How to respond to your son’s interest in the priesthood
All parents want their children to lead happy, fulfilling lives. And parenting a potential priest is the same as parenting any other child—it requires an openness to God’s will for your child’s life, because happiness come only from following God’s plan.
Unfortunately, in a 2009 survey of recently ordained priests, 60% reported that they experienced some degree of parental opposition when they first announced an interest in the priesthood. The good news is that after several years of seminary and eventual ordination, most parents warm to the idea of having a son as a priest. They see that he is happy and fulfilled in his calling.
So if a young child expresses interest in priesthood of the religious life, rejoice! If you’re excited, don’t push too hard. And if you’re apprehensive, trust in God’s plan. Say to your little boy, “Son, whatever God wants for you, I want for you, too.”
If an older son (in high school or college) wants to be a priest, says Fr. Brett Brannen, author of To Save a Thousand Souls, say this to him: “I love you very much and I am proud of you for even considering priesthood. I will pray for you and support you as you go to the seminary. I will be very proud of you if you become a priest. But I will be equally proud of you if you discern that you must leave the seminary. I will welcome you home and help you in any way I can to find your true vocation. I am just proud that you love Jesus this much and that your faith is this strong.”