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Evan K. wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'll try and keep this as short as possible!

Basically, I'm 18 and will be graduating from high school this June. I'm really not sure what I want to do with my life but over the past several weeks I fell in love with a girl who happens to love me back. The catch is she's 600 miles away but we are sure we love each other and this isn't just a crush.

The problem is lately I have had a strong urge to become a priest. I am baptized but not yet confirmed. I hope to get that done ASAP but this isn't just a career move. I feel strongly drawn to become a parish priest. Normally, I would laugh off the idea because I don't think I'm remotely holy enough and that's what worries me. If I'm feeling this strong urge to become a priest, out of the blue, there must be a reason.

I feel equally drawn to both the priesthood and marriage along with fatherhood. I'm just unsure of what to do. I know I have time to choose but I just don't know how to make the right choice. I know Byzantine priests can be married, as long as they do so before ordination, but I don't want to switch from the Roman Rite of the Church.

Any advice I can get would be greatly appreciated.

At this time, I'm having trouble getting in contact with a priest but I am praying. I could use some feedback though if you have any to offer.

Thank you and God Bless!

Evan

  { What should I do if I feel equally drawn to both the priesthood and married life? }

Mike replied:

Hi Evan,

Thanks for the very good question!

I searched the knowledge base for you and found this web posting that answers most, if not all of your question:

You said:
I'm really not sure what I want to do with my life but over the past several weeks I fell in love with a girl who happens to love me back. The catch is she's 600 miles away but we are sure we love each other and this isn't just a crush.

It was unclear in your original question whether you have met this girl face-to-face. If you ultimately feel called to the married life, this is obviously critical. You would marrying a physical woman to be with you for the rest of your life. You wouldn't be marrying an e-mail dialogue or conversation.

I'm not knowledgeable on Byzantine priests but I do know if they marry before their ordination and their wife passes after their ordination, they would not be able to re-marry.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Eric replied:

Evan —

Falling in love doesn't prove that marriage is your vocation. It proves that you are a healthy man, that's it.

More discernment is needed to determine this. Feelings shouldn't guide us; much less hormones.

Find a spiritual director that will help you work through this.

Eric

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi, Evan —

To be considered for the priesthood you have to be a baptized and confirmed Catholic.

A man who doesn't feel, in some part, called to Marriage would make a poor priest. In order to live celibacy right, it takes a sacrifice. If you wait until you are called only to priesthood and no longer to Marriage you will never be a priest.

I recommend you simply start living your life in preparation for the priesthood giving yourself permission to stop if it is not right.

If it is right, you will just never stop but become a priest.

Fr. Jonathan

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