I’m thinking about becoming a priest, but my family and I do not have the financial resources to pay for my seminary education. What should I do?
First I want to let you know that you are already beginning to respond to God's call just by the fact of considering the priesthood and a life of caring and service to God's people.
Money is an issue that needs to be addressed when considering joining the priesthood or another form of consecrated life, as it is in other areas of life. Formation and academic studies for the priesthood cost money and can't be completely absorbed by a diocese or parish community. Likewise, families and individuals can't always afford the total cost either.
Fortunately there are many benefactors who donate directly to seminaries or make funds available through scholarships or grants. Two Catholic organizations that have generously supported vocations are the Knights of Columbus (contact your local council) and the Laboure Society (www.labourefoundation.org).
And consider some fundraising of your own:
• Take a paying job and save the income for your studies
• Network with priests in your diocese and ask for their assistance
• Seek help from your parish (e.g., fundraising events, donations)
• Publish a request for support within your online social networks
And perhaps most importantly, trust in the Holy Spirit who is not only working within you to respond to God's call but within others, too, who have the ability to help you. Providence provides, as my I.H.M. sisters say. Blessings to you, and be sure to discuss your concerns with a vocation director when you are ready.
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