IS JESUS CALLING YOU TO BE A CATHOLIC PRIEST?
The Call to the priesthood is a great mystery, which comes directly from our Lord and is instilled in the heart of the one called. St. Peter, the great apostle
and first Pope, was certainly surprised at his calling. He felt his unworthiness and fear, which were expressed in the words, "depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man."
Initially, he desired to run from his vocation. Jesus needed to reassure the frightened Peter of His desire to follow Him and so exhorted Peter, "Be not afraid!" Peter must
have received great consolation with these words, for we know he dropped everything to walk with Jesus.
The call to the priesthood today is not that different. Christ continues to call men who are unworthy, often surprised at the growing desire for the priesthood and almost
always frightened at the prospect of leaving everything to folllow Christ. But Christ continues to call men into the priesthood through an experience of consolation and
growing desire. There have been many good materials produced to help a young man learn more about the priesthood and the gift of the call.
Anyone considering a call to the priesthood cannot discover his call alone and would be wise to seek the help of a spiritual guide. If you are in this situation, if you think
Jesus might want you to be a priest but you are not sure and perhaps even afraid, here are 10 main points to consider:
1) You must encounter Christ
2) Learn to desire what God desires for you
3) Trust God
4) It takes time
5) Your peace is found in Jesus
6) Your fear is from the spirit against Christ
7) God's will is found in your will when you are in Christ
8) The will of the spirit against Christ is revealed in fear
9) You must stand firm in faith in what you have received from God
10) Jesus speaks to you through the Church
WHAT TO DO NOW?
1) Go to Holy Mass, if possible, daily Holy Mass
2) The Sacrament of confession
3) Daily prayer
4) Talk to a priest
5) Read the Gospels
6) Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
7) Eucharistic Adoration
8) Live a life of virtue
9) Spritual reading
10) Hang around good people
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What about celibacy? Celibacy is greatly misunderstood by many. Commom misunderstandings:
<> if you have chosen by Jesus to be a celibate priest, then you must understand that celibacy is not about choosing to have a life with less love, rather it is about choosing to have
a life with an abundance of love.
<> Celibacy is not about your choosing to be alone or to give up your bride; rather, it is about receiving the most special bride. The celibate priesthood is not about a life of loneliness.
<> Celibracy is not about not being a father; rather, it is about being most truly a father, like God the Father.
<> Celibacy is not bacherlorhood. It is the life of Jesus. Jesus was celibate. But He was not a bacherlor. He is wed. He has a bride and He generates life.
What if I have made a mistake in my life and feel unworthy?
You are in good company. No one is worthy when it comes to the things of God. We are not worthy to be baptized, to be forgiven, to be married, to receive the Holy Eucharist or even to
pray. So feeling unworthy is a good thing.
How long does it take to become a priest?
It depends on your previous education when you enter the seminary. Some men decide to pursue the priesthood right out of high school and enter college seminary. For them, it would take
a minimum of 8 years: 4 spent studying philosophy and obtaining a college degreee and 4 spent in a major seminary studying theology. For someone who already has a college degree, it
would take six years.
What about my own hobbies and interests?
Every priest is to be a holy and healthy human being! He needs to be healthy--physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. Being healthy is not an option. Part of being a healthy human being
is having hobbies and interests; people without hobbies and interests are either boring or unhealthy or both. So as long as the priest makes it a priority, there is time to exercise, hunting, fishing,
reading, going to movies, golfing, hanging out with friends and other activities. Every priest, without exception, is given one day off a week and a few weeks of vacation every year. He is expected
to use this time to renew himself, so that he can return to his parish ready to serve in the Spirit of Christ. Healthy priests relax by doing the same things that healthy, normal men do.
How much does it cost?
First, the Church does not want a lack of money to keep any man from following God. So, if money is the issue keeping you from entering the seminary, then you need to talk to the vocation
director of your diocese. Having said this, each diocese has a slightly different financial policy.
(Taken from "Is Jesus Caling you to be a Catholic Priest? A helpful Guide--- Produced by the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors--prefaced by the Most Reverend Timothy Dolan)
For additonal information on vocations, please contact the pastor or call the Vocations Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (513)421-3131