I have a girlfriend but I feel called to religious life. If I go into training for the priesthood can I still keep my girlfriend in case it becomes clear that I don’t actually have a vocation?
Although it might be difficult to break up with your girlfriend, the option of holding on to the relationship while trying out religious life is not feasible. Jesus is clear about this when he asks his followers to give up everything first and then follow him. In other words, in order to be fully attached to him and his will for you, you have to become detached from all that stands in the way of your deepest desire to follow Him. Another important consideration here is that it’s just not fair on your girlfriend. Surely no partner in a relationship could be expected to wait patiently while you decide if you are going to stay with her or not.
Most popular questions
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- I feel I have a specific charism to youth outreach. Can I live this charism out as a priest, or must I follow the charism of the order I join?
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- I read stories of religious communities merging or closing down. Are religious organisations dying out?
- Why do we have priests? Can’t lay people do the work of priests?
- What does discernment mean when we’re talking about vocation?
- Are there any books I should read to help me discern my vocation?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- What if as a priest I need to take time out to care for a relative or family member?
- Can I become a bishop or cardinal and not a priest?