My Son, a Priest? - A Vocations 7QT

Friday, April 29, 2016

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes!

So you're going along as a good Catholic parent - educating your kids, caring for their needs, helping them grow in virtue - and then someone goes and asks ,"Do you think one of them will be a priest or nun?" Have you thought about it? How does one support a vocation you have never seen in action up close?

I've got some thoughts on that!


Make friends with some religious!

First things first, see what those in religious life are like!

Invite your pastor over for dinner, join up in a work day at a local convent, volunteer to help out in the rectory. Anything that provides the time and opportunity to see who these people are.

It will be very difficult for you to support your children in, or for the kids to imagine themselves doing, something they have never seen in action.


Get to know them doing fun stuff

Now that you've gotten a bit acquainted, invite some religious to do something that is just fun!

Therese dancing with a Jesuit scholastic.
Guess what? Just because someone has entered the religious life does not mean they have shed all non-praying hobbies and interests.


Stuff I've done just for fun with my friends in religious life!

* Swing Dancing
* Happy Hour
* Broadway Jam Session
* Poker (You gotta watch the retired sisters. They can read EVERYBODY.)
* Hiking
*Giving blood
*Hatch ducks in a stairwell (there's a story there...)
* Lectures of interest
* Parties!


Let the kids get to know religious as someone who will care for them

When Therese got turned around and lost at a bigger parish event, she just kept walking on her little 19 month old legs until she got to the table with the most priests in clerics. 
One of them happened to be the bishop.
She just patted his leg and started chatting away.

She has been around priests so much in her little life that she has learned to associate them as "safe person who will take care of me."

Entering religious life involves learning to trust non-blood family members like family. I am very convinced that this is a skill much more easily learned young. 


Involve the kids in prayer

Prayer is a major part of any religious life, and it is a skill that takes building.

Kids have a surprising adaptability to anything that keeps repeating in their lives. So I've chosen to make the Liturgy of the Hours and the Rosary some of those repeating things.

It will not be pretty and it will not go smoothly (for a while), and that's ok.
Accepting that fact is the real secret to having a prayer life with littles everywhere.


Check your intentions

'I am one of those people who seriously considered entering religious life. I was really bummed when it was clear that was not the state of life God was calling me to lead. I have to be careful and discern to make sure I'm supporting whatever call the kids, or anyone else, is receiving or if I'm projecting what I had hoped for in my own vocation.


Finally, live your married vocation as best you can.

One goal of Catholic parenting is to gift the children with the most positive, yet realistic, portrayal of the various vocations - one of which is marriage.

Marriage is not a lesser vocation than religious life, just a different one, and this is the vocation parents get to personally model.


  1. I love the picture of your priest reading a Darth Vader book to your son! It makes me think of a painting I saw not long ago of Christ holding a little girl and pointing to a butterfly as they laughed about it - not exactly how you think of Christ, but realistically, He loved little children and that's exactly what He would've been doing with them. Great post!

  2. Love this Kirby. I will never forget being 8 and going to a hockey game with our parish priest. At one point he went up to the glass and was cheering like all the rest of the fans. It was the first time a priest seemed like a real person.


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