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Parents FAQ


As a parent, if I encourage my child to consider a Church vocation and it eventually doesnt work out, wouldnt it have been better to stay out of things in the first place? Shouldnt parents let children make up their own minds?

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Encouraging a child to consider a vocation to which you believe he/she may actually be called is part of helping them to seek their happiness and fulfillment. True happiness evolves from discovering and embracing God’s will for our lives. While each person needs to make a personal decision to follow God’s call, all of us are influenced by significant people in our lives. We offer others a great gift by supporting them with affirmation, helping them to gather information, and encouraging them to remain open to whatever vocation may be part of God’s plan for them.
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Do priests and sisters remain connected to their families?

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Yes, priests and sisters continue to support and be supported by the members of their families. They visit family members and take part in family celebrations and events. Many families find an even stronger bond with children and siblings who have chosen a Church-related vocation. In a unique way, the parish/community also becomes an extended family for them.
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How can parents talk about Church vocations when what they know about from personal experience is married life?

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Parents can talk to their children about the importance of discovering God’s purpose in their lives. It can be helpful to them to hear how you discovered that you were called to marriage. As Catholics, each of us has a responsibility to learn about each vocation so that we can support others. Parents need to learn about and understand Church vocations as well as marriage. Some resources for doing this are personal contacts with priests and sisters, reading the lives of the Saints, literature about Church vocations, and websites such as this one.
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What if my son/daughter feels called to a Church vocation but feels unworthy?

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No one is truly worthy to serve God in any vocation and each of us brings our humanity with us in responding to God’s call. For those who are truly open to God’s action in their lives, God will work through human weakness and imperfections. St. Paul reminds us, “In weakness, power reaches perfection.”

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What is the role of parents in encouraging vocations?

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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Vocations defined the primary role of parents as providing “authentic witness to the importance of faith, prayer, and service to others.” The first step is to give children an awareness of the nature of vocation – a calling from God. After that, the role of parents is one of inviting children to ask whether God might be calling them to priesthood or other Church ministry.
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With all the recent scandals in the priesthood and the declining number of women in consecrated life, why would I want to encourage my child to consider a Church vocation?

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Every vocation in life is marked by struggles and difficulties but also with rich rewards and blessings. One who is truly called to a vocation of service in the Church as a priest or sister will be blessed abundantly for responding generously: “There is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come” (Mark 10: 29-31).
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Wont my son/daughter be lonely if they follow a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life?

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The reality is that no vocation is without times of loneliness. Even married couples deal with loneliness at times and need to learn how to relate to others in healthy and holy ways. There are many healthy and appropriate ways for priests and sisters to meet their intimacy needs through friendship or community.
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