If you have a child who is discerning religious vocation, this will be of interest to you.
Ed Sousa is the father of Rev. Edward Sousa. I asked this fine dad, former police officer, and fellow blogger what he did to encourage Ed Jr. in pursuit of his noble vocation. His response humbled me.
Thanks so much for writing. In answer to your question let me explain it this way.
Since our son Edward was a young boy he has had a deep devotion to Our Blessed Mother. He would faithfully pray for about a haft hour to an hour to her every day and he still does that now.
My wife Donna and I saw something special in Edward and because of this we would sometimes say to each other that maybe someday God will call him to be a priest. My wife and I, in our prayers would speak to God and we told him that if he wanted for our son to be a priest that it would be fine with us, and we consecrated Edward to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We said to God that he could have him and do with him what he pleased. That his will be done in him.
Then we supported Eddie with our prayers and then we just trusted in the Lord that he would lead him in the right direction in his life. We never told him to be a priest or did we ever ask him if he wanted to be a priest until he was about 26 years old. The only thing his mother said to him was if he ever thought of becoming a priest.
I think that we knew that God was calling him long before he ever realized it. But God had a plan for Eddie and called him when he knew the time was right.