To be considered eligible for the priesthood, one must:
- Have received the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation
- Be able to testify that he is not married or, if he is married, that he has the approval of the Holy See
- Disclose the necessary information regarding a declaration of nullity, if he has received one
- Not be responsible for a minor
- Have waited a suitable period of time before pursuing priestly formation if he is a recent convert or revert to the Church
Holiness is to walk with God in prayer – taking small steps in sacrifice and service to grow closer to him – this is what “sets us apart” (HB qadash) from the world. We do not go to Confession or Mass because we are holy, but because we lack holiness (even priests go to Confession regularly). If God is calling you to the priesthood, this is your path to holiness.
Peace and joy are the fruits of the soul that follows God. God created you for a purpose, and He knows us better than we know ourselves. For this reason, understanding God and yourself lies at the heart of discernment.
Loneliness is a universal human condition. It is unique to each individual. Every person will experience loneliness if they do not turn their heart to Jesus. The heart in union with God is the heart that is never alone. Priests experience a great deal of fellowship in priest groups and inside the parish community. A priest has many spiritual children to keep him company.
Do you have fun? Priests are ordinary people who do everyday things. Pending likes and dislikes – priests mountain bike, ski, hunt, play basketball, enjoy a good board game, and some even go skydiving.
No, if you are in the seminary, it is tantamount to going steady. If you have already received the rite of candidacy, it is tantamount to being engaged. Do you discern marriage with one girl by dating other girls? Seminary is a time of deepening your prayer life and being committed to Jesus as the answer to every question of your heart.
A diocesan priest dedicates his life to the service of Christ and the people of God within a specific diocese, in a particular Church. In addition to preaching the Word of God and celebrating the sacraments, he must also commit himself to the daily discipline of personal prayer. He promises to respect and be obedient to his bishop and live a chaste, celibate life. Most serve in parish ministry, but some may also be assigned to a unique full-time ministry.
At the center of each day for a priest is devotional prayer, the celebration of Mass, and preaching the gospel. A priest’s duties also include the day-to-day operations of a parish, hearing confessions, and leading people to the heart of God. Other life-giving ministries include: the celebration of baptisms, preparing couples for the sacrament of marriage, visiting hospitals and anointing the sick, and celebrating funerals and burying the dead.
A religious priest is a member of a religious congregation whose ministry goes beyond the geographic limits of any diocese and often into other countries. A religious priest vows to live a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience within a community of men. The community shares a common vision and spirituality that often emphasizes a particular type of ministry.
This varies pending on the vision and spirituality that is emphasized by the founder’s charism. For example, if you are a Dominican, your vocation will likely be tied to education and/or preaching as its founder Saint Dominic was a great preacher and educator. If you are a Missionary of Charity Father, your life will be devoted to the poor as its founder Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta lived her life serving the poorest of the poor.
What Do I Do Next?
The only way to discern a call to the priesthood is to know God and yourself – to discern in the silence of your heart through prayer, encountering Jesus in the sacraments, leading a life of conversion, and meeting with a mentor or spiritual director to help guide you in the process of listening to the Holy Spirit.
As you enter more deeply into your divine sonship, God will reveal His path for you – whether it be as a diocesan priest, religious priest, or religious brother. Discernment takes time, and when you give your time to God as a gift, God will disclose His vocation to you.
Get involved with your local parish and meet with your pastor.
Find someone you trust to confide in and share with them what God is doing in your heart.
Contact us or receive a followup email from us.
How We Can Help
Men today rarely have anyone to mentor them through the learning and discernment process.
The High Calling program provides mentors and instructors who propose the truth about one’s faith and one’s own humanity in a way that invites ongoing conversion of life.
While God has planted a seed in the heart of men to take the first step to discern the priesthood, often they are in the dark about how to seek clarity in what is stirring in their hearts.
Below are some specific ways the High Calling program can help.
We have developed a mystagogical model of instruction, rooted in an ongoing encounter with Christ and spiritual accompaniment. Our pedagogy is intensely personal, and deeply faithful to the magisterium.
At your own pace
We can provide this program through synchronous and interactive distributed learning methods, organized in three week modules so that men do not need to quit their jobs or make abrupt lifestyle changes, but instead transition into seminary life after a period of sufficient preparation at their own pace.
Our qualified body of faculty offers invaluable insight to the students entrusted to them. Our staff ensures that good communication is provided between those discerning, the vocations directors, and the faculty.
Healing and spiritual direction
Our program is holistic in its focus, offering healing and spiritual direction to live life to the full.
Our modules provide formation in prayer and discernment bringing clarity to one’s vocation.
A faculty consisting of noted priests, ecclesial leaders, and theologians offer up to 13 three-week modules.
Each module is designed to guide applicants through their process of discernment addressing common questions and concerns.
Get in Touch
Has God nudged your heart to consider the priesthood? Take the next step by reaching out to Dr. Joseph Hollcraft.
Director of the High Calling Program
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