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Inspirational Words...
Written by Pope Francis, St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI about the Priesthood

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Diocese of Scranton
Vocations Office

300 Wyoming Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503-1279
Phone: 570-207-1452
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Scranton Vocations Blog

Parents and The Family

The family is the first church that a child encounters. When a child is baptized, the parents and godparents are entrusted with the Christian task of helping him or her to grow to be moral, virtuous human beings who live in the light of Christ.

Some parents are thrilled and very supportive when they discover that their child is trying to discern if he or she is called to Religious Life. Others are wary and fearful. Both reactions are normal and understandable, and clearly every reasonable parent has his or her child's best interests at heart. So what, exactly, is the role of the parent in a child's discernment process?

Parents play a vital role in their child's discernment. Vocations are nurtured in the home with parents establishing an environment conducive to hearing God's call. This means that parents are chiefly responsible for aiding their children in discovering where God is calling them. 

Just as the person doing the discerning must be open, so must the parent.

World Day of Prayer with Parents 2015

How can you be involved?

  • Be Open to the possibility that God may be calling your son to the Priesthood
  • Answer your child's questions about the Priesthood or Religious Life as best as you can, or help your child find the answers that you don't know.
  • Invite a priest you know to dine with your family.
  • Discuss your feelings and reactions to the possibility of your child choosing a religious vocation.

Parents generally just want their children to have happy, fulfilling lives. A big fear that parents have when it comes to speaking to a son about the Priesthood is that the Priesthood will not be a life of fulfillment and happiness. But usually just the opposite is true. In the end, it is your child who must be at peace with his decision, and in order to be at peace, regardless of the decision he makes, he will need your unwavering support.


"If you feel your son is being called to the Priesthood, our best advise is to pray, pray, pray and get him in contact with the Vocation Director. It is a very difficult decision to make and they need all the encouragement they can get from their family and friends."

- Mr. and Mrs. William Kelly, The Parents of Father Gregory W. Kelly



“My initial response to Sean's decision to enter the seminary and study for the Priesthood was a sense of awe--a feeling of something spiritual and much larger than Sean and our family was working inside of him... I was overjoyed! Could this be true that God was inviting Sean to live a life dedicated to him and the church?”

- Mrs. Margaret Carpenter, The Mother of Father Sean Carpenter


- Mr. Jim Carpenter, The Father of Father Sean Carpenter



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