Parental blocks on a Vocation?


#1

My parents are not thrilled with the idea of me being a priest because they spent quite a sum on a private education, and want me to get a “real” education in secular college before seminary.

what should i tell them?

help


#2

Don’t Priests get two 4 years degrees in Philosphy and Theology. Sounds pretty legit to me.


#3

Priests are in school almost as long as medical doctors!! what do they know about education?


#4

Is there a reason you wouldn’t consider going to “a secular college” and getting a B.A. in philosophy there? You could be active in whatever Catholic organizations were present on or around campus, and could continue discerning your vocation.

Then, when you graduate, you could potentially enter seminary. Very likely, you would do some pre-theology work before heading off to get a graduate degree in theology.

Is there a problem you perceive with that approach?

From your description, your parents aren’t saying “no”, but rather, “not now”. Is that unreasonable?


#5

[quote="4givemeasinner, post:1, topic:301581"]
My parents are not thrilled with the idea of me being a priest because they spent quite a sum on a private education, and want me to get a "real" education in secular college before seminary.

what should i tell them?

help

[/quote]

Hm..... I think 8 years of college is about as real as it's going to get, unless you become a doctor.

Praying for you.


#6

[quote="4givemeasinner, post:1, topic:301581"]
My parents are not thrilled with the idea of me being a priest because they spent quite a sum on a private education, and want me to get a "real" education in secular college before seminary.

what should i tell them?

help

[/quote]

What do they mean by "real education"??? :shrug::confused:

Peace
James


#7

Priests get a PhD in Philosophy anyway, why not? You are getting a very solid education in most Seminaries…


#8

Maybe your parents are just in shock and are trying to get you to reconsider. A seminary is a “real education.” Get information from your spiritual advisor or seminary director to tell them that you get a “real degree” in seminary.


#9

My guess - and this is only a guess....is that the parents are not thinking of a degree in philosophy as a "real education". They are probably thinking of something more along the lines of a business degree - a BS rather than a BA...

As for attending a secular university...the OP may have concerns over this considering the climate that is prevalent at most secular universities these days.

Then too, and this has not been stated in the OP, but there appears to be a financial component involved. Are the parents threatening to withhold financial support unless he conforms to their wishes?? These are difficult questions.

So - as I said in my post above...and before we can really give advice on what the OP should tell his parents...We would need to know what the parents consider to be a "real education". Learning this can help us discern where the parents are in this whole matter.

I will say this though...The OP should be talking to his spiritual adviser - the one who is helping him discern - about these matters. Perhaps it would help to have a meeting with the parents to address their concerns.

Peace
James


#10

[quote="4givemeasinner, post:1, topic:301581"]
My parents are not thrilled with the idea of me being a priest because they spent quite a sum on a private education, and want me to get a "real" education in secular college before seminary.

what should i tell them?

help

[/quote]

Just present these three outcomes to them;

1- You get a "real education" (e.g. engineering degree) then you follow your vocation and become a diocesan priest. Is the money and time spend on your initial college degree fully worth it?

2-You get a "real education" (e.g. engineering degree) then you follow your vocation to become a diocesan priest but after several years you leave seminary because it is not your call. Do they think that what you learned before seminary is still fresh in your mind after years of not using it? Quite probably you will have to go back to college to get a new degree to have some fresh skills., and that mean more money and time invested in college.

3- You go to seminary and after a few years you realize that it is not your call. At that point you reassess your life and go to college to get a degree that will help you in the workplace.


#11

[quote="mymamamary, post:7, topic:301581"]
Priests get a PhD in Philosophy anyway

[/quote]

Not typically. Usually, it's an BA in Philosophy (or possibly an MA in Philosophy, for some who enter with an undergrad degree under their belt). Then, it's either an MA in Theology, or an M.Div., or an S.T.B.

Some priests will go on to additional degrees in Theology or other disciplines, but that's not the norm (for diocesan priests, at least).


#12

This doesn’t ring true to me. Many people make career changes after 3-5 years in the workplace; quite few of these go back to college for a different degree in order to do so, unless the new career explicitly requires it.

3- You go to seminary and after a few years you realize that it is not your call. At that point you reassess your life and go to college to get a degree that will help you in the workplace.

This is the same case as #2, essentially, and I’m still calling ‘shenanigans’ on this assertion… :wink:


#13

[quote="Gorgias, post:12, topic:301581"]
This doesn't ring true to me. Many people make career changes after 3-5 years in the workplace; quite few of these go back to college for a different degree in order to do so, unless the new career explicitly requires it.

Your comment has a fallacy. Here you acquire a degree and then you spend a few years building an experience based on what you learned. It is not just getting a degree and it will stay with you much longer than a few years. However, if you change field your degree is useless but your working experience is not. Here I am talking about science/engineering degrees because that is my field of studies and business.

This is the same case as #2, essentially, and I'm still calling 'shenanigans' on this assertion... ;)

Case #3 is not like case #2, how can you say that? A person that does not have a college degrees drops out of seminary is still without a "real education" degree after seminary and thus he should get one as originally planned.

I want to stress the fact that a person should try to go to seminary immediately after high school without spending any time in a college.

[/quote]


#14

[quote="Gorgias, post:12, topic:301581"]
This doesn't ring true to me. Many people make career changes after 3-5 years in the workplace; quite few of these go back to college for a different degree in order to do so, unless the new career explicitly requires it.

[/quote]

Yeah but let's say more realistically he spends 3-5 years in the priesthood after his 3-5 years in seminary - employers in many fields are not going to look favourably on someone with a 6-10 year old degree and no work experience in a secular workplace during that time either. You would really need at least one or other if not both.


#15

[quote="Cristiano, post:13, topic:301581"]

Your comment has a fallacy. Here you acquire a degree and then you spend a few years building an experience based on what you learned. It is not just getting a degree and it will stay with you much longer than a few years.
[/quote]

No... your point was that, with the engineering degree in hand, you go get a different and new degree, wasn't it? If the field is sufficiently different to require a new degree, then the 3-5 years experience as an engineer isn't going to make a real difference in a hiring decision (in fact, it might work against you, raising the perception that you're flighty or can't decide on a career path).

However, if your argument is that, after a few years in seminary, you've forgotten all your engineering education and you have to go re-do it, then that's a completely different case, and not the one you're making here.

However, if you change field your degree is useless but your working experience is not. Here I am talking about science/engineering degrees because that is my field of studies and business.

In 3-5 years? Nah, not so much.

Case #3 is not like case #2, how can you say that? A person that does not have a college degrees drops out of seminary is still without a "real education" degree after seminary and thus he should get one as originally planned.
[/quote]

Now who's the one using bad logic? ;)

Your argument is an attempt to bolster the OP's case, but it works against it! Here, you're demonstrating exactly what the parents are attempting to assert: that, without a degree earned before entering seminary, a man is "without a 'real education'" -- so the OP shouldn't enter seminary directly!


#16

[quote="LilyM, post:14, topic:301581"]
Yeah but let's say more realistically he spends 3-5 years in the priesthood after his 3-5 years in seminary

[/quote]

And this is a completely different case than Cristiano is making!

In this case, the man has a BA in Philosophy, a graduate degree in Theology, and 3-5 years practical experience in ministry. Depending on the type of career he's seeking out, this is significant education and experience. (If, however, after leaving the priesthood, he decides he wants to be a TV meteorologist, then yeah -- this significantly different career path requires a new educational and work experience background. That's a whole 'nother example, though...!)


#17

[quote="Gorgias, post:16, topic:301581"]
And this is a completely different case than Cristiano is making!

In this case, the man has a BA in Philosophy, a graduate degree in Theology, and 3-5 years practical experience in ministry. Depending on the type of career he's seeking out, this is significant education and experience. (If, however, after leaving the priesthood, he decides he wants to be a TV meteorologist, then yeah -- this significantly different career path requires a new educational and work experience background. That's a whole 'nother example, though...!)

[/quote]

Significant if you want to teach theology, philosophy or RE or work at your local parish maybe. Useless for 99.9% of jobs out there.


#18

Assertions are flying around left and right. I will say this, even though this continues to drag this thread off topic: Some men should go to seminary right out of high school. Some men should go to college first. And some men should go to college, work a while, and then go to seminary. I know priests about whom each of those is the case, and they all did exactly what they needed to do and exactly on God’s timing. There’s no need to create principles where there needn’t be–some men need different kinds of formation and different kinds of education and different experiences, and ultimately God calls you through those experiences. I went to college before seminary, and I almost left after my sophomore year to go into seminary. But I waited, and ended up having a pretty awful time my junior year, and a slightly improved one my senior year. But you know what? I needed that experience. I needed every minute of it. So I say–do whatever God is calling you to do and do it on his timing, and don’t try to make some case for an artificial timeline that everyone should follow.

-ACEGC


#19

[quote="edward_george, post:18, topic:301581"]
Assertions are flying around left and right.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: Yup... absolutely right, on this count!

So I say--do whatever God is calling you to do and do it on his timing, and don't try to make some case for an artificial timeline that everyone should follow.

Agreed. And, as a teen, coming right out of high school, I think that I would feel somewhat obligated to defer to my parents' wishes and their perspective on the situation. At the very least, "honor thy father and thy mother" speaks in some way to obedience to God... ;)


#20

What about going to a Catholic college and double major in something (like engineering) and theology or philosophy? That way after college you would be prepared whether you decide to go to seminary or not.


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.