Parent to Parent: Advice for Helping Sons Discern the Priesthood

We asked the parents of our college seminarians what advice they would give to other parents whose sons are discerning a vocation to Holy Orders. Here are their responses!

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“Pray hard for your son to make the right decision, and don’t over think it. Trust in the Lord and His plan.”

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“To the mothers: step back one pace from your son, hold your opinions silently, and pray like you have never prayed before. To dads: support, listen, be positive, offer to help put all options on the table and consider them together, be a role model of the exemplary behavior of a Catholic man.”

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“Let it happen! Your son wants to become a Catholic priest, and it is an honor. You should encourage him. Have faith that the rewards in heaven will be astounding.”

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“Pray and offer sacrifices for your son’s openness to God’s will. Pray for wisdom and humility for yourself that you can find the balance between supporting and encouraging him, while at the same time remaining detached from his decision—it must be your son’s decision!”

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“Prayer is essential, especially offering Holy Communion and praying the Rosary so that Our Lady can protect us.”

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“If your son is discerning the priesthood, never deny him your support. Always be supportive and prayerful. Never decide for your son, because the parents aren’t the ones who choose if their sons to go to seminary to study for the priesthood. It is God who chooses certain young men to go, and if your son chooses to go, never deny him trying to follow Gods will.”

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“My advice for parents who have sons discerning the seminary is to encourage them to make the time to go to daily Mass, make holy hours, pray the Divine Office, and attend retreats as often as possible. Start to let them go, as the Blessed Mother had to with her Son. As parents, also attend daily Mass and holy hours as much as possible, and pray a family rosary.”

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“Pray ardently and earnestly to empty yourself of your wants and desires with regard to your son, so that you can clearly hear God’s will in this. Then help your son to do the same.”

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Let us pray for strength and wisdom for all young men being called to the nobility of the priesthood, that they will hear and faithfully respond to God’s will for their lives.


2 Replies to "Parent to Parent: Advice for Helping Sons Discern the Priesthood"

  • Bruce Mlakar
    July 28, 2017 (2:23 pm)
    Reply

    As the father of a Seminarian, I could not agree more with this advice. We didn’t have this wisdom available to us at the time our son was first discerning the Seminary, but we did (and still do) wholeheartedly provide this level of support, example, and prayer. The only thing I will add is that the support goes beyond the college-level; the Seminary is a year-at-a-time discernment for the Seminarian — and I can’t imagine not providing this level of encouragement and support all the way through to Ordination.

    Thank you for putting this perspective out there for parents of perspective Seminarians.

  • Lizbeth
    August 8, 2017 (7:18 pm)
    Reply

    As a mother of a priest, I would say to be joyful that your child has found his true joy. Several things you will “ponder and keep in your heart”, and the lioness in you will be tested. I follow Mary’s example and stand by him every step of his way.


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