[quote="nicaetinismo, post:1, topic:204580"]
I am positive that I am called to be a priest, it is frightening, but I know that that is what God wants for me, however:
I am feeling drawn towards being a religious priest
I look at my talents and abilities and see myself better as the image I have of a diocesan priest
I want to follow what God wants me to do, so I am here to ask "what is the difference between a religious priest and a diocesan priest?"
what do they do in common? what is special about each of them?
A little background before I post my thoughts: I was in a similar place in my discernment until ~2 years ago. I entered a monastery that served a parish as its primary work and spent nearly a year in discernment with them, while attending (a diocesan) seminary. I am now beginning the pre-application discernment with my local diocese.
In the call to be a religious priest there are two vocations being considered: the religious life and the priesthood. In theory (and re-emerging in practice), most religious orders do not discern whether a particular member is to be ordained until after final vows. Some orders do ordain all their professed members, others only those needed to fulfill the communities needs. This is very important to keep in mind if your primary identification of your vocation is to the priesthood.
I would think that any spiritual director (if you can, get one) would direct you to consider your natural inclinations and abilities in discerning where you should go. Also, you should visit religious orders and seminaries, if possible.
Personally I found that what was attractive to me about the *idea *of religious life (community, in particular, along with austerity) was not guaranteed even by a joining an order that traditionally values these things. In fact, my "secular" classmates had a better sense of community and a better practice of austerity than we had in the monastery.
Generally the ideal of the diocesan priest painted by the Church (particularly in Presbyterorum Ordinis) is much closer to that of the religious than is commonly recognized, including a need for poverty and obedience (and of course chastity) in as real of a sense as lived by many religious orders.
What made the difference in the end for me was a realization that, for me, each vocation required as much as I could possibly give, to the point that I would be constantly torn between fulfilling the Rule and serving the parish. I simply cannot do both and, as much as I spiritually draw from the order, my primary vocation seems to be to the priesthood.