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“Contact the Vocations Office to get as much information about the process as possible,” advised a parent whose son was able to take advantage of live-in seminary weekends, a parent and son dinner with the Bishop, and discernment retreats. This gave their son contact with seminarians and a taste of seminary life.
“Be supportive and encourage him to speak to a spiritual adviser,” remarked one dad looking back over the discernment process for his high-school-aged son. He explained that his son received the call early in his high school years and spoke with a Religious Sister about his possible calling to the priesthood.
“Pray for acceptance of God’s will for your son,” commented a mother of a two (yes two) seminarians. If he is willing to make lifestyle sacrifices to serve God, she said, “then as parents, we are willing to making some sacrifices too.”
“Don’t let money be an obstacle,” commented a parent who was pleased to discover that, in the Columbus Diocese, room and board is provided for seminarians. Tuition assistance is considered on an individual basis.
“If you aren’t comfortable with the idea at first, look at his gifts – and consider how his gifts may be important to serving God as a priest,”recommended a parent who describes the process as “awe-inspiring” as they began to see their son mature as he began exploring this vocation.
“I was pleasantly surprised to find that seminary focuses of entire development of the man—human, spiritual, intellectual, pastoral,” reflected a parent about the mission of the Pontifical College Josephinum and Mount St. Mary’s where seminarians from the Columbus Diocese attend. Seminarian formation reaches far beyond the classroom to help the men develop a deep relationship with Christ, to see Christ working in himself, in the world, and by nurturing a life-long love of service and learning.
“It’s no harder than any other vocation,” reminds another parent. “There can be plenty of challenges and loneliness in married and in single life too.” But by relying on God, the parent continued, we realize that He never gives us more than we can handle.