I have a nephew who is 26 and is considering the priesthood. I have been praying for him. He is going to check out the Diocesan Seminary sometime soon. I don’t think he has the temperament to be a parish priest. He is a meditative type person who enjoys things like Habitat for Humanities and working in soup kitchens. Would anyone have any suggestions for other types of seminaries or orders that would be more suited to an absent minded gentle spoken young man? He loves God and has a bachelors degree in journalism. He would only consider a seminary that is completely faithful to the Magisterium. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
The diocesan seminary would be able to help him discern what his calling might be. If it is to a parish, or a monastary, mission work, or something in between, they will help. There will also be a vocational director in the diocese, so perhaps he could meet with him beforehand. Have him call his parish pastor to find out who the director is.
Tell him to be cautious. Not all dioceses are faithful to the Church’s teachings, especially when it comes to sending young men to the seminary. I’ve heard stories from very reliable stories of bishops refusing to send a young man to seminary if he wasn’t in favor of ordaining women to be priests, for example. If he finds this sort of humbug, tell him to go to a different diocese.
From what you’re saying, it sounds like he might be happier in a Dominican or Franciscan order. I would certainly check out Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s group, Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (gray habits). They are very faithful to the Church and Christ and do a wonderful job helping the poor in NY.
Another group is Fr. John Corapi’s order, Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, which is headquartered in Robstown, TX, I think.
There are several good ones, and several bad ones, too. Careful discernment is needed to avoid the latter!
You and he might enjoy Fr. John Corapi’s talk in which he touches on his journey to the priesthood:
It’s an audio .MP3 file. Just download it and listen to it on your iPad/iPod, MP3 player, or on your PC with Windows Media Player, RealAudio, or any similar program. Or, you can burn it to a CD and listen to it in your car.
The rest of his talks that I have are here:
If he is open to religious life, he might be interested in the Carmelites. They are a contemplative order yet are also rather active. The various Franciscan orders (including Capuchin communities like the Franciscans of the Renewal, as Scooby began to discuss), are also an excellent option if he does not mind an emphasis upon poverty (as he is obviously concerned about the poor, this probably would not be an issue for him).
One thing you should remember is that people are not always called where you think they would have normally fit in. There’s a guy at my seminary who I would staunchly believe is meant to be a Franciscan if I didn’t know him better. The vocations of others can be surprising, and he will be able to discern in a diocesan seminary so it’s not like it shuts him out of finding his true vocation if it is elsewhere.
Wow! That is one heck of a charge. Which diocese? Who told you that?
This is from Fr. Corapi , although I’ve heard similar things from other faithful priests. You can listen to what he says at least on one talk, by downloading the following .MP3 audio files and listening to them.
alabamacatholicresources.com/Downloads/Fr.%20Corapi—Apocalypse%20Now-The%20Book%20of%20Revelations—Part%203.mp3 (if you want a short cut, start about the 17 min. mark)
Any religious community would have an aspect of community living, some stress it more than others. There is also the hermit communities but they do not work with the laity.
I would ask him if he has a spiritual director who is helping him with his discernment and I would ask him if he has considered religious life.
Since he seems to like helping and serving others, maybe he is called to missionary work and not the Priesthood.
Helping and serving others is an integral part of the priesthood. It would be alarming if he were not interested in doing so.