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Should I become a Priest?

7 Things to think about when considering the priesthood

Have you been wondering "Should I become a priest?" If you’re grappling with this pivotal decision, you're not alone. Here are 7 essential factors to weigh, offering guidance and insight as you navigate this significant crossroad in your life.

1. Spiritual Calling

Spiritual Calling

First and foremost, it's important to spend time discerning your spiritual calling. Reflect on your faith journey and the signs that may be pointing you towards the priesthood. Seeking spiritual guidance from trusted mentors and prayerful reflection can illuminate your path. Ask your local parish priest if they know of a specialized spiritual director or vocation director who can help guide you as you reflect.

2. Embracing Celibacy

Embracing celibacy is a profound commitment that lies at the heart of many religious vocations, particularly within the Catholic Church. It is a calling that invites individuals to dedicate their lives entirely to God and His service, foregoing the intimacy and companionship of marriage in order to fully devote themselves to prayer, ministry, and serving others. In the Catholic tradition, celibacy is not merely a rule or obligation but a sacred gift and a path to deeper spiritual fulfillment.

Celibacy allows individuals to emulate Christ, who lived a celibate life and offered Himself completely to God's will. By following this path, celibate individuals participate in a unique way in the life of Christ, offering themselves as a living sacrifice for the sake of the kingdom. Through celibacy, they are free to love and serve others with undivided hearts, unencumbered by the responsibilities and distractions of family life.

Moreover, celibacy fosters a profound intimacy with God. By renouncing earthly attachments, celibate individuals open themselves to a deeper relationship with the divine, allowing God to fill the void left by human relationships. In this way, celibacy becomes a source of spiritual nourishment, enabling individuals to experience God's love and presence in a profound and transformative way.

Furthermore, celibacy allows individuals to fully commit themselves to their ministry and the needs of the community. Freed from the demands of family life, celibate priests, monks, and religious sisters and brothers can devote themselves wholeheartedly to prayer, pastoral care, and serving the marginalized and vulnerable. In this way, celibacy becomes a powerful expression of selflessness and solidarity, reflecting the love and compassion of Christ for all people.

While embracing celibacy may pose challenges and sacrifices, it ultimately leads to a life of deep joy, fulfillment, and spiritual abundance. Through celibacy, individuals are able to experience a profound union with God, serve others selflessly, and contribute to the building of God's kingdom on earth. In this way, celibacy remains a cherished and indispensable vocation within the Catholic Church, offering a powerful witness to the transformative power of sacrificial love.

3. Formation and Education

Formation and Education

Embark on the journey of formation and education required for priesthood. Embrace the enriching process of intellectual, spiritual, and pastoral formation that will equip you for the challenges and joys ahead.

Specifically, when considering the priesthood, acknowledge that there will be potentially many years of higher education and training required before you are installed in permanent ministry.

For example, the Augustinian Order - a religious order of Brothers and Priests - requires men to go through 9 different steps of formation (read about them at this link) in a process that takes many years to complete.

4. Community and Service

Priesthood is not just an individual vocation; it's a commitment to serving the community. Reflect on your desire to support and guide others, embodying the values of compassion, empathy, and service.

Watch a video about the way Spiritans serve in Chicago.

5. Challenges and Sacrifices

Acknowledge the challenges and sacrifices that come with priesthood. From emotional demands to lifestyle changes, be prepared to navigate the highs and lows with steadfast dedication.

6. Discernment and Support

Engage in discernment with a supportive community. Seek advice from experienced clergy, spiritual directors, and fellow discerners as you navigate the discernment process.

Challenges and Sacrifices

7. God's Will and Peace

Ultimately, trust in God's will for your life. Find peace in surrendering to His plan, knowing that your journey, whether towards priesthood or another path, is guided by divine wisdom.

If you find yourself pondering the question "Should I become a priest?" remember that this journey of discernment is a deeply personal and transformative one. Embrace each step with trust and an open heart, and may your discernment be filled with peace and clarity.

In conclusion, as you embark on this introspective and potentially life-altering journey, remember that discernment is a process that requires patience, prayer, and openness to God's guidance. Whatever path you choose, may it lead you to a place of fulfillment and spiritual growth.


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