I have been with my fiancee for over five years now; we are high school sweethearts. Ww first started dating when I was seventeen, about six months after I was confirmed, though Ihad already fallen away from the faith.
About a year and a half ago, I had a powerful reconversion to the Catholic Church. During that time, a little voice in my heart reawakened, a voice I had not heard–or, rather, did not pay attention to since childhood–a voice that told me to consider becoming a priest. I come from a Navy family. When I was a boy, my mother often volunteered as an ombudsman–a liason between the command and families–for the commands my father was stationed with. At one time, when she was an ombudsman for the USS Abraham Lincoln (CNV-72), her office was across the hall from the base’s Catholic Chaplain’s office. I recall spending many hours in Fr. Kloak’s office asking questions and learning about being Catholic. Throughout my childhood, I can recall being interested in receiving Holy Orders, whether as a priest or as a deacon, some day.
Now, after I fell away from the Church as a teenager, Caitlin and I started dating. She is not Catholic. But as our relationship matured, and each of our relationships with God matured, I started talking more and more about marriage within the context of Catholic adulthood, rather than the fairy-tale-esque manner often bloviated about in romantic comedies, which we had discussed in the past, during our, shall we say, “un-Christian” years.
But that voice, which had reawoken with my returning to the Church, is now too loud to ignore. Caitlin and I had a candid conversation the other night about what I am feeling–the desire to be a priest. I am not sure if I am really being called. As a 23-year-old, and one who is fairly self-aware, I know that it could be a part of my heart having some cold-feet type thoughts about the grown up relationship that Caitlin and I have discussed. But, then I go back to that desire that I had felt as a boy, wanting to become a Catholic priest.
This was been the long way around to me asking: is there anyone–namely anyone who has been in a similar situation, feeling called to priesthood, but in a serious relationship–who would share with me their vocation story? It doesn’t matter if you ended up entering the seminary or not, or if you are still in the midst of discerning…
Thanks very much for having read this much–too-long post.