How would one explain a calling to the priesthood to a Protestant family? Luckily my family is not completly Protestant but my direct family became evangelical. How can I explain my call in a way they can understand.
Prima omnia, good luck! I’m not so sure it can really be done completely. You have to find some common ground and build off of that. Explain that as Christians (in the most general sense of the word) we all seek (or at least we should) to serve Christ fully and to the best of our abilities. Hopefully, they will agree, then simply explain that for you it requires becoming a priest.
How long since you joined the Church? I’ve found that all unmarried male converts seek the priesthood for a short time after conversion.
I’d emphasize the fact that you are doing your best to follow the will of God.
I think I would start by telling them that you are completely and absolutely in love with the thought of giving your entire life to Christ, so much so that you are willing to commit yourself to following Him where ever God calls you. Because of this, you have taken the drastic step of entering the Catholic Church (I’m assuming your family considers this to be a drastic step, if not or if you don’t see it as drastic from where you stood before your conversion, skip this). But that now, the more you know Christ, the more you feel further drawn to give your life to Him.
Let them know that you are considering the priesthood. Remember, entering the priesthood is a time consuming process, during which you will need to do much prayer, reflection and discernment, so considering is the correct term to use, even if you believe you are absolutely certain that this is your calling. This will give them the opportunity to get used to the idea without feeling that it’s a done deal and they have no input.
If they have strong misgivings, don’ t get too freaked out and DON’T fight with them about it. Promise to take their concerns to prayer, and then do so. Pray that the Holy Spirit guide you, both in following God’s will for you, and in communicating what you’re doing with your family in a way that will help them to grow closer to Christ.
Take things slowly and charitably. Don’t be offended if they have a rough time of it. I don’t know if you’re aware, but many “good Catholic parents” also have a problem when they learn that their child is feeling called to the priesthood or religious life. Parents tend to have dreams for their children, and this often includes grandchildren. Give it time. If they’re mostly interested in your true happiness (eternal happiness), they’ll come around with time.