The Process

by The Vocations Office

The Process

Some are called to be married, some to be religious brothers or sisters, some to be priests, and some to remain single. Here we will explore the process of a man discerning God’s call to the priesthood and being formed in it.

  1. Pray about your vocation. Take any feelings or advice that has led you to consider the priesthood and give them to God, then wait patiently and openly for a response. Realize that everyone has a vocation and if a person is truly open to theirs, God will reveal it to him or her.
  2. Talk to the Diocesan Vocations Director. You can get in touch with the vocations director through your parish or by visiting the diocesan website or looking in your local telephone directory.

    Coming to know what God wants for us takes time. It is a process. Following God is not about a one-time experience. It is about becoming a friend in Christ and friendships take time. In the Gospels, Peter and Andrew, James and John left their nets and immediately followed Christ. While that is true, we must not forget that they had spent three years with Him. Even after spending that much time with Jesus, they still largely did not understand. The same is true for us today. God’s will will become known to us over a period of time.

    Keep in mind that it is important to learn to desire what God desires for you. All you need is to desire whatever God may desire for you. Remaining true to this desire opens your heart to receive what God wants for you. Then, God himself will take care of you.

  3. Go through the application process for the seminary through your diocese or through the religious order. This process usually includes several questions about yourself and your desire to discern the priesthood.
  4. If you’re accepted, go to the seminary. Unless you’re somewhat older, you should expect to spend at least 6-8 years there, depending on how much college experience you have. Typically religious orders have a slightly different formation process, based on their own needs. Check with them about the exact steps they take that lead to ordination.
  5. While you’re there, continue to pray and discern God’s will. Above all, do what your rector, bishop, vocation’s director, or other superiors ask you to do.
  6. Be ordained a transitional deacon, making your promises of celibacy and obedience.
  7. Be ordained a priest.
  8. Continue to grow in holiness.

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