem with. it’s a big committment for anybody to make. looking back now it no longer seems that big of a deal anymore (again i’m in no way taking away from the realtionship i have with my wife)
the diiference with me and the op boyfriend is that i had decided prior to meeting my wife not to answer the call. it has come up in conversation a few times about what would happen if either of us dies and she would be in doubt i would enter the priesthood. although the truth probably is the thought of another woman bringing up her children is what promted the conversations.
one thing i have never told her or anybody and it seems a bit wrong saying it here, is the night before we got married for some strange reason, i think out of insecurity, she said if your not going to get married tell me before i go to the church in the morning, this was totally out of the blue as i had never hinted or suggested that i was even contemplating such a move. that night as i lay in the bed i had what i can only describe as a very strong calling from the BVM not to go through with it but answer the call.
it was my wife’s plea earlier in the day that swayed me to continue on the road i was on.
I love her to bits, but i know…
Thats really interesting from what you have writing about your experience. Are you saying that maybe Marriage life isn’t as good as you thought? I’m a young lad and also from Ireland. In the past I had felt some sort of call to become a priest and it was very strong but over the last year that strong feeling has went and now I feel called to a marriage life… so i’m very confused. But I don’t concentrate on it because it will just pickle my mind… so I just let God lead me where he wants me go.
aidan no i’m not saying that about marriage, i can honestly say i would not swap my wife for any other woman there is nothing bad i can say about her. we also have 3 young kids and one due in the next few weeks all of them i love to bits. lol no birth control even considerd in our house. i met a priest during a period of pondering a vocation, he had been a priest in my parish and i said to him i was thinking about the priesthood. he said to me if he was doing it again he wouldn’t be a priest, he said there is many other ways of serving GOD. I think he may have taken a leave of absence since that. on the other side i was in conversation with a man at work now retired i met him often at morning mass and talking one day about religion he told he wished he had joined the priesthood this had little to do with what we were talking about at the time .it is obviously something that he reflected on often. he is now retired and as far as i know also has grandchildren and again it was no reflection on his wife.
i guess what i’m saying is no matter which choice you make because it is so significant in your life you will always wonder did you make the right choice. it’s not like deciding what car to buy.
the fact that your here on this web site is unusual for a young irish person. Ireland has little time for catholism these days. so i guess your destined to be one of us. which ever descion you make your always going to ponder what if.
you asked me earlier is marriage not as good as i thought and iv’e tried to answer this,
but my original problem was the celibacy, and i’m saying to you and excuse me for being slightly crude what i have learned is sex is not the be all and end all.
i’ll remember you in my prayers.
there is something else i think i should tell you.if you think GOD is calling you to be a priest and you decide to like me to get married, and serve GOD in another way, you will probably end up trying to say the rosary daily.going to mass more often than most and i don’t mean every sunday. the more you pray the more you will love GOD the harder it will be to keep GOD out of your life. people calling GOD’S name in vain is hard to listen to for me. facebook i have catholic like pages. I do stand up for my faith in conversations and so on and so on. these things will not make you popular. i am not saying i’m a saint i try and fail regularly. but i do think it’s harder to follow GOD as a lay person these days in Ireland as it is to being a priest in a lonely house on your own at night time.
You need to let him figure out what he wants to do. It may just be in his new found conversion he does not realize how many opportunities he has without Ordination. I will say this - Brother JR said this on another thread - a man that is not a god candidate for marriage is also not a good candidate for Holy Orders as he cannot give up something he has not got. So please give him space and let him discern this - you do not want every fight in your marriage becoming - I gave up the priesthood for you.
Maybe God guided your boyfriend to you, so that you could share your faith with him so that he could inturn fulfill God’s plan for him.
If this man is called to serve God as a priest, then you should feel very blessed and honored that God choose you to help guide his disciple on his true path.
While heartbreak is never easy, you need to end the romantic relationship and help him explore seminary options. By no means, do you have to cut his man out of your life, however, you do need to change your relationship to one of purity and friendship. 2 of God’s sheep, helping each other on your journeys
I have watched as a woman I know let a man she truly admired go so he could follow God’s call. I could sense the great difficulty she had. I am sure it took a lot of courage. I don’t know how she bore it except for God’s grace.
Jennifer, you should seek God’s grace, too. You might talk to your priest for encouragement.
saveusfromhell, thanks for sharing your insight from one who nearly chose the priestly path. Here’s a tip from another: Now that we have chosen our vocations, it doesn’t do us any good to second-guess our decisions.
To the OP
All things happen for a reason. That is hard to hear now but God has a plan and can see the big picture and we can’t! We have to trust He knows what he is doing.
I have suffered much heart break but I try my best to trust in Him and he hasn’t let me down yet. Just b/c you follow his path doesn’t mean you won’t suffer. Offer your suffering to the Blessed Mother or to Jesus to use for your own use or those that need it most. Take your heartache and turn it into something good.
I am a convert and I considered being a nun! I was very excited about my new found faith and I still am, years later! God showed me that the religious life was not what he wanted for me. (I have a lot of health problems and probably wouldn’t have been accepted) I am now married, and even though it is a constant struggle, it is where I’m supposed to be.
Give him some time. If he is REALLY supposed to be a priest and you force him out of it then it will be worse for you!
Don’t be selfish. You will receive many graces if you submit to God and let things happen and trust in Him.
Easier said than done I know! Pray often and don’t abandon your faith at this test.
Sadly, I think that if the young man were not serious, a priest would not have even had him look at the seminary. Do these priests know that he is in a relationship? I think that fact that he’s discerning the priesthood means that he’s not discerning marriage. I also find it deeply troubling that the young man has not broken off his relationship with this women before discerning priesthood.
Before I even became Catholic, I thought I might have a call to religious life.
People warned me of what they termed “convert zeal”… the joy of being led to the fullness of truth in the Catholic Church is overwhelming, and sometimes, it may just seem like any life except one completely and totally abandoned to God (in religious life) is not attractive. I don’t mean to say that married life is not as “good” or whatever as religious life… I now think I am likely called to married life, although I am still open to religious life.
The important thing is to always be open to God’s plan; do not insist on your own plan. If it is God’s will to have this man as His priest, you should rejoice that you played a part in helping to fulfil that.
There is a sister in the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, who told her story… she was engaged to be married to a man, she was VERY much in love, when she realized she was called to religious life. Maybe you could get in touch with her? I’m not sure. Anyway, she is now a sister and her ex-fiance is now a priest. God’s will be done!
Your frankness and incisiveness thrill me. Will you marry me?
That’s for *me *to ask, lady
Devout Catholic man proposes marriage to devout Catholic man…and you saw it here first on CAF, ladies and gentlemen.
Let’s not cause scandal - It may be a Josephite marriage :o