What advice would you give to a parent who just found out their son is trying to discern if God is calling him to the priesthood?
Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you to fully support your son in his discernment whether he becomes a priest or whatever he is called to do. Do not be afraid if this is their calling, they will blossom into an Outstanding Man!
What would you say to those parents who might strongly oppose their son becoming a priest?
Pray, Pray, Pray for the grace of God to enter into your life so that you may accept your son’s calling and have a deep peace with it. If your child is called to the priesthood they will be very happy and flourish in the seminary. If God is calling your son to the priesthood following this calling is the way that they will feel the happiest and most fulfilled in life.
How has his call affected your family life? How has is impacted your own relationship with Christ and the Church?
Aaron’s call to the seminary has affected our family life by our witnessing his dedication and commitment to his studies, prayer life, and by his example he has encouraged us to try to develop a more complete prayer life. Aaron has inspired us by his faith and trust in the Lord to continue to discern our own vocational call and how the Lord wants us to serve Him. Aaron has been an excellent roll model for his siblings!
When you first learned of your son considering becoming a priest, what were the positive feeling that came from that news?
When we first learned of Aaron wanting to become a priest in grade school our feelings were commitment and dedication to assist Aaron to do what ever we could so Aaron would be properly educated so that he would be academically on track to enter the seminary if he so chose to do so it the future.
What were the things you were concerned about?
We were concerned because of Aaron’s dyslexia, if he would be able to handle the academic rigors of the seminary. We have also been concerned about the stress and pressures that Aaron will have to face when ordained and ministers to three or more parishes.
Have there been any specific issues regarding the Church that have made you worry about your son’s vocation? How have you dealt with those anxieties?
I worry about the sexual abuse allegations and people being prejudice against priest because of it. We have also been concerned about the lack of priest and vocations in the diocese and the impact that it will have on the active priest. We have dealt with these anxieties by praying and giving it back to God and trusting Him. Specifically praying for vocations, and trying to educate, and encouraging others to pray for vocations as well.
How do you answer question about your son and his vocational choice?
Almost all comments are congratulatory. Some people ask about priest and marriage. When asked about priest’s getting married we say that it is the rule that they cannot marry and we do not question it, we just accept it. We also say that if a priest could get married we would not want to be their spouse, or children, because of their evenings meeting schedule, and the higher standard that society would place on the family would be very stressful.