Priest or Deacon?

Here is a question that I have been struggling with lately, as it is my own current situation: Would it be better to get married and become a deacon with a possible vocation to the priesthood for fear of breaking the vow of celibacy, or become the priest and end up committing that very sin? Also, would I be damned by God for not following his will for fear of sinning against him in breaking the vow? This has really been bothering me lately, even to where I can’t sleep soundly or concentrate in school. By the way, I’m 17 years old, if that helps at all. It’s just that I don’t feel I would have the strength to live the single life. Thanks for your help.


           P.S. Sorry if I already sent this message, I wasn't sure if it went through to you guys.

Dear Matt,

It sounds like you already know the answer. If the idea of remaining celibate all your life is as difficult as you see it to be, then is doesn’t sound like you are being called in that direction. Think marriage and permanent deaconate. God calls us according to the gifts He gives us. If He wanted you to be a priest and celibate, then celibacy would not be the obstacle that is evidently is for you. The fact that other aspects of the priesthood have been attractive to you does not mean that you are necessarily being called to be a priest. ALL the pieces of the puzzle have to fit. I find many aspects of the Franciscan, Benedictine and Carthusian vocations to be quite attractive, but I know that I was called to be a Dominican—because I like ALL the aspects of being a Dominican!

To be a husband and father is also a great vocation as St. Joseph shows us.

Matt, you are in my prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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