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Catholics - would you be happy if your son wanted to be a priest?

(64 Posts)
ThuribleTrouble Tue 14-May-13 14:01:28

Search your soul and be honest.

My son has been accepted for training and I can't find it in me to be happy for him because I think he has no understanding of what it really entails. He is only 18 at the moment.

TheRealFellatio Tue 14-May-13 14:03:31

I am not a Catholic but I agree with you. But he is an adult now and he has the right to choose for himself, just as if you wanted him to be a doctor and he would rather be an actor. If it's the wrong path then he has to find out his own way, and in his own time.

Fayrazzled Tue 14-May-13 14:04:16

Honestly? I'd be devastated.

MrsHoarder Tue 14-May-13 14:08:32

I'm not a catholic, DH is and by agreement ds its bring raised catholic. If he wanted to be a priest I'd be upset. But at least it would mean my lovely innocent little boy won't have sex*

* not a hang up I ever wasn't him to have, but just not something I ever want to think about.

TheRealFellatio Tue 14-May-13 14:09:35

Not necessarily MrsH. wink

BunnyLebowski Tue 14-May-13 14:09:58

I am an atheist and was brought up catholic.

If I had a son and he wanted to be priest I would be absolutely devastated and would feel like I'd failed as a parent. Same goes for if DD wanted to be a nun.

Annunziata Tue 14-May-13 20:38:22

I would be truly delighted. It is such an honour to have a vocation in the family. How can you have failed as a parent? You've brought him to have deep faith and want to help others!

I would be worried about how heavy a job it can be. But the same is true of other vocations.

acorntree Tue 14-May-13 21:20:00

It would be wonderful. I would be thrilled. I would be worried too. But
often the best choices involve taking risks. He is still young. If it is not the right path for him there is plenty of time to change direction.

MrsFrederickWentworth Tue 14-May-13 21:31:57

I think I would be worried, because he is quite young and what happens if he gets to 40 and wants out.

But some people just know what is right for them. A friend knew she was going to be a nun from very early on. Her mother wasn't happy. Friend went through university, got a job, looked at a couple of places and has been in one for about 20 years. Mother was gracious and loving. All you can do, I think.

Most orders are pretty sensible these days. If it feels wrong on either side, he can leave. As long as he knows he can, then that's fine.

ThuribleTrouble Wed 15-May-13 17:26:56

Interested to hear your thoughts. Please keep them coming.

Mrs W wants to address her as Ms Elliot, you've pin pointed one of my major worries. What if he loses his faith in his 40s like me and then is thrown out into the big wide world with no job, home or security.

expatinscotland Wed 15-May-13 17:35:22


I'd be delighted but then I'm ordained (C of E, not RC obviously!) so he has seen some of the challenges as well as the good stuff.

Happyasapiginshite Wed 15-May-13 19:54:04

I'd absolutely hate it. It's such a lonely life,I'd hate it for him. I reckon at least half of all seminaries (is that the word) end up leaving before they are ordained so I wouldn't fret too much yet.

Tommy Wed 15-May-13 19:56:19

Hi Thuribletrouble (love the name!) - I can only imagine you are a bit confused about all this. He is young for it - I didn't think they accepted them at 18 any more.
But... it's a long training and he will either discover that it is exactly what he is called to do or that's it's not. If it is - then you will know and if it isn't, then you have supported him in his decision which is all you can do
You have to be the solid, supportive (and praying!) one. smile

MareeyaDolores Thu 16-May-13 00:09:14

Delighted at 28y, sort of pleased but mainly worried at 18y.

Is it a diocesan seminary? Or has he joined one of the weirder 'new religious organisations'? Names to watch out for are Regnum Christi, Communion y liberation, Neocatechumenate. Opus Dei are well known, and probably not quite as scary.

TheSecondComing Thu 16-May-13 00:15:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MareeyaDolores Thu 16-May-13 10:22:33

Most areas seem to send them off to university or work for a few years first. I'd imagine they're wanting to reduce the numbers who need to drop out part way through the long (and expensive) training. From everything I've heard, there should be a tedious and multi-layered process which whittles down the applicants a lot.

Your son must have been very convincing to be accepted at 18 (either that or he's accidentally signed up to a child-napping cult). Do you think him being so convincing was real, or he was blagging it or maybe 50/50?

ThuribleTrouble Thu 16-May-13 18:08:06

They are sending him to the College in Valladolid spain for the first year.

If anyone has any experience of this I would be very interested to hear about it.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 16-May-13 18:25:00

18 is too young I think. My friend is a priest. I met him at university. He entered a seminary after he finished his degree.

QuintessentialOHara Thu 16-May-13 18:28:42

I would not be happy.

Sex aside, human beings are made for companionship. We are not lone rangers, like polar bears. We crave company and we all crave to share our life with one special person. Granted, to them this "One Special "person" is God, but we all know there aren't millions of Gods! - For sure not Catholic gods!

An acquaintance of mine joined the Carmelite nuns after Secondary, as an apprentice. She did the whole wow of silence thing. She lasted a year.

Springforward Thu 16-May-13 18:36:46

I'd worry about him being lonely. I wish priests were allowed to marry.

kelda Thu 16-May-13 18:39:44

If I were honest, I would encourage him to go to university first.

He could study something like theology or philosophy or politics, something that would be useful to the priesthood, or anything else that he is interested in.

Tommy Thu 16-May-13 19:52:28

I have friends who have been at Vallodolid - one of them is now married to best friend grin

However, it is a long way and I'm surprised they are sending him so far away. Have you had a meeting with the Bishop and/or Vocations director yet? Might be worth to have a chat so you can express your concerns.
Do you mind me asking which Diocese you are?

ThuribleTrouble Thu 16-May-13 20:09:15

As soon as I am found that my son was meeting regularly with the discernment group (he never told me that was what it was, I thought it was just a youth group), I rang the Vocations director and explained my concerns.

He explained that there is a long process leading to final ordination so there is plenty of time for him to decide whether its right for him.

Doesn't stop me being very worried. I know it sounds melodramatic but I feel like he has been 'groomed' behind my back.

Ragwort Thu 16-May-13 20:15:25

This is a challenging question - I am not catholic but do have a strong faith; I would not be 'devastated' at all and would be proud that my DS could want to make such a decision, however it is a very, very big decision and I would hope that he would have time to really explore whether or not this is exactly what he wanted to do.

But then do any of us really know exactly what we want to do with our lives at age 18?

Years ago I dated a catholic man and one of his brothers was training to be a priest and a sister was a nun, this was considered a great honour for the family and something they were all very proud of.

I must admit to wondering sometimes what life would be like as a nun blush.

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