Rockford Priest | Resources
581
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-581,page-child,parent-pageid-186,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,qode-page-loading-effect-enabled,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,footer_responsive_adv,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-16.0.1,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.6.0,vc_responsive

Resources

Resources

Resources and More

Common Questions & Myths

How do I know what God is calling me to do?

You must pray every single day, asking God to reveal his plan for you. Do not ask yourself, “What do I want to do with my life?” This is the wrong question! Rather, you should be thinking and asking: “Jesus, what do You want me to do?” And listen for the answer! Listen with your heart, not just your head! The discernment process in the priesthood must also include the Church. Your bishop is the one who will ultimately decide who is and who is not called to be a diocesan priest. He is assisted in this by the vocation office and the seminary. The process for consecrated life will include the Religious Order or organization or even bishop.

How do I know what God is calling me to do?

You must pray every single day, asking God to reveal his plan for you. Do not ask yourself, “What do I want to do with my life?” This is the wrong question! Rather, you should be thinking and asking: “Jesus, what do You want me to do?” And listen for the answer! Listen with your heart, not just your head! The discernment process in the priesthood must also include the Church. Your bishop is the one who will ultimately decide who is and who is not called to be a diocesan priest. He is assisted in this by the vocation office and the seminary. The process for consecrated life will include the Religious Order or organization or even bishop.

Can I be happy in life if I don't follow God's plan for me?

If you do not follow the vocation for which God made you, you can attain a certain degree of happiness in this world and still attain salvation (go to heaven). However, you can never be as happy as you might have been, had you followed your proper vocation. This is why it is so important that you discern correctly. The discernment of your vocation is the most important decision you will make in your entire life! Of course, there are trials and tribulations in every vocation.

Will I be lonely if I become a priest?

Loneliness is a part of every vocation, at one time or another. It is part of the human condition. Married people get very lonely at times, even though they are surrounded by their spouses and children. Priests are always surrounded by people. This is one of the joys of being a priest. We are involved with people at the most profound moments of their lives: birth, Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion, Marriage, and death. We don’t have enough time to experience loneliness often! But when we do experience loneliness, Jesus can fill that void, as He does for people in every vocation.

If I decide to 'give seminary a try' am I committed for life?

Certainly not! The seminary and convent are where real discernment, trying to hear God’s voice revealing our vocation, begins. Sometimes, the only way to really know if you have a vocation to the priesthood or religious life is to actually enter the seminary or convent. During that time of formation, God’s will for you becomes clearer. The goal of the seminary or convent is to help you discern God’s will. A seminary rejoices when a man discerns that he is not called to priesthood and leaves to serve the Church in another vocation. Those precious years spent in formation are a benefit to you spiritually even if you discover that you are not called to be a priest or consecrated religious. That time will definitely help you hear God’ voice and find your vocation.

Why can't priests get married?

Catholic priests in the Latin Rite do not get married so as to dedicate themselves completely to Jesus and to His people. Priests generate “spiritual children” by bringing many souls to Christ and helping them to grow in holiness so that they can one day live forever in Heaven. The sacrifice of celibacy (not getting married) is a sign to the world that only Jesus can give us the happiness that we all so crave. Giving up something as important as marriage and family is a powerful sign to the world that Jesus Christ is real! He is worth living for and sacrificing for. No, it is not easy, but neither is marriage. The fact is, every vocation requires great personal sacrifice. And there is great joy in sacrifice when it is done for Jesus and for others! As one priest said: “It is true that no one will ever call me ‘daddy.’ But thousands call me ‘Father.’”

My friends and family won't understand...

This can be a big question for men discerning the priesthood — how will my loved ones react? Will they be confused or angry? Will they be happy for me? Breaking the news that you are considering entering the seminary can be really hard at first, but the most important thing to remember is always be yourself. Your friends and family will eventually realize they only want you to be happy. By following God’s will for your life, you will begin to live out a deeper joy that goes beyond mere superficial happiness, and everyone around you will begin to notice this about you!

Resources and More

Book Recommendations

To Save a Thousand Souls  –  Fr. Brett Brannen

The Shadow of His Wings  –  Fr. Gereon Goldmann

Priests for the Third Millennium  –  Timothy Cardinal Dolan

The Priest is Not His Own  –  Archbishop Fulton Sheen

The Joy of Priesthood  – Msgr. Steve Rosetti

The Courage to be Chaste  – Fr. Benedict Groeschel

Any Biography or Work on the Lives of the Saints

Your Son Wants to Be a Priest!

Resources for Parents

“Parents, give thanks to the Lord if He has called one of your children to the consecrated life. It is to be a great honor, as it always has been, that the Lord should look upon a family and choose to invite one of its members to set out on the path of the evangelical counseled? Cherish the desire to give the Lord one of your children so that God’s love can spread in the world What fruit of conjugal love could be more beautiful than this?

 

“We must remember that if parents do not live the values of the Gospel, the young man or woman will find it very difficult to discern the calling, to understand the need for the sacrifices which must be faced, and to appreciate the beauty of the goal to be achieved. For it is in the family that young people have their first experience of Gospel values and of the love which gives itself to God and to others. They also need to be trained in responsible use of their own freedom, so that they will be prepared to live, as their vocation demands, in accordance with the loftiest spiritual realities.”  – Pope John Paul II, Vita Consecrata

A Guide for Parents

Common Myths

He's too young...

Many parents, when their young son expresses an interest in seminary, will dispense well-meaning advice: “Get some life experience first—and at least a college degree—then think about seminary later.” Mom and dad envision that with a nice girlfriend and a good job, the idea of priesthood will fade away.

 

The problem is, they may be right. That’s why it’s crucial that when God moves the heart of a young man to explore the priesthood, parents should trust God that the timing may be right. True, in some cases an 18-year-old may not be mature enough to enter seminary right out of high school. But many are ready. College seminaries are places of joy, camaraderie, and deep spiritual growth. Even if your son goes to college seminary and eventually discerns he is not called to priesthood, don’t think he’ll have to “make up for lost time.” Thousands of former seminarians look back on their seminary days with great affection and gratitude!

He'll be so lonely...

This is an easy myth to dispel. Priests are surrounded by people! After all, their job is to bring Jesus to people and people to Jesus. They are continually working with parish staff, youth, and a myriad of people who come to them for spiritual advice. Seminaries today are very deliberate in teaching men how to form good, healthy relationships with people in their parishes and the priests of their dioceses. Sure, there can be lonely moments—but the same is true in any vocation, marriage included. Most priests have healthy friendships with brother priests, lay people, and family that keep them grounded and connected.

Celibacy is impossible...

For couples who enjoy a healthy sexual relationship, it can be difficult to image their son choosing “life without a wife.” Society would have us believe that celibacy is impossible, or at the very least, unreasonable. The truth is that sexual love is indeed one of God’s greatest natural gifts, but that thousands of saints have experienced tremendous joy living the supernatural vocation of celibacy. Today’s seminaries offer superb formation in how to live celibately with peace and joy.

I won't have grandchildren...

When a mother of a priest was asked at her only child’s ordination if she was sad she would never have grandchildren, she responded, “It’s not about me.” She was simply grateful that her son had found God’s will for his life. Many parents of priests are surprised to find that they gain “spiritual grandchildren”—thousands of people whose lives have been profoundly influenced by their son’s priesthood. There is a special joy in meeting people who exclaim, “You’re Fr. Jacob’s mother? He’s such a great priest!”

I'll lose my son...

Some parents think that if their son becomes a priest, they’ll never see him. One young priest laughed at this idea. “When Thanksgiving rolls around and my brothers and sisters are busy with their children and in-laws, guess what? As a priest, I don’t have any of those ties. It’s me carving the turkey with mom and dad!” His point is that diocesan priests are able to spend a healthy amount of time with family.  If the priest’s assignment is far from home, in the Internet age, social media and Skype make it easy to keep in touch.

He'll be unhappy...

This is the “umbrella fear” that encompasses all the others. It’s also the easiest to dismiss, because the facts prove otherwise. A number of studies about happiness invariably find one profession ranked number one: clergy. There is even a recent book, based on a very large study, titled “Why Priests Are Happy.” The author, Msgr. Stephen Rosetti, finds that 92% of priests report being happy, and that the key factor in this happiness is an “inner peace.”