My Son is Thinking about Priesthood...

As a parent, you try to instill values, to encourage your children in the pursuit of positive goals, and to assure them of your unconditional love. The first step is understanding the differences between your experiences and theirs.

  • The 'millennial generation' is immersed in remote-controlled, high-tech, competitive-edge materialism.
  • Lifetime commitment may seem like an irrelevant notion, whether in marriage or priesthood.
  • Do you go to Mass every weekend, just like your parents did? Today's high school and college students may find spirituality in places you never thought to look.

Decision-making typically involves seeking the advice of others. Your encouragement is part of a bigger picture. Your son will talk with a vocation director in the process of deciding whether or not to apply to a seminary or religious order. Friends may provide advice and feedback. A vocation to priesthood is a gift from God, which is discerned, discovered and affirmed by an individual and the Church.

A priest dedicates himself to a life of service to God's people. By living a celibate life, he is free to respond to peoples' needs without being torn between commitments to a nuclear family and the larger family of God. A commitment to priesthood forever makes sense because, at ordination, a man is changed forever. In the sacrament of Holy Orders, a priest is ordained to act in the person of Christ Jesus. A priest cannot put on and take off this identity any more than Jesus could be just a spokesperson for God, nine to five, until retirement.

As a parent, you have the responsibility and blessing to help your children discover their vocation.

Remember, everyone has a first universal call to holiness as well as a vocation:

  • Priesthood
  • Religious life as a sister or brother
  • Diaconate (being a deacon)
  • Marriage and family life
  • Life as a single layperson

Vocation Office

Ask Jesus what He wants from you and


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