The Secret Sufferings of Catholic Manhood

So a while back, little-miss-sass Melissa Keating wrote this witty little blog post decrying the “hidden traumas” of Catholic womanhood.

Oh, it’s so hard to be a girl… we wear cardigans and think the sign of peace is hard and blah, blah, stinkin’ blah.

Well, Melissa – the die has been cast. The gauntlet hath been throwneth down. You started it, and I’m going to finish it.

Because, you see, being a Catholic man ain’t always rainbows and butterflies either. So without further ado, I submit for your approval…

The Secret Sufferings of Catholic Manhood.  

1. Not being able to concentrate in prayer…

…because God decided to send his crown of creation to pray her Holy hour at the exact same time, in the exact same pew. Just to test you.

2. Spiritually leading our girlfriends and/or wives, while secretly harboring the fact that we have no freaking idea what we’re doing.

it’s okay, bro. just throw back a bud lite and pray a novena to St. Joseph.

3. Trying to tell your buddies about Jesus, but they’re all just like…


4. Being in your mid-twenties, yet still haunted by the memory of that one time you screwed up serving Mass when you were seven.

who knew ringing those little bells at the wrong moment could cause lifelong trauma?

5. Trying to pull off the whole “holy but still totally a bro” thing… and mostly failing

chicks dig guys who cry at weddings, right?

6. When you’re convinced the priesthood isn’t for you, but random people keep telling you how great of a priest you’d be

“oh, really? i think you’d make a great mute.” (just kidding… kind of).

7. Not realizing that the cute catholic girl you’ve been pursuing is seriously discerning religious life

“oh, you can’t grab coffee saturday because you’re going on a retreat with the dominicans? that’s cool… …how bout tuesday?”

8. When your attempt to literally “be like Jesus” coupled with your naturally competitive disposition makes you lose friends.


9. Realizing that lighting the candles at Mass isn’t actually as cool as you’d imagined

my inner pyro just died a little.

10. When your girlfriend breaks up with you… to join a religious order.

you win this round, Jesus

11. Realizing you’re one of two men to show up to a Catholic event on campus, and it’s more than a little awkward.

…..blessed am i among women…..?

12. You can’t get a date because you still smell like incense from serving Mass last week

“ooh, friday? yeah.. i um… really have to wash my hair… that night…”

13. Your parents’ reaction when you tell them you’re discerning the priesthood

A Bird Bending Its Neck

what they say: “but you’re so intelligent and good-looking!”

what you hear: “you’re gonna be a priest? great – enjoy being stupid and ugly for the rest of your life!”

14. Your friends think you’re strange because when you hear the names “augustine,” “john paul 2,” “joan of arc,” and “pier giorgio frassati,” this is what you imagine:

The Avengers

because aliens riding hoverboards ain’t got nothin on the communion of saints.

15. Trying to make the agonizing decision between diocesan priesthood and religious community

I Don't Know

“hmmm… do i want to own a car, or look like gandalf? man, discernment is hard…”

16. You love Jesus; therefore 95% of women put you in the “friend zone”

Brother in Christ Zoned

worst. thing. ever.

17. The constant social pressure to tolerate everything and check your religious convictions at the door

Not That There's Anything Wrong with That

“you just pushed an old woman with a walker out of the way to escape a kitchen fire? that’s cool bro, no judgment here!

18. Feeling super awkward when the Church says stuff like, “we’re the bride of Christ”

Justin Timberlake Awkward

being theologically true doesn’t make it any less awkward. yeah, don’t even think about doing ignatian meditation with song of songs.

19. Losing your best bud to a cloistered religious order

Ron Weasley Sad

you: “it’s not ‘goodbye,’ it’s just ‘so long for now.’… right?”

friend: “uhh… i’m not sure if you really get how this works…”

20. People assuming that the knights of columbus is either something out of medieval times or a fried chicken chain

Monty Pyton Teasing

“thank you for calling KofC……………… no, k OF c, not KFC…………. aw forget it, how can i help you? …great, would you like mashed potatoes or mac ’n cheese with your tootsie roll?”

21. That awkward moment when you accidentally ‘speak catholic’ in front of your non-catholic bros

Two Confused Kids

“…hey guys, i’ve prudently discerned that we should no longer drink miller light. err…..guys?”

22. When our attempts to be chivalrous are met with anger and rage from the fairer sex

Strong Girl

“no, of course i know you are capable of opening the door for yourself, i just thought… hey, ow! stop that!”

23. Feeling like this every time your buddies make a derogatory remark about the pope/bishops/church hierarchy

Angry Wrestler


24. Having to break the news to your girlfriend that you’re joining the seminary

Confused Girl Saying "What"?

it’s not you, it’s…. well, actually, it’s not really me either. it’s kind of like, erm… gotta go! *runs away*

25. The terrifying moment you realize you’re called to the priesthood

Scared Kevin from Home Alone


Luckily for us, Jesus came to redeem suffering. And in doing so, He actually made it pretty darn awesome to be a Catholic man. Because there are some sweet perks, too:

1. Getting to give bro hugs/handshakes during the sign of peace

LeBron and Carmelo

love you man.

2. The true joy that comes from sharing Jesus Christ with other men

Happy Chris Pratt

what’s that you say? you’re tired of living for yourself and want to become a disciple of Christ? and you wanna follow him together? let’s do this thing.

3. The opportunity to serve our sisters in Christ…

Oprah saying "I will not accept that."

…and the way they call us to a higher standard of manliness.

4. And last but not least, aspiring to be catholic super-dads…

Acrobatic Girl on the Beach

…all the while knowing that we, too, have a Father who loves us as his beloved sons.

Daniel Paris
Daniel Paris
Daniel is a ninth-year missionary with FOCUS, having served two years on campuses on the east coast and seven years in the national Formation department. Daniel and his wife Allison have been incredibly blessed and are thrilled to be newly married and on mission together.

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