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Parents Against Religious Life


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Do any of you have experience with that?

 

For those of you who are minors I imagine it might have to do more with encouraging you not to be hasty.  I don't really know though.

 

My situation is a little different.  My parents are not Catholic, and I wasn't taught much about Catholicism growing up, but I didn't realize that they were, in a way, anti-Catholic until my conversion and especially when any mention is made of religious life, even hypothetically.

 

I haven't discussed it much with them but I mentioned I was thinking about religious life as a possibility.  They said then that priestly celibacy and monastic celibacy were man-made inventions and definitely not of God.  I understand that they desire me to have a wife and children of my own, but I can only imagine their opposition will increase the more seriously I undertake discernment.  (it doesn't help that my dad is theologically very opposed to the sacerdotal priesthood.)

 

I am an adult who will make my own decisions but it is going to be painful like this.  I will continue to pray for their conversion though.

 

Any similar/different stories?

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I met Sr. Mary Isabel before she entered, and she was a lovely lady.   She is still at the Menlo Park monastery....   and she was one of the temporarily professed Sisters in Formation who attended

An Austrian Abbess told me: Her father was against her entering a convent and was absolutely not happy about it. However he was a religious man. Somebody told him: On your deathbed you will be gratefu

It is more and more that parents are against children's religious life.I know that parents want the best for their children but some of the do not quite understand what this relay mean. They are kind

Praise God if you are discerning the priesthood!! that is a great blessing and a great joy!!! Deo gratias!!!!

 

may i suggest ICKSP or FSSP.

 

p.s pray for your family. when i was a kid and i converted, they stopped speaking to me. i prayed for them and they all converted, i was their sponsor in RCIA. do not underestimate grace.

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Praise God if you are discerning the priesthood!! that is a great blessing and a great joy!!! Deo gratias!!!!

may i suggest ICKSP or FSSP.

p.s pray for your family. when i was a kid and i converted, they stopped speaking to me. i prayed for them and they all converted, i was their sponsor in RCIA. do not underestimate grace.

Well as of the moment it's more of a discernment oriented towards the evangelical counsels but the religious priesthood is certainly not out of the question.

That's wonderful to hear and very encouraging to me to hear about your family's conversion. Jesus is good. Edited by chrysostom
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Well as of the moment it's more of a discernment oriented towards the evangelical counsels but the religious priesthood is certainly not out of the question.

That's wonderful to hear and very encouraging to me to hear about your family's conversion. Jesus is good.

 

 

they are not religious orders!

 

but anyway whenever your mom says those things, remmeber there are whole convents of nuns praying for priestss (including future priests) as well as many of us who are rejoicing whn young man decides to enter seminary.

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Chrysostom you pretty much descibed my parent's reaction to me converting and discerning. Its very hard to have your parents against you discerning. There have been many tears and a few very nasty fights between my parents and I. It sounds like you aren't living with your parents at the moment and I think that helps.
I would caution you about talking to your parents before you have some solid answers yourself. I didn't have solid answers and it just turned into a big mess. I definitely wouldn't go to the opposite extreme and not tell them anything until the day you enter. They will need time to process your decision and if you have entered and have limited communication that will make it harder for them.
Pray for them and love them.
I will be praying for you.

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ChristinaTherese

My parents aren't exactly excited that my brother and I (their only two children, other than our adopted sister who they aren't exactly proud of) are Catholic. They've gotten more okay with it, I think, but we had a lot of confrontation at first. They don't know too much about my discernment, but they do know that I'm discerning. I don't really talk to them very much about it though, because I don't have anything major to say. But I'm a little nervous of what they're going to do/think/etc. if my brother and I both enter religious life....

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My parents have been quite supportive and have really fostered my vocation, though my mother is somewhat more apprehensive than my father. Dad's a lot more open to talking about it with me and much more clear with his emotions, even his tears, while Mum is much more reserved. When I discussed with them the opportunity I have to enter this year, she was quite reluctant in giving support and her main response was really along the lines of, "Well, if it's really what you want to do, and if you're sure, then do it." From what I can see, she seems to be of the view that once I enter the convent I'll be giving up my skills (I'm blessed to be a fairly skilled writer, and I think she has a dream of me writing books or papers, or being an academic). I've tried to reassure her that me stopping writing won't necessarily happen; I'd like to write, and have talked about the possibility of writing a book or contributing to academia with the Sisters to try and allay my mother's concerns, but I think there will always be a kind of uneasiness there for her.

 

I am my parents' first child and quite close to both of them, so I think this makes it difficult for them in a way. Plus, they're quite protective, and I think it's hard that religious life isn't really a journey they can guide me through or accompany me along. They really do need to let me go in a way. I'm praying that they, and my siblings and friends too, are able to experience the peace and acceptance needed to do this.

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Catherine Therese

I couldn't help but think that the header of this thread sounded rather like the name of a fringe-dwelling political party ;)

 

Jokes aside, prayers for all of you who struggle in the face of unsupportive (or even hostile) family responses to your calling. 

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I couldn't help but think that the header of this thread sounded rather like the name of a fringe-dwelling political party ;)

 

For some reason I can't prop you, but I loved this. :hehe2:

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i can understand the difficulty one would have trying to enter into the priesthood or any religious life an having an unsupportive family, if anything I would find it sad, but I wouldn't let it get in my way, that would be like a similar story of a unsupportive family towards a child or other member marrying someone they do not approve of, for no good reason. They are not the ones marrying the person, all that family is doing is making the relations hard on that family member and that potential spouse and it may lead to eventually a break of ties if it gets worse. I suppose the same could happen for an unsupportive parent(S) they are risking alienating themselves from a child because he or she chooses or is called to a religious life.

 

In the end it isn't the rejection of ones family one has to worry about, it is the very real and possibly rejection from a Bishop, or religious order one should really be considering and how he or she is going to handle it if it does come up.

 

And I would imagine one would be extremely sick to ones stomach if one had an unsupportive family and got a double whammy by being rejected to the order or priesthood.

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My family is not very supportive. :( I get everything from blank looks to stony silence to these smiles that seem to say, "She's day-dreaming again."

Maybe it will change some once I'm further down the road with discernment, then again maybe not. I'm just not letting any of this figure into what I'm doing right now. I do have support from my SD & a few friends & the phatmassers here which is good. :)

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 I have no experience with this, but I do have reactions....

 

The entire maturation process is one of detaching from one's parents and developing one's own independence. Now that doesn't have to mean becoming completely out of touch with them, it just means taking more and more responsibility for oneself. First they let you pick your own clothing combinations - tasteful or otherwise - then they let you choose where you'll ride your bike, up through negotiating your college, letting you pick your major, what job you'll take when you graduate, who you'll marry, where you'll live, and how you'll raise your children.

 

But parents are quite various. I've known some that thought the child they produced was, in fact, some sort of programmable machine, and they could dictate which college Sonny will go to (Dad's), what he'd major in (business), that he'd take over the family business, who he'd marry (the partner's daughter), and so forth. I assume yours are not that controlling.

 

I do think it would be harder for parents to accept a change in religion, especially if they're committed to their church, so I've got some empathy for your folks. I'm not saying they're right, but I can understand their reluctance. 

 

Two practical pieces of advice: 

1. In terms of the sacerdotal priesthood not being from God - The priest acts in persona Christi, and Christi never married. 

2. If you're in contact with any particular order or monastery, ask them about current members who are converts. Maybe you can talk to some of them. I have a buddy in the Benedictines, and something like 6 of the 30 monks in his monastery are converts.

 

You're on the refrigerator prayer list until further notice. I've assigned you to St. Philippine Duchesne, whose father was completely opposed to her taking up religious life. But he came around before he died.  

 

 

 

 

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 I have no experience with this, but I do have reactions....

 

The entire maturation process is one of detaching from one's parents and developing one's own independence. Now that doesn't have to mean becoming completely out of touch with them, it just means taking more and more responsibility for oneself. First they let you pick your own clothing combinations - tasteful or otherwise - then they let you choose where you'll ride your bike, up through negotiating your college, letting you pick your major, what job you'll take when you graduate, who you'll marry, where you'll live, and how you'll raise your children.

 

But parents are quite various. I've known some that thought the child they produced was, in fact, some sort of programmable machine, and they could dictate which college Sonny will go to (Dad's), what he'd major in (business), that he'd take over the family business, who he'd marry (the partner's daughter), and so forth. I assume yours are not that controlling.

 

I do think it would be harder for parents to accept a change in religion, especially if they're committed to their church, so I've got some empathy for your folks. I'm not saying they're right, but I can understand their reluctance. 

 

Two practical pieces of advice: 

1. In terms of the sacerdotal priesthood not being from God - The priest acts in persona Christi, and Christi never married. 

2. If you're in contact with any particular order or monastery, ask them about current members who are converts. Maybe you can talk to some of them. I have a buddy in the Benedictines, and something like 6 of the 30 monks in his monastery are converts.

 

You're on the refrigerator prayer list until further notice. I've assigned you to St. Philippine Duchesne, whose father was completely opposed to her taking up religious life. But he came around before he died.  

 

Thank you for the advice and for the prayers, that means a lot to me.  I did not know about St. Philippine until now but I'll certainly give her a shout!  :D

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The brief summary below is taken from the Vatican web site, but it doesn't mention her father's opposition. A very good biography is:

Callan, Mother Louise, RSCJ. Philippine Duchesne: Pioneer Missionary of the Sacred Heart 1769-1852. Originally published by Newman Press in 1957 or so. Any Catholic college/university would have it in its library. 

 

Rose-Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852) 
religious, of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 

 photo

  


ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE Was born August 29, 1769 in Grenoble, France. She was baptized in the Church of St. Louis and received the name of Philip, the apostle, and Rose of Lima, first saint of the new continent. She was educated at the Convent of the Visitation of Ste. Marie d'en Haut, then, drawn to the contemplative life, she became a novice there when she was 18 years old.

At the time of the Revolution in France, the community was dispersed and Philippine returned to her family home, spending her time nursing prisoners and helping others who suffered. After the Concordat of 1801, she tried with some companions to reconstruct the monastery of Ste. Marie but without success.

 

In 1804, Philippine learned of a new congregation, the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and offered herself and the monastery to the Foundress, Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat. Mother Barat visited Ste. Marie in 1804 and received Philippine and several companions as novices in the Society.

 

Even as Philippine's desire deepened for the contemplative life, so too her call to the missions became more urgent - a call she had heard since her youth. In a letter she wrote to Mother Barat, she confided a spiritual experience she had had during a night of adoration before the Eucharist on Holy Thursday: "I spent the entire night in the new World ... carrying the Blessed Sacrament to all parts of the land ... I had all my sacrifices to offer: a mother, sisters, family, my mountain! When you say to me 'now I send you', I will respond quickly 'I go"'. She waited, however, another 12 years.

 

In 1818 Philippine's dream was realized. She was sent to respond to the bishop of the Louisiana t

territory, who was looking for a congregation of educators to help him evangelize the Indian and French children of his diocese. At St. Charles, near St. Louis, Missouri, she founded the first house of the Society outside France. It was in a log cabin - and with it came all the austerities of frontier life: extreme cold, hard work, lack of funds. She also had difficulty learning English. Communication at best was slow; news often did not arrive from her beloved France. She struggled to remain closely united with the Society in France.

 

Philippine and four other Religious of the Sacred Heart forged ahead. In 1818 she opened the first free school west of the Mississippi. By 1828 she had founded six houses. These schools were for the young women of Missouri and Louisiana. She loved and served them well, but always in her heart she yearned to serve the American Indians. When she was 72 and no longer superior, a school for the Potawatomi was opened at Sugar Creek, Kansas. Though many thought Philippine was too sick to go, the Jesuit head of the mission insisted: "She must come; she may not be able to do much work, but she will assure success to the mission by praying for us. Her very presence will draw down all manner of heavenly favors on the work".

 

She was with the Potawatomi but a year; however, her pioneer courage did not weaken, and her long hours of contemplation impelled the Indians to name her, Quah-kah-ka-num-ad,
"Woman-Who-Prays-Always". But Philippine's health could not sustain the regime of village life. In July 1842, she returned to St. Charles, although her heart never lost its desire for the missions: "I feel the same longing for the Rocky Mountain missions and any others like them, that I experienced in France when I first begged to come to America...".

 

Philippine died at St. Charles, Missouri, November 18, 1852 at the age of 83.
 

 

 

Edited by Luigi
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