Seminarians and dating

I was so guilty that I had no more courage to face him.We met at a time I was so naive and insensitive that I didn't return the attention he gave me.In the seminary, they receive a formation apt to this objective: to discern and nurture their vocations to the priesthood.I always understand this experience as something comparable to that phase in romantic relationships that we call physical attraction and courtship.In my friendships with guys discerning the priesthood, it was always incredibly helpful to keep that analogy in mind: how would I treat this guy friend, who is just a friend, if he had a girlfriend?When one of my guy friends was in a relationship with someone else, I didn’t spend a lot of time with him one-on-one.He also started sending me letters and gifts through his classmates.

It wasn’t weird to ask him how his relationship was going, or to hear him talk about his girlfriend during our conversations.In the eyes of many students, there was no better person to go to for advice than this man who had spend the majority of his life marinating in the wisdom of Scripture.I would have completely agreed with him except for one minor factor: a girl.We had just ended a meeting with the Biblical Studies department on the prospects of doctoral education when a favorite professor of mine walked up to me and dropped this line.This was not just any professor; he was my hermeneutics professor and the residential scholar for all things wisdom literature.A: I’ve been blessed to have had a few friends enter the seminary – some who discerned out and left, some who are in now, and some who made it all the way through and are now known as Father.

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