Want to become priest but famiy isn't supportive


#1

Hello everyone,

I come from a non-practicing catholic family, but i feel called by God to become a priest. I have a strong relationship with God, and just want to serve him. However, my father is an atheist. My mother says she believes in God, yet isn't a practicing catholic. The rest of my family is for the most part apathetic towards religion, and would hardly support my decision. My mom is the only one who i have the courage to talk to about my vocation. Any advice?


#2

It's your calling not theirs. If they aren't practicing Catholics then becoming a priest would probably be setting a great example for them. Talk to a priest about it, preferably one who doesn't recruit seminarians.


#3

For starters, how old are you? If you are over 18, you have to learn to stand on your own.
If you are younger than that, you must still heed your parents, so tread softly in this matter.
In either case, you should talk this over with a priest - preferably with the Pastor of your local Catholic Church. He will be able to guide you in this.
In the meantime, try to say the Rosary every day, offering it up for your enlightenment you as to what you should do.


#4

It's an age-old story.
So many young people want to go into a vocation/career that their parents don't like or disapprove of.
Ya gotta do what you wanna do, tho, even if they don't like it or think it's wrong for you. It's your life.

So...but...why are they not supportive?
Because they don't believe in God for the most part, and more specifically, the Catholic church? Or is there another reason?


#5

[quote="liltike99, post:1, topic:316982"]
Hello everyone,

I come from a non-practicing catholic family, but i feel called by God to become a priest. I have a strong relationship with God, and just want to serve him. However, my father is an atheist. My mother says she believes in God, yet isn't a practicing catholic. The rest of my family is for the most part apathetic towards religion, and would hardly support my decision. My mom is the only one who i have the courage to talk to about my vocation. Any advice?

[/quote]

Make an appointment with the vocations director of your diocese. Follow his advice.

Linus


#6

Better for you to obey God, than men! If you feel called to the priesthood, you should persue that vocation as far as it takes you.


#7

[quote="liltike99, post:1, topic:316982"]
Hello everyone,

I come from a non-practicing catholic family, but i feel called by God to become a priest. I have a strong relationship with God, and just want to serve him. However, my father is an atheist. My mother says she believes in God, yet isn't a practicing catholic. The rest of my family is for the most part apathetic towards religion, and would hardly support my decision. My mom is the only one who i have the courage to talk to about my vocation. Any advice?

[/quote]

Pray, pray, pray. Find a priest you can trust and ask him to be your spiritual director. If I recall from another post, you are 15, so you still have several years to go before you can enter seminary, but you can start by serving your parish priest at the altar and around the parish after school or on weekends.


#8

Our parish priest had a dad who was an atheist…so it isn’t outside the rhelm of possibilities…and he is one of the best priest I know!

God’s ways are not man’s ways so it’s natural that you will have some opposition to this.

You will need to decide if this is your vocation…don’t base it off what your family thinks. It’s not a prerequisete to have a family that is supportive of your decision…it’s what God is calling you to…not your family. In fact our transitional deacon (he will be ordained in June) - his family is not one way or another about it. But if it’s your calling…it’s your calling…and if you don’t find out…it will haunt you for the rest of your life.


#9

I am currently a seminarian...some advice:

Reflect, meditate, and pray on the following verses from scripture:

Great crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and addressed them, “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple…In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14: 25-26, 33)

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10: 37-39)

Then Peter said, “We have given up our possessions and followed you.” He said to them, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not receive [back] an overabundant return in this present age and eternal life in the age to come.” (Luke 18: 28-30)

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “[Lord,] let me go first and bury my father.” But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” [To him] Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9: 57-62)

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. (John 12: 25-26)

More Advice:

Talk to your parish priest and/or local vocations director, and see if he/one of the two can provide you with spiritual direction. If you feel called to the priesthood, and want to seriously begin discerning this calling, spiritual direction will be an invaluable and necessary tool. It will also help you to answer the universal vocation that we are all called to: "Holiness and Sainthood."

Also, begin praying a holy hour in front of a tabernacle in church (before the Blessed Sacrament) every day (or as often as possible). Ultimately, Jesus is most present in the Eucharist, so praying for an hour near the Eucharist every day will bring you to a closer union and relationship with Him. This closer union and relationship with Jesus will happen in this daily prayer time, because He will begin to talk to your heart and move your inner most being. Through this daily conversation, you will gain more clarity about what His actual will for your life truly is. In order to discern Christ's will, you need to get to know Him first. Fostering a strong devotion to the Eucharist is the best way to accomplish this. Reading His Holy Word in the Scriptures every day is also an equally good way, as well.

Finally, as regards the Eucharist, you should receive Communion (and go to Mass) daily or as often as possible. Ideally, more than once a week outside of Sundays. Also, I want to add that if you do have the opportunity to go to Mass daily (or more than just on Sundays), you will also need to regularly participate in the sacrament of penance/confession. This will be necessary, because in order to receive the Eucharist, you must always be in a state of grace (having no mortal sin on your conscience). Ultimately, being in a state of grace is necessary to grow in relationship with Jesus Christ, anyways, and is necessary to grow in holiness and become a saint. Becoming a holy saint should be your primary goal, and should come well before your desire to become a priest. This means that your desire for heaven should be stronger than your desire for priesthood.

Ultimately, there are other things you can do, such as a daily rosary, reading a book called "To Save A Thousand Souls" by Fr. Bret A. Brannen, and becoming more involved in your parish so that you can begin to see what ministerial life is like and therefore have a more informed discernment, but I urge you to begin slowly and to not overwhelm yourself by going too quickly. My personal process before entering the seminary was as long as four years (throughout my entire time at the University of Florida). So, in the end, if you get a good spiritual director, he/she will guide you based on the Lord's inspirations, and as such, you will never go too slowly, or go in a wrong direction.

I end by asking you to please pray for me in my vocational discernment, and promise that I will pray for you and yours.

Best regards, good luck, and many blessings and graces...

By the way, if you have any other questions, feel free to email me at [email]tmyers@ufl.edu[/email].

Sincerely,
Thomas

"Triumph lie in faith, hope, and love."


#10

I can't seem to find it right now but Fr Larry Richard's vocation testimony should encourage you. He was in a worse situation. His parents were irreligious Pittsburgh cops and his dad drank a little too much. Plus his teen years were not so exemplar. It should be somewhere on his website: thereasonforourhope.org/index.php.


#11

Mark 6,4

I would say go for it. :slight_smile:

Due to you having an environment of people who are at various levels of advancement in Faith, you will have added burdens calling for tact and patience. The enticement to argue will be many, since you may be seen as an opposition for the time being. Your virtue and self confidence may stand out as an uncomfortable gauge for the spiritually or lack thereof of others. You will need to make a resolve to remain open but not confrontational, especially when you have an answer to life’s problems. You will learn that taking the initiative is not always the best approach. Some people need to wander in the dark before they overcome their stubbornness and seek opinions. Your life will unconsciously inspire them.

Good luck.


#12

I have/had same situation just like you; my parents aren’t very happy about me but I know God loves me and He got me and my parents can’t do anything about that. God is much more stronger … :slight_smile:

Only advice: If God wants you - He will get you and he will care for everything - I know it’s hard Cross but you can’t forget that God loves you allways.

In prayer with you, fraternal,
frater Attempto Iacobus


#13

If God wills it, and you hear the calling, then you should take up the calling. Your family may grow to accept this. Good luck. I shall pray for you.


#14

You're not alone. My family isn't completely 100% supportive of my want to be a Sister.


#15

[quote="AllyC1991, post:14, topic:316982"]
You're not alone. My family isn't completely 100% supportive of my want to be a Sister.

[/quote]

At least your parish is. :thumbsup:


#16

[quote="aemcpa, post:15, topic:316982"]
At least your parish is. :thumbsup:

[/quote]

Well not everyone at my Parish knows. My Pastor had been picking me out since he met me to be a Sister but he doesn't know that I'm seriously thinking about it yet. I intend to tell him soon


#17

My father is an agnostic (claims to be a Methodist) but is extremely anti-Catholic. I mean, he absolutely hates and despises the Catholic Church. He says it was responsible for the innocent manslaughter of Protestants, Jews, Satanists and Atheists in the Middle Ages just because they wouldn't accept Catholic teaching. He also said that the reason why most of the world is Catholic today is because they threatened to kill anyone who wouldn't convert and that's why they are the way they are today.

He also says that priests have something chemically wrong in their minds because they choose not to marry but choose to instead molest innocent children. He also says the Church is wrong to not allow priests to marry because it's the natural, instinctive necessity of man to have sex (my father is a HUGE sex addict in my mind). Anything bad he can possibly say, he'll say about the Church. He lives right next to a Catholic Church, ironically, and a few months ago, he saw a march for life banner on it and he said, "Oh, they can care less, they're just trying to get heard and get attention. They don't care about saving children at all. HYPOCRITES." And yet, lately, I have also been discerning a call to the Holy Priesthood. My dad knows that I am a practicing Catholic and despite the fact that he's been moving Heaven and Earth to try to get me to leave the Church, nothing's working...THANK GOD!

And despite how upset he is with me, he has never stopped loving me. I do feel scared to tell him about my possible vocation. But I just pray about it, I bring it to our Lord and Lady and I put my trust into them. That's what I feel you should do. And if your parents truly loved you, they would support your decision and help you achieve it, whether they agree with you or not. I say the same thing about my father. I tell myself, "If I become a priest, my father may stop loving me, but I will never stop loving him. If he truly loves me, he'll understand me and support my decision, whether he agrees with me or not. My feelings for him will never change. I am a stronger person." It doesn't matter how much people love you, but about how much you love others. That's the ultimate joy of being a priest. When most of the world hates you, you unconditionally love them back. In Scripture, Jesus said that because they hated Me, they shall also hate you. The people of Israel called Him Satan and crucified Him and killed Him, yet He subjected Himself to it because He loves us. 99.99% of the world hates Him today, yet He loves us all back and continues to bless us all everyday. As a priest, you will be an "alter-Christus" another Christ. Living in His likeness and according to His example and will be a sacramental presence of our Lord on Earth to bring the world to Him, and Him to the world. I'll be praying for you brother. God bless you.


#18

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