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Q & A with Father Anthony

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How do I encourage my son to discern his vocation?

Cecilia asks:

Dear Fr. Anthony , My son is a senior in high school and over the years has mentioned the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood. I concur and several others, i.e., family friends, priests, acquaintances, have mentioned it to me in private or to him directly. I have observed him beginning to really struggle with this on and off for the past six months and encouraged him to talk to our parish priest who knows him well. However, he is hesitant to do so. I am having trouble, as his mom, making sense of this. Do you have any advice for me about how I can encourage him?


Dear Cecilia,

I don't find it at all unusual that some young men are reticent to speak about the vocation; the reasons can be many, ranging from his natural temperament to his ambivalence regarding the vocation. It is always a delicate task to attain the proper balance to encourage while respecting the person's "space".

If he is hesitant to speak to his parish priest who knows him well, perhaps he may be more inclined to go on a retreat where is not well known, he might find it less imposing. There are retreats listed on this site, and your diocese or some order he knows may have retreats coming up where he could go and not feel like he is over-committing by doing so.

God bless

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