Thanks for your responses.
I’m 27 years old and was living out of state until about two years ago. I moved back so I could re-establish my roots and continue my discernment. I really do feel called to religious life, most especially the community. Priests are extremely needed in my rural diocese, but the solitary life of the diocesan priest/deacon would be extremely hard on me. I do not do well living by myself… i come by it honestly, neither does my dad.
My dad has sarcoidosis, which can be similar to COPD. At times it seems his dependence on me is primarily an emotional thing—he does not want to be alone. He has three siblings (although two live out of state and the third recently separated himself from our family) and there are over a dozen cousins in the area. He refuses to ask any of them for help. I started seeing a counselor at the request of the Vocations Director. She has routinely emphasized that his ability to continue working a full-time job should be used as a yard stick of his actual ability to handle his condition without my help. In fact, she thinks it is unhealthy for me to be living in the same house as him. It is true that his biggest hurdle right now is the emotional fluctuations that occur from his treatment on the Marshall Protocol. He can go from joyful to weeping in a few hours, often with pain or neurological impairment (i.e. leg going numb, foggy minded, etc.). His physical needs aren’t that serious yet.
There are many reasons why I would prefer to stay for another year. I have a nephew (maternal half-bro’s son) that I sorta mentor. There’s a lot of good stuff happening professionally and in the Catholic community here that I would enjoy being part of. But then what happens after that year? Another year? Even if I were to not join religious life, I would want to go to graduate school and eventually get my Ph.D in psychology (takes 7-10 years). I’m already looking at being 35-40 if I were to start now. If I wait a few years, I will be 40-45 and how will I ever hope to support a family if I start my career 15 years from retirement? :eek:
Sorry, this was kind of a spew of words and stuff in my head. Anyway… there is no easy answer to this.