No one is worthy enough of the gifts and blessings that God bestows on them. But God, in His abounding goodness and limitless love, calls some to lay down their lives so that others may live. We might say with St. Peter, “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man” (Lk 5:8), but Jesus wants us to join Him. We are to trust in His mercy and strive to live out the holiness of the priesthood. We allow the image of Jesus Christ Crucified to be built up in us more and more each day through prayer and through sacrifice.
They have every reason to be happy and bring others to happiness as disciples of the Lord. We possess true happiness only by living out our vocation with fidelity – using the gifts and talents that God has given us to help build up the Kingdom of God.
Absolutely, just like everyone else! Many friendships are formed in the seminary and they become life-long. Many are priests that you meet along the way or religious that we work with in the mission of the Church. A number of priests still keep in touch with their childhood friends and those from high school. Along the way as a priest, friendships also develop with families and parishioners that you come in contact with and serve. You are always a Father to them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go to a baseball game with them and cheer for your favorite team.
It’s actually in canon law (the official law of the Catholic Church) that diocesan priests are to get a vacation. They take their weeks in any number of ways: with family, with a group of priests, or traveling to different parts of the country or the world, for example.
Depending on how close they live, you could see your family each week. Parish priests get a day off each week and many use that opportunity to visit family. For other priests, older or sick parents require that they look after them and their needs, and parish priesthood affords a certain flexibility in this area.
For those whom God is calling to the priesthood, He is giving the grace of celibacy. Like any gift it is not passively received, but is to be actively accepted. The virtue of chastity in the celibate state must be built up. This requires effort and vigilance, but it is not done alone; it is done with the help of God. Jesus answered, “Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it” (Matthew 19:11-12).
That is an awkward position to be in! Whatever the reasons for your family not going to Mass, keep Sundays holy! If you can get a ride with a friend, classmate or neighbor that you and your family trust, perhaps that is the way. One day you might be in walking distance to get to church or have a driver’s license to be able to borrow the family car and drive there. Around Christmas time, children have a way of hounding their parents for all sorts of gifts. Have you ever considered asking persistently (but not in a nagging way) to go to Mass?
You should always be respectful of your parents and you must always be faithful to the Lord. Show your parents God’s love. Stay close to Jesus, and keep the faith and the vocation alive in your heart and mind. On this website, we also offer resources and information designed especially for parents who might wonder what a priestly calling for their son will mean.