Can I be a priest and a volunteer fire fighter too?


I was wondering, would it be ok for a priest to join a volunteer fire department, not as a chaplan, but as a firefighter, as long as he would only respond to calls at night and oh his off days.

The reason I ask is because I have received a calling to become a priest and I am a volunteer firefighter. I also have received a calling to be a public servant (ie firefighter, working on an ambulance) for which I am currently doing now. I want to know if I would have to choose between these two vocations or could, if i became a priest, be able to balance them and serve the lord in two ways.



One of the first things we all have to accept when thinking in terms of what we want to do with our life is that we cannot do everything—even though many choices appeal to us.
Serving as a priest is a full-time ministry. I don’t doubt that there have been situations in rural communities where a priest may have been a volunteer fire-fighter. But this is definitely an exception. Certainly, priests do not function as fire-department para-medics. I suggest that you speak to the vocation director for your diocese or simply speak to your parish priest. You can also contact me privately for more info.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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