Tuesday, 8 March 2011

K/W Seminarian

I've just been going through my stats, and I found someone back in Ontario who found my blog by googling "ex-seminarian what is left to live for".

I have just prayed for whoever wrote that, and I hope other readers will, too. I'm hoping it was just a random google-search, but I'm worried it's not.

If you are an ex-seminarian who is feeling depressed, please telephone somebody now. Many, many men leave the seminary. Some leave sadly, some leave skipping. Leaving the seminary is not the end of anything except, perhaps, a painful few years. It marks a new start.

I walked away from a full fellowship to a PhD in one of the most famous Catholic theology programs in the USA, and here I am, happy and working away in the field--in a way much different than I ever imagined. Was walking away hard? You better believe it. Was I depressed? Talk to my doctor.

God has a plan for everybody. He has a plan for you. You might not have the slightest idea yet what it is, but He loves and knows you better than you know and love yourself.

If you want, email me. If not, and that was not just a random google search, please call somebody now.

So far my pieces about seminarians (and ex-seminarians) are for girls trying to cope with men who are still unsure if they want to be priests or married men. I am not at all an expert on the pressures of seminary life. There have been, of course, many, many men who married happily after leaving the seminary.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

I was sent home from a vocational discernment program (after two years) and I know a girl who was sent home from a Carmelite monastery after her postulancy. It is really, really hard. You feel like God has rejected you because you weren't good enough for him. I sank into a deep depression for almost a year, and from what I've heard from others, this is not at all uncommon.

I pulled out of it when I finally came to the realization that God had not rejected me, he was speaking through my superiors to show me that it wasn't a good place for me, and that I could be much closer to him in another way of life.

Eight years later, I am SO THANKFUL that I was sent home to discover my true vocation, where I am happier than I've ever been before. I wish it had not taken me so long to realize that God wasn't trying to reject me, but to give me a much better life, one that is totally perfect for me.

I totally understand where that seminarian is coming from, but I hope he takes heart. It does get better.

This is a pretty common problem -- I wonder if you could get an ex-seminarian/novice to guest post about it.