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Arguing with Mom about priesthood: This time, I got the ‘I told you so’

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Marian Fil | Shutterstock

Brian Schumacher - published on 12/19/23

It should be noted that I am a convert to Catholicism and my parents are not. Though my parents have never been anti-Catholic, there was some concern.
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For the life of me, I can’t remember what I said and I really wish I could. However, even if what I said has escaped my mind for good, what my mother said in response is something I will cherish for life.

There’s a lot of talk about love languages these days, whether it be quality time, or gift giving, what have you. Honestly I don’t know where I stand on all that, but … if my mom and I have a love language, it’s arguing. Mom and I are too similar (even sharing the same birthday) and since the beginning, we’ve been bickering constantly. But laughter is always present throughout. “You’re too skinny,” “yeah, well you’re too fat,” laughter. Even the serious arguments will end with a smile. And of course, neither one of us will ever outgrow, nor fail to relish, the joy of saying, “I told you so.” 

It should be noted that I am a convert to Catholicism and my parents are not. I’m also a seminarian. Though my parents have never been anti-Catholic, when I began to convert to the faith there was some concern. Justifiably so: I was in my 20s and still looking for my life. However, through ongoing, years-long discussion they finally saw where I was coming from and supported my conversion.

When I decided to discern the priesthood, there was the same kind of concern, though a bit mitigated. As a Protestant I had thought about entering the seminary on three different occasions, but I could never pull the trigger. It wasn’t until I became Catholic that I found the priesthood I felt God was calling me to. To them, it made sense that I felt the call. But another years-long conversation began. As you might have guessed, it was about celibacy. Being a good mother, she was concerned I would be too lonely, and that I was running from something.

This ongoing argument finally came to a head the other day during a facetime chat. Although I can’t remember what I said, I know it wasn’t about marriage per se, but something more general. My mom’s response?

 “Wow, Brian, you really shouldn’t get married!”

We both laughed, but it didn’t take away the true impact of the statement. Finally, in her way, Mom saw that celibacy was a life I truly may be called to. It’s not because of fear of being hurt, or fear of commitment, but rather it’s because of who I am.

My response? “See! I told you so …”


This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.

FamilyThe Human Being Fully Alive
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