If I take a vow of celibacy, will I get very lonely?
It is true that the vow of celibacy can make a priest somewhat more vulnerable to loneliness in life. To some extent this is unavoidable for everyone, not just celibates, as ill-health, the death of friends, unresolved conflict, and so on, can affect anyone. Ultimately we all stand alone before God. Job states this well:
‘naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord’.(Job 1:21)
St. Ignatius of Loyola encourages young Jesuits in formation to cultivate chaste love by ‘loving all creatures in God and God in all creatures’. In other words, when you seek God with all your heart, mind and soul, then you will be more inclined to find Him and to love Him in others. This can give a priest a very strong sense of connection.
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?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- What if I change my mind about being a priest during training or things just don’t work out? How do I pick my life back up again?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- Why would anybody become a priest nowadays?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- As a priest, will I get to see and talk with family and friends regularly?
- I read stories of religious communities merging or closing down. Are religious organisations dying out?
- Do religious communities offer a trial period?