A Catholic mother asks: how can I trust my son will be safe in the seminary?

A Catholic mother asks: how can I trust my son will be safe in the seminary? September 5, 2019
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I suspect it is a question a lot of parents are asking these days.

From Colleen Duggan in America: 

Every summer, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, where I reside and attend church, offers a Quo Vadis (“Where are you going?” in Latin) discernment retreat. High school boys gather at a local Catholic college with seminarians, priests and others for fellowship, prayer and guided discussions to help young men explore God’s potential call to the priesthood. The four days are filled with opportunities for Mass, adoration, Liturgy of the Hours and confession. During recreational time, the boys along with the seminarians and priests play sports, hike, talk and eat good food.

I have six children, three of them boys, and after much prayer and discernment, my husband and I decided not to send our 15-year-old son, who has already said he would consider the beautiful vocation of priesthood, to Quo Vadis this year. My husband and I desire to support and encourage vocations. I come from a family that has produced several, including a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia in Nashville and a diocesan priest. We daily pray for the good clergy who have served our family, and we ask God to send more workers into the vineyard. I recognize the great need in dioceses across the United States for an increase in vocations, especially within my own, where priests are retiring at a faster rate than men are being ordained.

My husband and I are saddened my son missed this unique experience for Catholic high school boys. But after last summer’s revelations of systemic sexual abuse and its cover-up within the highest levels of the church—the McCarrick scandal, followed by the Pennsylvania grand jury report and the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield in West Virginia—I do not feel confident that the bishops can answer the same question they want my son to consider: Quo vadis? Where are you going? And why should we, why should my son, follow you?

Read on. 


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