Vocation.com - Home

Q & A with Father Anthony



   Give the Gift of Discernment

     All Contributions are Tax 

I am an only child, can I help my parents and be a priest too?

Alfred asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

I am the only child in the family, and yet I have a strong desire to become a priest. Now, I am studying in the seminary, first year philosophy. I tend to think the fate of my family in the future, who will come to my parents' aid? What is the concrete solution on this problem? Thank you, Father.

Dear Alfred,

The answer depends in part on what country you are from, the social conditions and support offered there to the elderly, and what type of a priest you will become - religious or diocesan. Generally speaking, a diocesan priest, since he lives and serves in or near his home diocese, can be in frequent contact and support in some way his parents in their old age. A religious priest is more likely to be far away, and without personal resources to help at all. However, more and more frequently nowadays insurance, health care programs, pensions and different forms of social security makes the support of children for their parents less necessary than in the past.

Of course, the above focuses only on material help; there remains the other factor, no less important, of the moral support and comfort that the elderly need. This varies from case to case: there are many heroic parents for whom the prayers and vocation of their son is the greatest consolation, even if he is physically far away and not able to visit frequently (or at all, in some cases), and they would be disturbed if they felt they were taking their son away from the people he serves; and there are others for whom their own family members (family of origin, and nieces and nephews) are a great support, and it would be impossible to give proper consideration to many other possible situations that might arise. However, I hope these brief reflections are of some help.

Father Bannon signature
Please click to rate this item:
Average 5 out of 5