I’ve been growing confident in my discernment, but I haven’t contacted any vocations directors. I was very happy thinking of living my life as a priest, but then I realized that my father isn’t Catholic and I don’t think he would support me. Hes determined to have me become some rockstar but I don’t think I could survive in that environment. He pays for my bass guitar lessons and had me perform at this concert that went well. I don’t know how I could have the heart to tell him that I pretty much wasted his money and want to live alone as a priest. My mother also mentions jokingly about me taking the cats with me even if my wife has cats. I feel like I am dying a bit inside knowing that I want to do this, yet I’m not sure that I’d be supported in my spiritual journey. I am a person who needs support and encouragement before I do something life-changing and I don’t feel like I have the support I need/want. I guess I just need something helpful.
Have you talked to a spiritual director yet?
It can be a good step to gain understanding. Find a priest you trust and ask him for some time to talk about some spiritual questions. He can also give you advice on growing more confident in knowing your vocation and how to grow spiritually.
You haven’t told us much about where you are in life (high school, university, post-university), so just some general advice then. Does your parish have a youth group/young adults group? Or if you’re at college, is there a campus ministry or Newman club? These can be good places to find support from other Catholics who can help you find your vocation.
Telling your parents can be quite the scary thought, especially if they’re not supportive and especially if you’re still living at home. Pray lots. The Rosary is a very good prayer. Spending time in silent prayer in adoration or just in front of the tabernacle or in a church is an excellent way to grow closer to God.
I am in high school currently. Junior year this year.
Hmm. Well in that case, don’t stress out too much. You’ve got 2 years of high school and 4 years of college before seminary would even start.
Talking to a priest is your best bet. Tell him what your thinking, and he should be able to give you some advice going forward.
I have to go to college then a seminary which is another college?? Ill be in debt for my entire life!
At a seminary, one usually is studying towards a MDiv, a Masers in Divinity. As a post-graduate degree, one is required to first posses a bachelors (undergraduate) degree (usually in philosophy/theology, although I have a friend who has a BSc in Biology and is discerning, and the Chaplain at my college had his degree in Engineering. Another priest I know had his in Math, and another priest had his in mathematical physics).
I think that the diocese usually pays for the Seminary, but don’t quote me on that one (it might vary by diocese). The undergraduate degree is your responsibility though.
I’m not sure that a diocese would do that for me, haha. The undergraduate degree would be in theology, correct? So I’d have to have a bachelors in that first, then if I am lucky I will continue on to the seminary? These things are the final stages, though. I am barely out of the starting gate right now in my situation. Looking to the future is nice, but I’m not sure if I can make it this far. Being a priest would be great if everyone around me supported my spiritual journey.
Theology/philosophy for the undergrad (both are pre-reqs for seminary).
Like I said before, your best source of information is your parish priest. He’ll give you much better tailored advice then these forums will.
I’m still rather uncertain of all this…
As someone mentioned, since you are a junior in HS, do not worry too much about it. You should speak to a spiritual director and continue to discern. There are many ways to pay for college, including joining the army as a Chaplain Assistant (enlisted soldier who works with the chaplains). That would allow you to take distance learning courses from a Catholic undergraduate program (paid for by the army) and have money when you get out for seminary (thousands in GI Bill). Or use it to finish college and let the diocese pay.
Many options once you leave your parents house and you need to follow where God leads. He will open the doors for you but for now…don’t worry.
PS Doing guitar can come in handy. Just look at the vocationboom thread, click on the link and scan down for the priests playing in a band.
Junior and senior year is an especially nervous time. I’m in the gap where I need to figure out where I need to go. I don’t think joining the army is an option I would like to do. I think I’ll just try to get the undergraduate fees accounted for by working it off myself. I didn’t tell you guys about what my parents thought thinking that while I’m under their roof I can’t be a priest. I am just fearful of what they will think. Me moving away and becoming a priest is no better. I just want their acceptance, not to move away from them if they don’t.
I think I am going to hint my parents into the adjustment of my discernment by asking for them to purchase “To Save a Thousand Souls” by Fr. Brett Brannen.
No need to come down on your parents with the great reveal. I was thinking about the seminary at you age as well. However, I do understand your reservation about not having family support towards your vocation as a priest. I had the same problem and needless to say when something unfortunate happened, I fell broken with no support whatsoever. But I was 18 years old when this happened to me. It may be in your best interest to do something prior to seminary. The trend to vocations now seems to be directed towards older, more mature men. But don’t depend on that to be the final answer. You should contact your parish priest who should also get you in touch with the vocation director of your diocese. However, if you are considering a vocation in the religious life, you can contact them directly as well, which I recommend. If you become a religious you would be sent to school and they would become your family.
Just some more things to think about.
Are you suggesting that I do something else and become a priest when I am old? That doesn’t sound right to me. I really don’t want to be old as I enter the seminary. I want to devote my life to God.
I don’t think I could live the monastary life. I would feel better as a diocesan priest, but if God calls me to religious order specifically… I don’t know haha.
No. I’m suggesting that if you can’t get past the support issue from your parents, then you may need to consider waiting. You should be able to enter the seminary after high school, depending upon your diocese. I suggest you try. And if it doesn’t work out the way you hope, considering you truly have a vocation, you will continue to seek admittance in the near future. I was accepted to the seminary at age 17, I entered at age 18. I am NOT suggesting you wait… I offered a solution if it was something you sincerely desire to do. That’s all.
Wow. Seminary at age 18? Thats fast. Are you going to be in there for 8 years?
Talk to your diocesan vocations director and see what he suggests. He will be able to provide guidance on how to discern whether you are truly being called, how to discuss the situation with your parents, and what the process will be like for a person your age.
The vocations director lives in the Twin Cities. Which is 45 minutes away for me. I can’t do that, especially since I don’t even have my license. I can drive(I have my permit), but I’ve just decided to put off taking my license test haha.
EDIT: Also, I’m not even sure if I am being called. I used to be fairly sure, but now I don’t know. I may not even be called by God anymore.
You might consider the phone for starters and take it from there. Most diocese don’t have so many vocations that if they have a young man who may be interested, they couldn’t find the time to pay a visit to your parish to speak to you. For example, the pastor at our local campus chapel is also the diocesan vocations director and as such, travels all over the diocese meeting with possible vocations and talking to young men just like you. A major part of the vocations director’s job is helping you to discern whether or not you have a true vocation.
Talking would be nice, but what if I don’t have a true vocation? I don’t want to waste his time for someone else who might actually have a predestined calling to the priesthood.