Is it a crime to leave the seminary after about 7 years of formation after having discerned that you may not be compatible with the priestly lifestyle based on your evaluated character. Such that if you eventually continue to the priesthood you may end up a sad priest
A crime no. The seminary is not a court of law.
I personally know of 3 priests who were priest for MANY years, had been in many parishes and for whatever reasons they left the priesthood after all that time. Now that to me would be harder. You’ve been through all of the seminary work, you’ve actually served as a priest in parishes, but it still didn’t seem it was the right thing for you. PLUS to have to go back into secular life and get a regular job and all. This just HURTS MY HEART SO MUCH that we lost those 3 good priests. And they were good priests.
The priesthood is NOT for all and not even for all that attend seminary. If you are meant to be a priest by God’s call then you will be a priest and will not discern out.
I felt at the end of high school “I wanted” (notice nothing about God calling it was about ME!) to be a cloistered nun, BUT I went about it all the wrong way. I didn’t pray about it, I worried about it. I didn’t ask God if that’s what HE wanted for me. I just wanted that for myself. I ended up getting married. At first I had the nerve to blame my husband for taking away my vocation. THAT WAS SO stupid of me. I never truly knew if I had a vocation to the cloistered life or not because I didn’t really, honestly, heart searchingly pray about it or ask God about it. I still have regrets to this day about not trying the cloistered life first BUT as time goes on and I grow older I see the vocation God had for me. God’s plan for my life is EXACTLY what He wanted because at each & every step from before I was even born He arranged things to work for His greater Glory. Everything just became a possibility so that I could move on to the next step and that was only possible by God. Had I entered the cloister maybe I’d still be there but also maybe not. All I know is go through the discernment process right: PRAY and I mean REALLY PRAY. Spend lots of time with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Seek out good and trusted council from a trusted priest you know and even other seminarians if you can. Go on a good long silent retreat and just be ready for God to lead you.
I AM PRAYING FOR YOU and KNOW that whatever you decide God still loves you and always will.
Are you basing all of this off of what someone printed on a piece of paper?
“You may end up a sad priest?”
Beg your pardon?
No it’s not a sin, it would be sad if you continued in a vocation not intended for you.
However it would be important to discern this with your spiritual director.
We can go through difficult periods in any vocation.
An example of a married canonized Saint, who was found to be unsuited to priesthood is Saint Louis Martin.
Had he continued where he didn’t have a priestly vacation, he would not have had the daughter we know as Saint Therese of Lisieux.
Seminary is part of the discernment process, not the end and sometimes the answer is no, this isn’t right for me.
Personally I think that the fact that they have had the courage to try is a wonderful thing even if it turns out that they are not called to priesthood.
I didn’t mean it was a stated evaluation by d school. I mean a personal
evaluation of myself over time.
This really, really, really needs to be taken to your seminary personnel, then. I don’t know what it is about an anonymous forum that attracts such questions, but I think this forum’s energies would be better placed in prayer for the individual in such a situation. We don’t know you personally, and haven’t been with you for the past 7 years. If you’re wanting a mystic with insights, pray to be led to one there locally.
Is what you’re saying being said out of humility or self-pity? Is it Our Lord’s way of making you realize that your vocation is dependent upon Him and not anything of yours? Ask Our Lady through the Rosary and the Chaplet of her Tears for the answer.
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