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Q & A with Father Anthony

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Should I leave the seminary to discern my vocation?

Mark asks:

What if I am already a catholic seminarian in seminary, but I have been thinking of either discerning out, or asking my bishop for a semester off to discern properly? I struggle in seminary, so I begin to think about discerning out, but when I do I feel something telling not to. Can you help me? I am lost


Dear Mark,

This is something you need to talk over with your spiritual director. If you don't have one it is urgent you do look for one right away.

Personally,  I think the seminary is precisely the place to discern the vocation, that is one of its purposes. Generally speaking, seminary life makes us face our weaknesses (in study, prayer, communication, community living, personal discipline…) and provides us with the means to progress in all areas of our lives (sacraments, spiritual director, teachers, schedule…). So many things in seminary life make us stop thinking about ourselves and put others (hopefully, God and the needs of souls) more in the center…. And at times our struggles happen precisely because it is hard to take the center off ourselves. But if we can't do that and can't master ourselves we are not really getting ready to be priests.

Of course, there may be some cases in which a person needs to test his vocation and resolve by living in other circumstances, but the best person to help us discern is the spiritual director. He will be able to help you see where the real problems are that you have to face up to, and where is it best to do so. I'll pray for you.

God bless,

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