David Tremaine writes for the Diocese of San Diego’s weblog, Where SunDays Are Better than Others, about his decision to remain a layman after completing his seminary studies:
This question persisted, “Do I need to be ordained to fulfill my vocation?” As a lay person, I could preach, teach, work in the church, work with people—I could even get a doctorate if I wanted to. The answer, at every turn, seemed to be, no, I didn’t need to be ordained. Now, don’t get me wrong, being a priest is pretty much the easiest way to do these things, but again, that still sounds like a “why not?” kind of answer instead of a why. I knew if I left the process, that doing all these things to fulfill my vocation would be harder. It would be more of an uphill battle. There would be less institutional support, and that has been true. But I have also found that the decision that seems the most like a total formless void of mystery, the one that feels least safe and least secure, is always the one God is calling us to. I officially left the discernment process and graduated from seminary in May 2016. I moved to San Diego in June with no job lined up, no prospects and no idea what I was going to do next. But I knew, amidst all the anxiety of that last semester and moving, that I had made the right decision.