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
- 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?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- Can I become a bishop or cardinal and not a priest?
- I read stories of religious communities merging or closing down. Are religious organisations dying out?
- If I take a vow of celibacy, will I get very lonely?
- Can a gay man become a priest?
- I do not consider myself to be exceptionally holy, I try to pray every day and follow the commandments. I have always been very interested in the priesthood but I have never felt a burning passion for it. Could I still be called to the priesthood?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- Can I still join the priesthood if I have personal debts?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?