Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.

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Posted: May 14 2005 at 6:50pm | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

My 13 yos has indicated an interest in becoming a diocesan priest. He's very shy, but he's mentioned the interest to several people, particularly in the last month or so. He even spoke with the Diocesan Director of Vocations last week. That priest gave him some things to read. I've read them and followed some links. In our diocese, if you think you might want to be a priest before you have an undergraduate degree, you are usually sent to St. Charles Borromeo. I just took a look at the reading list for the Spring semester. I can't imagine Christian ever being academically able to handle that courseload. So...what should I do? He has indicated that he wants to study Latin (which seems totally out of character) so I'm not discounting the work of the Holy Spirit by any means, but I guess my question really is: are all diocesan priests scholars? I"ve met a few who don't seem to be...

Elizabeth Foss is no longer a member of this forum. Discussions now reflect the current management & are not necessarily expressions of her book, *Real Learning*, her current work, or her philosophy. (posted by E. Foss, Jan 2011)
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Posted: May 14 2005 at 7:38pm | IP Logged Quote kingvozzo

What a wonderful opportunity for your family! I will keep him in my prayers---we so need men to answer our Lord's call.
I've been involved in my Archdiocesan (Galveston-Houston) vocations comm. for several years, and something that they have addressed repeatedly is the level of academics required. Certainly, to be a genius is NOT required, but the ability to do college level work is. I always think of St. John Vianney, who barely made it through the seminary, because of the academic load. He is also the patron saint of diocesan priests, I believe.
I hope he continues to be open to the call of the Lord.

Wife to Ed
Mom to 4 great kids and 10 sweet ones in Our Lady's arms
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Posted: May 15 2005 at 5:39am | IP Logged Quote mumofsix

Yes, diocesan priests have to be able to study philosophy and theology at college level.

Age 13 is still very young, and it is too early to predict how he will develop. If he were in school, you could assume he would fail ultimately, because teachers of 30 simply cannot meet the needs of these children. At home it is different. My own son learned to write well only at age 15. Your son has years and years of one to one tutoring ahead of him: he could still do really well. Especially if you and he were willing to extend his high school education at home for an extra year or two.

For Latin, "Latina Christiana" taken very slowly, and perhaps orally only at first, would be a good start. Also, attending a Latin mass (either Novus Ordo or Old Rite, it doesn't matter - from the language learning standpoint! ) would be very useful, and/or getting Julia Fogassy's "Minimum Repertoire of Plain Chant" and learning a few basic Latin prayers off by heart. (Include them in family prayers and it is effortless.)

Finally, for any young man who has a strong sense of religious vocation but finally lacks academic ability, he may be being called to be a lay brother, e.g. in one of the wonderful renewed religious orders such as the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. I have met some of them and they are awesome. Some of our greatest saints have been lay brothers: Saint Joseph Copertino, Saint Martin de Porres ...

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Posted: May 15 2005 at 2:56pm | IP Logged Quote Cindy Mac

Elizabeth -

I don't know the answer to your question, but you can count on me for prayers and any help you might need in the Latin area - I'm didn't get a major in it, but I did study it in college for a semester (for fun) and have always had a love of words. Let me know if I can help you with him.

Cindy - wife to Chris, mommy to my 4 sons!

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Posted: May 15 2005 at 9:04pm | IP Logged Quote MichelleW

My grandmother used to love to tell the story of how her very gregarious, NON-studious, happy-go-lucky, oldest son came to her when he was in high school and told her he wanted to be a priest. She laughed and insisted that he finish high school because she never thought he was serious. He was. He finished high school, went to Cathedral College in New York and became a Maryknoll missionary priest. It really was his true vocation. He loves it and is so obviously called to this. My father was six years younger and fell in love with Maryknoll, their mission and the love they obviously had for God, each other and the world. When my father, a VERY studious, serious boy told her he wanted to be a priest, she cried because she knew he would be a great priest and since she had no other children she knew she would never be a grandma. Obviously she was wrong again. He went to Cathedral College, graduated, and realized that the priesthood was not his vocation.

I believe that Maryknoll is not that far a drive from you. You might consider making the drive or at least contacting them for more info. Your son may be called to the priesthood, but perhaps not to the diocesan priesthood. I know that my uncle, while a true servant of Christ, was never extremely gifted academically. Up until he told his parents he wanted to be a priest, my grandparents figured he would become a carpenter and forego college altogether. The high school he went to I believe was a vocational school, he was certainly not "college" track...
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Posted: May 16 2005 at 1:51pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

I will be praying for Christian, Elizabeth. If he becomes a priest, he certainly is aptly named.

Love, Alice
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Posted: May 17 2005 at 8:52am | IP Logged Quote guitarnan


How lovely that Christian is thinking so carefully about his vocation. I think that the advice you've received thus far is really great. My husband tells me (usually when I am worried about my 13-year-old son!) that he was pretty unfocused until high school, especially about his future, and that he really didn't buckle down and study seriously until later in high school. This is to let you know that boys take a while to get serious about school (I'm sure you know that!) and that you are not the only one to worry about her junior high son...

I'm so thankful that you're sharing all of this with us; it's heartwarming to know that young men are thinking about the priesthood.

Nancy in MD. Mom of ds (24) & dd (18); 31-year Navy wife, move coordinator and keeper of home fires. Writer and dance mom.
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