Parents disapproval of me going to seminary hurts


#1

On June 12, I was accepted into the seminary for my diocese. I’m 18, I’ve done a year at college, and I’ve struggled accepting God’s call for the past 3 years. But I finally did it. I figured I wasn’t going to know or at the very least every feel truly fulfilled if I didn’t go to seminary to see if God was truly calling me to the priesthood. I begin in August.

When I got that call from the Vocations Director I was thrilled, overjoyed actually…my parents though, were not. They took a beautiful moment for me, and made it bittersweet, talking about how they were “mourning their son’s ability to be normal” and my mom went as far as to say, “I’d rather have a gay son then a priest son, because at the very least, you’d find human love in this world.” It hurt. A lot. I understand they had this expectation of me bringing them grand kids, and they had this version of a “typical” life laid out for me…but I really need them to understand life and God are leading me elsewhere. I’ve also explained seminary is a long discernment process…no one going to seminary definitely is becoming a priest. It takes time and prayer.

A man in my parish walked up and congratulated my mom for having a son going to seminary, and she acted both indifferent, and displeased. My grandparents said it was amazing, as did my cousins, aunts, and uncles. My dad responded saying, “well I’m glad you’re all so f***ng happy.” I even overheard my mother talking to her friend saying, “this is so hard on us, he doesn’t know how much this hurts.”

I just don’t understand it. Their constant negativity is making this incredible moment for me bittersweet and almost painful. I should feel happy I’m going…and I am happy. But every time I talk about it around them, they make this face as if they smell something bad. My parents are Catholic, but very ideologically liberal and don’t regularly attend mass like I do.

They’ve been mad at me over it for 2 years, and now that I’m finally going, it’s just worse.

I just wanted some advice on how to handle this, or do you think just prayer for acceptance in their hearts (which I have been doing) is the only way?


#2

I’m sorry you’re going through this. If it helps, remember that you are certainly not alone in your suffering. Not only will other seminarians be going through similar trials, but through the ages numerous saints were locked up, beaten, starved, forcibly taken from their convents, monasteries, etc. because their parents wished them to make marriage alliances to advance family fortunes or some other reason. In the end they persevered because it was God’s will for them. You will persevere in becoming a priest too, if that is God’s will for you. (And hopefully without the beating and the starvation part). By prayer and offering all your hardships to God, your parents could come around. I’ve heard of it happening. Give them more time. I’ll pray for you…


#3

That’s really sad. I’ll be praying for you as well. Make sure to keep in regular contact with people who will encourage you, and don’t give up. Also, treat your parents gently. Always remember how Jesus responded to those who persecuted Him.


#4

Hello,

I wish all the best for you and your family. Will pray for you


#5

What do we say when we say the Lord’s prayer? We tell God, “thy will be done”. Leave it in his hands, not your parents, not yours. Best thing you can do is pray.


#6

Don’t want to sound insensitive, but this verse from Matthew 10 popped into my head.

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Then again, might not be correct contextually.


#7

I would talk to your vocations director and pastor and any other mentors you have in life before taking advice on a free internet site. I am a little confused on coming here first.

What are you friends from school telling you? I assume with faith strong enough to be drawn to the seminary that you were active with other Catholics.

God bless.


#8

The Lord had family issues. Look to Him for strength.


#9

When I was 19, I decided to enter a contemplative monastery at the end of my second year of college.

My mom accepted it, if not joyfully, at least pleasantly. My dad, however, was at first angry, and then just upset. The positive reaction of my aunts and uncles helped him come around before I entered, so it does happen.

My parents were not practicing Catholics when I entered the monastery.

I only stayed for two years, because it clearly wasn’t my vocation. But I bless God for those two years of being called away from the world for the intensity of the monastic life! What a blessing!

Have faith in God. Seek the company of those who support your choice – family, friends, fellow parishioners. I know there are families in my parish who would love to support a young man or woman discerning a vocation and preparing to enter formation, with fellowship, meals, outings with the family even!

I pray God will lead you to those who support you during this time of transition. And I’ll keep you parents in my prayers as well. As an adult, you are no longer bound to obey your parents. But honoring them means loving them just as they are right now, and praying for them during this time that is, in fact, causing them suffering because of their misunderstanding of God’s blessings.

Be at peace, dear one. This time of suffering is a deep well of grace!

God bless you!


#10

:thumbsup::thumbsup: Very well said. :slight_smile:


#11

cm2412, sorry to hear this. I saw my mom react negatively once when I merely mentioned the possibility of the priesthood. Ultimately, I think she’d accept it if that was my vocation and I don’t think she would take it that badly. But it is shocking for many parents.

Do you remember this?

Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘A man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

We all need to put God before anyone else- including our families. I’m really sorry they aren’t being supportive. But you’re doing the right thing if you feel called. Hopefully they’ll turn around. Take your suffering and offer it God, praying for them to turn towards him and not against him and you.


#12

I’m going through something similar with my mother. Stay strong.


#13

One family here in Ireland whose eldest son was preparing to leave for medical school , when asked how they would feel if he told them he was planning to be a priest said " We would tell him to pack his bags; he is not going to THAT LOT"

Heart with you OP; time will soften this on all sides. You have a whole new life ahead of you now…


#14

Gracious and merciful Father, please come to their assistance.

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.


#15

I am much older than you, but my family flipped out too when I told them of my desire to enter consecrated life. Initially, they didnt understand at all. That was approximately five or six years ago. Now, all my mom can do is gush about “her daughter the nun”!

Sometimes it just takes time for your family or friends to adjust.


#16

I’m sorry to hear that your family is taking it so long. Have you spoken to your vocation’s director about it? Perhaps he could arrange for your parents to speak with the parents of other seminarians. All parents struggle with their children’s decisions, that is part of life. Furthermore, the journey to become a Catholic priest takes many years therefore its important to remember just because you begin this journey, it does not necessarily mean it will happen. I hope it will but just remember everyone’s journey is different. There is a priest in my diocese whose father started out in seminary and later left, married and then had a son who became a priest instead. Its a testimony of God’s power and how important it is to trust God always.


#17

Praying for God’s strength and protection and comfort for you, and compassion and healing for your parents.

.


#18

There are many things which are not in our control, rather Everything is in God’s hands. Just pray more.

Once a Sister told me, if God’s really calling me to enter monastery and took me away from my mother, Do not worry, because God will take care of her and give her more grace. I also heard many true stories of how God takes care of the Families of the priests and sisters.

Maybe it is hard for your parents to accept to seperate with you at the moment. But pray more and God will give them more grace and wisdom to understand it is God’s calling (if it truly is).


#19

I’m sorry you are dealing with this. I know how painful it is as I’m discerning consecrated life and this is very difficult for my mom.

There have been many cases where over the years, the parents views changed. Have patience, hope, and pray :slight_smile: concentrate on becoming a holy priest and over time your parents might see that you are happy. Sometimes people may have difficulties accepting the idea that someone unmarried or celibate could EVER be happy. Try to show them with your life that it is possible :slight_smile:


#20

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