Are there signs that one in a relationship should become a priest?


My question is: Are there signs that someone who is already in a Catholic relationship, discerning marriage, is actually being called by God to the priesthood and should leave the relationship?

Also, what would happen to somebody who, already being in a relationship, not willing to give it up, simply kept in his/her relationship, which is devout and Catholic, rather than following the Lord’s call to the religious life/priesthood?

Let us pray for one another.


Sure. Not things that are consistent and concrete, however. We cannot tell you “look for so-and-so signs!” It is something you will 1. Need to be transparent with your partner about, and 2. Need to discern with much prayer and a spiritual director.

You’d still be able to reach holiness, but you would not achieve such blessings as you would if you followed God’s promptings. You can reach holiness in whatever path you take, but when God has ordained a particular path for you, that is the path you will be most fulfilled in, and you will bless the world most with, and you will find the most grace in.


The only time you know for certain that you are called to the priesthood is when the bishop calls you forward for ordination on ordination day.


To add onto this, you may reach heaven, and all of us will be entirely filled with God’s love in Heaven; but choosing your own path may get you to Heaven with a thimble-sized cup to fill, and choosing God’s path may get you to Heaven with a swimming pool-sized cup to fill.

You would be entirely filled either way, but choosing God’s path will give you greater capacity to receive God’s love.

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Didn’t you just start a topic on modesty in a future wife, stating that you aspired to be married one day, but had work to do on yourself before you could be in a relationship? And a thread shortly before that suggesting that you had met a girl you might want to date but you couldn’t accept her liking modern Mass music? The impression given was that you are maybe considering dating, but not in a relationship as of now.

I would respectfully suggest that you are perhaps putting the cart before the horse here since you don’t appear to be in a relationship at all.

If you think you are called to the priesthood, then speak with the vocations director for your diocese or seminary. They can also provide advice regarding dating and discernment.

We cannot provide you with a checklist of how a man knows he might be called to the priesthood.

By the way, being unable to find a woman who lives up to your standards of how women should dress, or your standards for Mass music preferences, or your standards for anything else, is not a sign that you’re called to be a priest instead. I know you didn’t ask that, I’m just saying.


Right dead on the money. Thank you.

You do not choose a vocation — whatever that vocation might be — rather, the vocation chooses you.

In Soviet Russia?

Well, @InThePew suggests that we really do choose our vocation, we do have a good bit of agency in pursuing whatever it is on the path to holiness that appeals to us. It’s not like a vocation to the priesthood is going to come after this young man, mug him in an alley, and place him before the bishop. Even if he has such a vocation, if he really wants to, then he will be married and not know what it would’ve been like if he had chosen the priesthood after all.

I agree. Even though a vocation isn’t final until the day of ordination, we can’t just sit back and leave all the discernment to God alone. We have to do the work of discernment and do the work ourselves–for any vocation.

I thought of this as I wrote. (I have actually met Yakov Smirnoff, nice guy.)

We do choose, but in the case of the priesthood, it’s ultimately the bishop’s call and nobody else’s.

It does not happened anybody. Well, it is possible to have a a damascus conversion like Saint Paul, but it is rare. A man who is increasingly spiritual or a revert?

The man would probably be a devout man with a meaningful prayer life, a deep commitment to practice, a love with liturgy and mass. Then maybe a desire to celebrate mass come? He may have think of priesthood before but stop the discernment when he fall in love. But God don’t give up…

If a woman wants a man who is discerning priesthood or had left the seminary for her, she takes that risk.

Nothing. He can ignore what he feels a call, get married and try to not think about it. God will not take him by the hand and ordaining him against his wish. His marriage will be valid.

He can perfectly be happy. But it is possible that he had some regrets or conscience troubles. And it may be hard.


Essentially, it’s both and. A vocation is, first and foremost, a calling from God and it’s always god who takes the initiative. This calling in turn has to be recognised by the appropriate authority (diocesan bishop / religious superior) but, perhaps more importantly, has to be responded to by the one being called. This response has to be a free choice on their part and so the seminarian or novice (as the case may be) needs to be asking themselves as they progress towards ordination/final profession whether this is not just what they feel they’re called to but also whether this is something that they want to do.

Not for nothing does a candidate for Holy Orders have to actually petition (i.e. ask) for ordination, affirming that they “seek ordination freely and of my own accord” and that they “voluntarily desire it and of my own free will wish to be ordained”.


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