Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One man's story: how I became a priest...


_______-Image by Spreadshirt

Catholic News Service (CNS) has begun a series of reflections by priests as the Year for Priests begins. As they are published, I'll link to them here.

Here's a snip from the first CNS installment:
... Originally from Houston, Texas, I grew up a cradle Catholic and am still blessed with a close family that has remained together through the ups and downs. I was the typical rebellious teenager, but always maintained a sense of responsibility — probably because I was too afraid of my father’s dissatisfaction . . . or guilt trip, depending on the episode. In 1993, I attended World Youth Day in Denver and saw the Catholic Church for the first time. That is to say, I saw the “big picture” — a church that was much more than my experience of Sunday Mass. World Youth Day was (and is) big enough for even my imagination, and so the seed of priesthood was planted. I entered the diocesan seminary very young, only to leave a year and a half later. After a few false starts, I finished college and began working in “the real world.” Success came quickly, but my soul paid the price. I spent many years away from God and anything associated with religion.

Failure would later follow, and, for a while, life was very, very hard. I was forced to dig deep within myself in order to move forward and it was then that I found God — waiting. The relationship with God I once cherished had suffered terribly because of my own actions and it would take almost two years to repair it. Of course, God was willing to take me back immediately, but I needed a lot more time to realize who I was and what my life was to be about.

...

(Read the complete story)
-ConcordPastor

5 comments:

Fran said...

Each person's vocation story is fascinating to follow. I think that it is important in reflections such as this priest's to see that the road is not always smooth.

Also, for good or ill (I personally think good), men do not get ordained so young any more. That period of life in the "real world" is important.

That said, if you are ordained, what is more authentic, more real than that?

It may be politically incorrect for me to say so, but it is sad to me that this is reserved for men only at this point in time.

That is my personal opinion and as a result, I will post under my own name today and not my usual blogging identity.

Fran

Brian said...

Dear Fran -

Your point is well taken. I am a candidate in a Permanent Diaconate program. We are a class of 35, all are married with children except one. A deacons experience of family and work is vital to his ministry. And, if a man decides to become a priest later in life, the experience of work and relationships can only be a plus. But - many priests who are ordained young are fine priests - it is a different ball game for each of us.

God bless..

ConcordPastor said...

Welcome, Brian! Be assured of my prayers for you in your discernment and in your formation program.

Anonymous said...

Are woman participants in the Catholic church's deacon ministry?

ConcordPastor said...

I believe you're asking if women may be ordained deacons in the Catholic Church: they cannot.