Need some Advice


#1

Hi, I am a new member of this site and I thought you guys could give me some advice about my vocation. I have just spent a year inside the seminary. Before I entered I was already in college. It wasn't my dream to become a priest and my decision to enter was quite abrupt. I'm not that religious and never been active on the parish but I studied on a catholic high school. Now I am about to go the next stage of formation. I am still not sure if I want to become a priest though right now I have no desire to quit the seminary.I just think that if I don't get chucked out I will stay till the end of formation and let things unfold by itself.I mean I'll just let God decide for me but I always do my best and don't do things that might damage my vocation.

Am I being stupid and shallow by just going with the flow and not having the strong desire to become a priest?


#2

You haven’t given any info on why you entered the seminary in the first place.

I don’t believe myself you are being shallow. However dioceses put up the money for seminarian training so I would suggest you discuss this with your seminary spiritual director or formator.

However not every one that becomes a priest wanted to initially. And not every priest that wanted to become one and did, were necessarily the best. And some who have become priests have had a crisis of their vocation. So things can flow in various directions but you never know how the spirit will flow for you.

My understanding is the earlier years of seminarian training are discerning years still.

I know with the vocation God has called me to, which is a bit out there so I won’t go into detail, it took me a number of years to accept. It was not really my desire to do what has been asked of me and a burden I never asked for. But it is the will of God and hence I am learning to embrace it.

God calls those he calls. Time may tell whether you are meant to be a priest. I don’t necessarily believe those who are called have to specifically have to have the desire. I believe the desire lays in following God’s will for us.

Why don’t you spend some time in adoration and ask God to help you with this. And please speak to your spiritual director. He’s there for a reason.


#3

I’m confused as to how you made it into a Major Seminary on an abrupt decision. (You’re not in a Minor or Junior Seminary are you? that’s a whole different story)
I thought there was a cannon law requirement for a propaedeutic year before admission into a Major Seminary, which you and the selection committee can consider your Vocation in a formal manner before the Training starts. This should include a Medical Exam - which here in the UK includes a 1-week in-patient stay in a hospital for in depth psychiatric assessment of your mental stability and your motives.

The whole of the Seminary is a discernment period. This stage you are going through is part of that discernment.
Your Spiritual Director is the person you should be having this conversation with. That is why he has been appointed to you.


#4

My heart and prayers are with you. Blessings to you.

The Seminary is, in many ways, intended with a dual purpose: First, to aid in the formation of the hearts and minds of men to be in full alignment with Christ, that they may become shepherds of his flock. But second, and this is equally important, it is also intended to weed out those who are genuinely called to the priesthood and those who are not. If you do not feel that becoming a priest is right for you, then please do not go through with it. The harm that can be done to the faith of many by one errant priest is monumental. If you are lukewarm in this, you will hurt others who rely on you.

I urge you to consider the people you would be leading. We are a tender people in need of strong leadership, guidance and counsel.

If you are uncertain, I humbly suggest you take some time to yourself to genuinely pray and discern. The priesthood is much like a marriage–you could simply be getting cold feet. Not every case of cold feet means the marriage shouldn’t happen! But, heed your hesitations and really think and pray on them. To become a priest when you are not called to it is a huge mistake that will (will, not can ) hurt many people in the long run.

Nobody here can tell you if being in the seminary is right for you or not. We simply can not make that judgement. We will all be happy to pray for your discernment and we can encourage you to do the same.


#5

I think this is a good thing to talk over with your vocations director and/or seminary rector.


#6

[quote=anruari;10758229. This should include a Medical Exam - which here in the UK includes a 1-week in-patient stay in a hospital for in depth psychiatric assessment of your mental stability and your motives.
]

Are you sure about that? Not a NHS hospital, I’m sure, so it would have to be in a BUPA hospital or similar, so who pays for it? It would be horrendously expensive to stay for a whole week.

I’ll ask our Archbishop when I next sacristan for him.
[/quote]


#7

Thanks for the advice guys.

I already had discussed it with my SD before and a nun from my former school. Well, I just thought that listening to further more advice would be a good thing. Thanks again and please pray for me.


#8

OK, I’ve just gone on the website for the National Office for Vocations for England and Wales, and there is no mention of a week-long stay in hospital, only of an assessment weekend in a seminary, and an interview by a psychologist.

Where did you get the ‘week stay in a hospital’ info from, anruari?


#9

This is information I was given in person by the Director of the Diaconate in my own diocese.

Yes it is a private assessment center. I was told the week is spent on an assessment using techniques of Psychoanalysis - that technique takes a lot of hours. There are very few trained people the bishops trust to perform this assessment, and I was told there’s only person in the UK currently used. The assessments (however detailed) are normally paid for by the diocese or religious order to which the candidate is applying.

for understandable reasons the church will have flexibility in her policies, and will not necessarily put the fine detail on the main websites.

I would point out that this is just my memory of what I’ve been told, and different bishops will implement the rules in different ways.


#10

As one seminarian to another, you seriously need to have this conversation with your formation director.


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.