Priesthood for me?

I am only a freshman in college, but recently I have contemplated transferring to a Catholic school, studying up on church matters, and then being a priest some day. I am not sure if this is right for me and it might just be a rash phase, so I would like to know what you all think before I make some decisions that I would regret and that might not be genuine.

I should tell you a little bit about my background. There are a lot of things going not really as I had planned in my life right now. I had always envisioned myself going going to the University of Notre Dame, but instead I have been stuck at an uncomfortably public liberal school. I feel so out of place here, and that has grown my awareness that I might prefer a higher calling. Just the other day, I got stared at and snickered at because of the ash on my forehead. Also, when I first arrived at this school, I hung up a crucifix on my wall and was chastised by my roommate and some people on my floor. To make myself feel a little more comfortable, I have spent some of the few dollars I have buying statues of the Virgin Mary and rosaries. I secretly hope that my roommate goes home every weekend so I can say the rosary in private and stare at the crucifix on the wall. I've seen how secular and meaningless my generation is, and I don't feel like I'm a part of it.

I have always been a very ambitious person, in a secular sense. I have always dreamed of going to best law school someday, making myself known in that profession, and maybe running for political office. But I have struggled to find a place in a secular community, and I am beginning to see that some of my lifelong ambitions might not come to pass. I pray in my head frequently throughout the day. I clutch my rosary beads when I get nervous or stressed. I would rather spend a night listening to Catholic hymns on my iPod than meeting people and socializing. The things I have always wanted increasingly appear trivial.

I have always admired the priesthood: the respect and faith parishioners put into a simple man, the powers he has to perform the sacraments to save his followers, and how he so easily makes our earthly wants and problems insignificant. Last Wednesday I began to realize that I might want to seriously throw away my earthly ambitions and join the priesthood when a heard a priest so beautifully explaining Lent and then putting a dirty pile of mud on my forehead while explaining that it symbolizes my faith that everything I have now will someday turn to dust but that if I can remember what that dirty muck means, I won't have to worry about the tiny issues of today.

I've been told that priests consider their vocation a calling, or that they believe they were chosen to be priests. For me, my rationale for joining the priesthood would be because of my misfortune. All of the times I have felt excluded because of my faith and the insecurity I have that I might not be good enough to achieve all of my secular dreams could be taken as a signal that those goals are not worth pursuing and that I have something more to offer.

This probably is less important, but I also have some childish fascination with the black garments and the white collar, sort of like how a child sees a GI Joe uniform. I think I would look good in that "uniform." It would complement my red hair nicely. I have constantly told myself, I thought jokingly, that if I am still single when I'm forty, then I will become a priest.

My concern is that this is just a phase. After all, I am going to try to transfer to Notre Dame next year (I have a good chance since I have a 4.0 right now). If I get there, I could feel more comfortable socially and forget about why I would want to be a priest. I still want to go to one of the country's top law schools, which obviously are not Catholic.

What do you all think? Should I start prepping for the priesthood? (Sorry for writing so much.)

I don't know if you have to literally start studying in preparation for becoming a priest, but it sounds like you would benefit from being in a more Catholic environment. That might be good to transfer to Notre Dame. I don't know much about its environment but I imagine it's a lot better than a liberal public university.

Just one note - those priests described their vocation as a calling because that's exactly what it is. You cannot be a priest unless God has specifically chosen and called you for it. I'm not saying you don't have a calling, but I just wanted to point that out.

That's all I've got. I'll keep you in my prayers. :thumbsup:

Please contact the vocations office of your diocese.
They are the people who can help you.

Keep praying! :gopray:

Peace be with you on your journey! :)

This sounds like a lot of the kind of problems that I've dealt with. Not exactly of course. But, a word of advice I would give you in general might be to not focus on rejecting the world, but loving Jesus Christ. Rejecting the world to join the Church is a good way to be a proud, angry, judgemental person *. The same world who's way we're called to hate and reject is also made up of the people we're called to love just as much as we love Christ.

Anyways, I'm actually a sophomore in college right now, and I'm discerning for a possible vocation right now. And the most important thing is to let the wind of the Holy Spirit blow you in whichever direction it will. Discernment is all about seeking God's will to be done in your life, and learning more about yourself.

Do you still think being a lawyer would be a fulfilling life for you? Or does it now appear trivial?

You can do just as much damage to the secular world as a priest as you can as a Catholic lawyer. Or a secular lawyer who practices his faith... say you are active in the Knights of Columbus alongside it, or are active in the Church at the same time. Being a good Catholic father and businessman (if that's law or whatever) is just as important as being a priest.

The question is which are you most called to? Has God given you talents which would best be exercised by being a lawyer?

If you don't like socializing with secular people, socialize with Catholics. There's probably a Catholic church on your campus. Get involved in it somehow. There might be other people unbenknownst to you who might also be discerning priesthood at your liberal secular school. And pray whether or not you should transfer to Notre Dame.

And remember that we should bless those who persecute us. Because these people persecute you for your faith on campus... they give God glory. They have rejected you not because of who you are, but because of who God is. They see you as a servant of Christ, and bc of this God gains glory... even though their response is to mock you.

Hope this helps you in your walk.*

[quote="Oneofthewomen, post:3, topic:275164"]
Please contact the vocations office of your diocese.
They are the people who can help you.

Keep praying! :gopray:

Peace be with you on your journey! :)

[/quote]

I agree. You must pursue this and prayerfully with other seek His guidance. I will pray for you tonight that He leads you on the path He has for you. If He wants you as a priest you must follow as a worthy vocation if in His will for you.

Blessings,
mlz

Well my friend the good news is formation is a loooong journey. Depending on your schooling it's 4-8 years. That's a long time of being tested and testing yourself. There's no guarantee you're being called and so you never know. You might be told you aren't called before even entering a seminary. You might be at the seminary for 8 years and the night before ordination realize that's not something you can do or won't be able to do. Even your time at the seminary is part of your formation. It isn't something that's decided overnight. It takes eight plus years of formation. If you want help discerning, seek out your diocesan spiritual/vocational director. In the meantime pray pray pray pray pray. If you are called to the Priesthood or the Diaconate, this is going to be the majority of your life. Prayer. To truly discern your vocation and especially to make it through formation it is absolutely imperative you have a strong prayer life. Part of formation will be building a strong prayer life, but it never hurts to get a head start. Even if you aren't called, there is nothing but benefits to be found with a strong prayer life so either way you win:thumbsup:

So I get the picture that I should not run from my problems by entering a seminary, but I am not saying that I am a failure so I should run off to a seminary. I am trying to say that I am still interested, but gradually getting less interested, in pursuing everything that I had always wanted to. I guess my bad experiences this year appeared to me that something else is there for me. I am going to do my best academically these next few years, and if I continue to to hear something else, even at a more suitable environment, then I might have to start listening. Thanks for the advice.

[quote="kennyObrien, post:7, topic:275164"]
So I get the picture that I should not run from my problems by entering a seminary, but I am not saying that I am a failure so I should run off to a seminary. I am trying to say that I am still interested, but gradually getting less interested, in pursuing everything that I had always wanted to. I guess my bad experiences this year appeared to me that something else is there for me. I am going to do my best academically these next few years, and if I continue to to hear something else, even at a more suitable environment, then I might have to start listening. Thanks for the advice.

[/quote]

Upon transferring to Notre Dame (and I highly recommend it) you should look into the minor seminary there. The Congregation of Holy Cross has two seminaries on campus: Old College (minor and for undergraduate men) and Moreau (major seminary). I would recommend transferring to ND under the conditions that you be placed in "Old College" as your residence hall of choice. Here is more about Old College:
vocation.nd.edu/what-the-seminary-is-like/old-college-undergrad-program/

I'm praying for you. God Bless and Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!! :thumbsup:

Hey My Friend,

I took time to read your long message here :P It's was funny to read you and to imagine you with black garment and red hair :P

Seriously, you just have to know that God uses all the way to help us to understand better our vocation. In your case, it was the transfer to a new school.
Don't be afraid by all these events and pray a lot for that. I will pray for you everyday and will ask to God to give you more light in your life, because i know that it's never easy to discern about his vocation.

I recommend you to firstly live a god christian life, it's essential, the rest will come himself. Put God in the centre of your life first, and leave him make the rest in your life.

You need to share your experience with others people in the same case like you. And every time, i recommend to people to have a Spiritual Director, it's a big need and help in all christian life, and also more important when you are thinking about the priesthood.

He could help you to see clearly the different signs that God give you every day to understand better you call.

I don't know if i answer your question, but don't hesitate if you have more question about that.
Pray Saint John Mary Vianey, he will help you to understand better your vocation.

God bless you....

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