A Priest in the Family: A Guide for Parents Whose Sons Are Considering Priesthood, by Fr. Brett Brannen
“My son, a priest!? Won’t he be lonely? What about celibacy? Isn’t he too young? I just want him to be happy!”
These and dozens of other questions and concerns are common among parents of would-be priests. With his gift for storytelling and down-to-earth wisdom, Fr. Brett Brannen addresses a wide range of issues in A Priest in the Family: A Guide for Parents Whose Sons are Considering Priesthood.
Like his previous book, To Save a Thousand Souls, Fr. Brannen’s new book for parents is filled with humor, anecdotes, and dramatic stories from his own life as a priest. In twelve short, easy-to-read chapters, he explains priesthood, seminary, celibacy, and how a man discerns his vocation—all while keeping in mind parents’ legitimate concerns.
Readers have praised A Priest in the Family as an entertaining read that manages to allay parents’ fears and show them how to support their son, while offering a few laughs and a dose of inspiration along the way.
“A Priest in the Family does a great job of laying out the important facts, issues, and questions for parents of candidates for the priesthood. I highly recommend it.”
Fr. Richard Gabuzda, Executive Director of The Institute for Priestly Formation
“As a priest who frequently works with the parents of seminarians, I found A Priest in the Family to be very helpful and enjoyable. The content and tone is consistent Fr. Brannen’s previous book, To Save a Thousand Souls: poignant anecdotes, intriguing case studies, clear explanation of a priest’s life and spirituality, fascinating stories of saints, and all-around solid guidance. It’s a very commendable work from a priest with much experience and expertise.”
Rev. Paul C. Hoesing, President of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors
“Father Brannen’s book provides thoughtful but practical answers to questions that any parent would have regarding the seminary and the formation of priests. The reflections of the saints, popes, authors, spiritual writers and the parents of priests will inspire parents as they help to guide their own son on his vocation journey.”
Most Rev. Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv., Bishop of Savannah
“As the parents of a priest who has recently become a bishop, my husband and I loved A Priest in the Family. It is a great read and will be a real asset to parents who want to more fully understand their son’s vocation. There is nothing better than having a priest in the family. We love having a priest-son, and this book explains why it’s such an honor!”
Judy Cozzens, mother of Bishop Andrew Cozzens
“I’ve been working with seminarians for 36 years, and A Priest in the Family addresses exactly what parents are dealing with. I loved the book. I ordered one for the parents of every one of my seminarians.”
Fr. Jim Swift, Rector of Holy Trinity Seminary, Dallas
“Fr. Brannen clearly has a gift for writing about God’s call to the priesthood. He is able to anticipate parents’ concerns, then explain with clarity and joy what priesthood is all about. This is an amazingly thorough volume, answering nearly every question I ever heard a parent ask. When you come to the last page, I think you will be much more peaceful, and dare I say excited, about the prospect of having a priest in the family.”
From the Foreword by Mrs. Rosemary Sullivan, Executive Director of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors
“One of the most common misconceptions of a young man thinking about the Catholic priesthood is that he will be preparing for a life of loneliness and unhappiness. This misconception is shared by friends, but also family members, most especially parents. I believe these kinds of thoughts will quickly become a thing of the past for readers of Fr. Brett Brannen’s excellent resource, A Priest in the Family. Not only does Fr. Brannen help to clarify the basic questions about seminary, application, and how to support a young man who is discerning, but he also gives every parent the opportunity to dispel fiction with fact. I recommend this concise and very practical book to anyone who would like to better appreciate the priesthood and find peace when the Lord calls a young man to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.”
Fr. Tim Birney, Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of Detroit
“This thoroughly enjoyable book will be a great tool for vocation directors and a very helpful resource for families and catechists. From his vast experience, Fr. Brannen offers practical answers to common questions. It has been my universal experience that having a priest in the family is always a blessing to all whose hearts are open to receive this gift. In the words of the great St. John Paul II, ‘Be not afraid!'”
Msgr. David L. Toups, Rector/President of St. Vincent dePaul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach, Florida
CHAPTER 1: “Mom and Dad, I Have Great News!”
CHAPTER 2: Why Would Anyone Want to Be a Priest?
CHAPTER 3: What Exactly Does a Priest Do?
CHAPTER 4: Left Mending the Nets
CHAPTER 5: Parents’ Ten Most Common Objections to Priesthood
CHAPTER 6: Is My Son Too Young?
CHAPTER 7: Applying to Seminary
CHAPTER 8: What is Seminary Like?
CHAPTER 9: Who is Paying for All of This?
CHAPTER 10: Other Frequently Asked Questions
CHAPTER 11: How to Support Your Seminarian Son
CHAPTER 12: My Priest Son, God’s Will be Done
Fr. Brannen was ordained in 1991 for the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, and served as Vocation Director beginning in 1993. During his tenure, the number of seminarians dramatically expanded from 5 to 28 men. By 2007, Savannah caught the attention of the national press as it ordained the second-highest number of priests per capita of any diocese in the country.
He has given over 70 parish missions and retreats to seminarians, priests, and religious orders. Fr. Brannen’s previous book, To Save a Thousand Souls, has become the go-to resource for men discerning a vocation to the Catholic priesthood.
He is currently the pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Savannah, Georgia.