Frequently Asked Questions
“Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church
Report Indicates Accompaniment is Key for Vocational Discernment
According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate’s (CARA) survey of the Ordination Class of 2019, encouragement and accompaniment are key to fostering priestly vocations. Of all responding ordinands, 92% reported being encouraged to consider the priesthood by someone in their life, giving credit to an average of four individuals for influencing their vocation. A majority of respondents (69%) stated that their parish priest was a key figure in their discernment process. Support from friends (43%) and fellow parishioners (39%) also had considerable impact. The ordinands also cited parents, other family members, teachers/catechists, school chaplains and campus/youth ministers as having contributed to their discernment of a priestly vocation. Read more…
Why should I encourage my child to embrace a religious vocation?
We depend upon the presence of medical doctors to be responsive to the needs of our sick relatives, friends and neighbors because they provide critical service to others who would otherwise physically suffer or perhaps die. Doctors are physicians of the body; priests and religious are physicians of the soul. Just at the body experiences ailments and physical challenges through a lifetime, so will a person’s soul encounter spiritual illness and religious challenges. We need physicians of the body for the well-being of our physical lives on earth. We need physicians of the soul for the well-being of our souls destined for eternal life.
Is it fair that I should have to lose my child?
Rather than “losing” your son or daughter when they begin their lives as priests or religious, you in fact, gain many more sons and daughters. Your child’s classmates and community members will welcome you into their company and become a part of your life, just as your family becomes part of the lives of your child’s new community members.
What about financial security?
St. Paul tells us, “If we live, we live to the Lord and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” Romans 14:18). Your child’s commitment to the Lord in religious life may entail challenge for you as you think about retirement, professional aspirations you may harbor for them, hopes for grandchildren, and a financial safety net. Encouraging your child to think prudently about his/her choice is one thing, but to resist it because it is not your will could reflect selfishness. This attitude goes against the trusting faith in God’s will we espouse when we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Fr. Andrew Carl Wisdom, OP).
How can family life foster priestly vocations?
Hear from Fr. Chris Dorsey and his family who supported him along his journey to priesthood.
Prayer for Parents
Dear Heavenly Father,
You have blessed us with children. We sometimes forget that they are not ours but Yours, and that You have asked us to bring them up in Your ways.
O gracious and loving God, we pray that our children will discover and respond enthusiastically to Your desire for them, whether it be to the vocation of single, married, ordained or religious life.
Please help our children to have open hearts and minds to hear Your call. Help us to support and encourage our children to seek Your will in choosing a vocation.
We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus through the power and grace of the Holy Spirit.