Diocesan Priesthood Discernment Exercise


The following exercise was taken from To Save a Thousand Souls by Fr. Brett A. Brannen. I thought that this could help those of whom are discerning a vocation to diocesan priesthood.

Examining onself using these twenty qualities or signs is a good way to begin one’s discernment of priesthood, but it should not be done in a vacuum. There are many other ways to discern. Your vocation director needs to be a part of this process.
On each of the twenty points below, rate yourself on a scale of 0-5. A rating of 0 means you do not posses the sign at all. A 5 indicates that the sign is very evident in your life. The highest possible score is 100. Be completely honest with yourself and rate yourself fairly.

____1. I love Jesus Christ and I have a thirst to bring Jesus and his teachings to the world.

____2. I am endeavoring to be a believing, practicing Catholic Christian.

____3. I am trying to live a life of prayer and I desire a life of prayer.

____4. I am trying to serve others and I desire a life of service to others.

____5. I feel a desire to be a priest, though it is sometimes stronger than at other times.

____6. I have had others tell me that I should be a priest or that I would make a good

____7. Prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture leads me to believe I might be called to be a priest.

____8. I am endeavoring to live virtuously.

____9. I like to be around people and I have sufficient social skills to encourage others.

____10. I have enough intelligence to complete graduate-level coursework and function as a priest

____11. I think that I have the physical, emotional, and psychological stability to become a priest.

____12. I am joyful and I have a good sense of humor.

____13. I think that I have a “priest’s heart.”

____14. I believe that I have the self-mastery to be a good priest.

____15. Generally speaking, I have demonstrated stability in my life style.

____16. People who know me would say I am a Christian gentleman.

____17. I have had events happen in my life that seem to be signs pointing towards priesthood.

____18. I am usually able to accept both success and failure without losing my peace.

____19. I believe that I have a healthy psycho-sexual development and orientation.

____20. I am trying to be truly open to the will of God for my life.



Wow! Thank you! I love little things and trivia like this. It may sound like I "trivialise" it, but the term itself is in reference to small objects. As things are, I'm reading Bl. J.P. II's encyclical "Fides et ratio", and it really makes me want to apply faith and reason to teaching and preaching. We are all called to fulfill the Gospel to every human being, but I feel a very strong tug toward homiletics especially, in the context of the Holy Mass. Now, let's see about this test...

  1. 5 - Jesus is my only true consolation; my best friend is good, but the Lord knows all.
  2. 5 - It's really difficult, but ... with all my heart!
  3. 4 - I truly desire to live a life of perpetual prayer, but trivialities often get in the way.
  4. 4 - I don't much serve others, but I really wish to get over my shyness and do it.
  5. 5 - There's nothing I want to do more than lift that sacred Host over the altar...
  6. 5 - Almost every day... :blush:
  7. 3 - I'm often too busy reading abstract treatises to get into Scripture... :mad:
  8. 4 - Lots of confession for the same sin, but overall trying hard.
  9. 3 - I hate to be around people, but when it actually happens I love it - and them, dearly.
  10. 4 - Maybe... ;)
  11. 3 - This is something I must work on. Zealous arguments against my faith very easily depress me and make me doubt.
  12. 4 - It depends on who I'm with, but I try very hard to be joyful - it's a moral obligation.
  13. 5 - I want to give the sacraments to all men and help them get to Heaven, so yes!!!
  14. 4 - "Self-mastery" is somewhat ambiguous, but I have no love for spending or hoarding... :p
  15. 5 - I am very stable... if sedentary.
  16. 5 - One thing I'm absolutely sure of, because I love talking about God and holdin' doors for ladies. :D
  17. 5 - Practically every day, as indicated above.
  18. 3 - Failures tend to depress me, but I realise this is only due to my pride and arrogant expectations, so I soon recover.
  19. 3 - There are some big problems I have left in that arena, and Christ's help is essential to heal many wounds.
  20. 5 - All I do all day is talk to God; my lover, my brother, my judge, and my king. :cool:

Total: 81


__5__1. I desire to bring the teachings of Christ in the world, to preach, and to evangelize.

__5__2. I love my Catholic faith, and I’m ready to defend it whenever.

__5__3. While prayer may be my weaker areas right now, I am working on it, and I definately desire a life of prayer.

__5__4. I love serving others. It seems to bring a sense of peace to me, and I feel like I’m doing the best that I can.

__5__5. The desire to be a priest is strong most of the time.

__5__6. Practically everyone at my church says that I will be a priest.

__5__7. I don’t know if I would call this “prayerful reading of Sacred Scriptures”, but I was flipping through my missal one day for no good reason, and I opened up to a song that went along the lines like this: “If you love me, you will follow me.” Coincidence? :smiley:

__5__8. I want to live life virtuously and in a good Catholic Christian manner.

__4__9. I like being around people; my social skills could use a little work.

__5__10. I believe my intelligence is good.

__5__11. My stability is good.

__5__12. People often say that I am pleasant and fun to be around/talk to.

__5__13. I desire to bring Christ to others and feel compassionate towards others.

__5__14. I believe that I have the self-mastery to be a good priest.

__5__15. I think that I’m pretty stable. :smiley:

__5__16. People think I’m polite and really show my Catholic faith well.

__5__17. I have A LOT of signs pointing towards the priesthood.

__4__18. Accepting failure can be a little hard; it can be worked on.

__5__19. My sexual development and orientation I feel is normal.

__5__20. I am trying to be truly open to the will of God for my life.


Oh my…


Oooh, this looks fun! :slight_smile:

__4__1. I’m certainly praying to love Him more and more, and I do have a desire to spread the Word.

__5__2. Definitely!

__4__3. I’m increasing the amount of prayers I say, and have come to realize that I usually feel the most at peace when praying.

__3__4. Well, I don’t do much to serve others. But I do have the desire.

__5__5. Personally, I think I would love being a priest; I’m just not sure what God wants yet.

__4__6. It’s happened, but not as often as to some people, it seems.

__3__7. I don’t set aside time to read scripture, but when I do come across it in other readings, sometimes it sure makes me think!

__5__8. Yes!

__3__9. OK, I like to be around people, but I am way too shy - therefore, I only really like it when I know them well enough. This is an area that needs work.

__4__10. Well, I’d like to think so! :wink:

__4__11. For the most part, yes.

__3__12. I TRY to be joyful but it doesn’t always work out. I have a decent sense of humor I suppose.

__3__13. Not sure exactly what a “priest’s heart” is…however if I were to guess, I would say partly…just not really strongly.

__5__14. I believe that if God is truly calling me, He will help me do whatever it takes to be a good priest! :thumbsup:

__4__15. Not sure exactly what this means.

__5__16. Well, once again, I would hope so, but in all honesty, my friends, including my non-Catholic ones, know I’m Catholic, partly by my actions.

__3__17. Pretty vague “events” but, yeah, I’d say they’ve happened.

__3__18. Failure not so much, but I’m usually “over it” pretty quickly.

__4__19. I’ve questioned myself before, but overall, I’d say it’s healthy.

__5__20. Haha, that’s probably my biggest prayer to God at the moment: “Oh Lord, may you make your will mine, and may I KNOW that will!”


My personal desire is there, I know that, but I am still undecided as to whether God Himself is calling me…plus I’m not sure I have all the right qualities…

Anyway, thanks for that “quiz!”


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