Discerning Priesthood concerns


Hi everyone,

For the last few years I have been going back and forth between thinking about the Priesthood until just recently when I decided I would actively pursue Discernment and Spiritual Direction. I asked my parish priest a few years ago if he would help and he said yes but then I never took him up on it and he has noticed me returning to daily mass and becoming very involved in Church so he has asked me a few times if I am ready to sit down sometime.

I am wondering what kinds of things I can expect from a spiritual direction meeting when thinking of the priesthood?

I also was wondering if anyone that has gone through the process before, what kinds of questions can I expect from the Vocations office (and others) when it comes time for applying?

I spoke with a Vocation Director about 2-3 years ago and he encouraged me to consider applying and go on a Discernment weekend as well but classes always got in the way. I am finally considering going on one in a few weeks but am unsure how they are normally done and no one seems to tell you what happens on them.

A bit of background about me, I am a 24 yr old, only child, left the Church at 16 only to come back at 19 (dropped out of Confirmation prep a few months before confirmation and became confirmed when I returned to the Church). I was not raised in a very actively Catholic home and lost my parents early on and raised by an aunt that hates the Church with a passion. Attended Catholic high school, got a BA in Philosophy in undergrad at a secular university and nearly done with an MPA degree. I pray the rosary several times a week, have read a bunch of books as it relates to the Priesthood and discernment, as well as overall Catholic Faith. I am finally reading the Bible more closely and intently and went on a retreat a few weeks ago that really helped get me grounded in my faith and put me back on track for this. I also joined the Knights of Columbus a few months back and am in the 3rd degree going for the 4th.


Praise Christ that you are open to His call. I have no advice, but I did pray for you.


You remind me of myself. I’m 28 and just finding my faith after giving it up about the age you did. I’m on the marriage path, but I will pray for you! When I decided I wanted to come into the Church, God led me to a wonderful Priest for spiritual direction. Don’t be afraid of the meeting. No matter if you end up in the Priesthood or not, you’ll be the better for spiritual direction! It is truly wonderful.



Good luck in your discernment. Prayers said.


Basically, the first meeting will be something along the lines of them getting to know more about you and your vocation - how long you’ve been thinking about it for, what you’ve felt / experienced in terms of your call, what your prayer / spiritual life is like, etc.

I also was wondering if anyone that has gone through the process before, what kinds of questions can I expect from the Vocations office (and others) when it comes time for applying?

Again, something along the lines of those sorts of things above but also maybe some more searching questions about you, your life, your relationships with others and with the Church. Often a personal statement or short autobiography is asked for and a psychological assessment is pretty much a given.


Thank you everyone for the thoughts and prayers and for the responses.

I was wondering what is asked in a psychological evaluation?

never had to go through one before and the sound of it alone is intimidating at first.


I think the MMPI-2 is a pretty common test used. It is very long and sometimes you are like :shrug: to the questions because some of the cultural terms used are archaic.


Yeah it can seem pretty scary but basically what they’re really interested in are tow things:

First and foremost making sure you don’t have any serious psychological / psychiatric disorders such as: manic depression, alcohol / drug addiction, etc

Secondly, it can actually be quite helpful for you to know yourself better so that you can be more aware of personality traits that can potentially have negative effects if not managed correctly. an example of this is having a sacrificial personality (basically giving of yourself) which is obviously quite common amongst priests and priesthood applicants. While this might seem quite a positive trait, if not managed it can lead to burnout.


I’m in the application process for the Diocese of Buffalo.

Their current battery of tests include:
*]Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator (MBTI) - For personality traits
*]Strong Interest Inventory Profile - To show what jobs you’d be interested in working/learning about
*]firo-b - How you interact with people
*]Edwards Personal Preference Schedule - Attempts to see how you rank certain traits in your life (e.g. is being seen as intelligent more important than being socially accepted)

To be honest, I’m a little surprised that the MMPI-2 isn’t in my set of items to complete. From what I could gather, they had used it previously.:shrug:

I can’t say I find it intimidating; rather I’m more interested to see what is asked on the interview, and how other people analyze me.


Thank you everyone for the continued responses and help, it means a lot despite never knowing any of you.

Lamentation, I have heard of the MMPI-2 being used in some Dioceses and not others, from what I heard it can be a pain in the butt for some Vocations offices and they no longer use them, for others they just developed their own way of doing things. So I guess that is why there is a difference.

I did find it interesting how Buffalo seems to have a decent number of individual tests on specific areas, so I will keep that in mind when it comes time for me to embark on the new journey. From what everyone here seems to say, I am finding it more interesting as well and less intimidating, then again as I have asked people in my church about things like this it seems to spread like wildfire (everyone seems excited at the idea of a parishioner possibly becoming a priest).

I do want to say that I will pray for you and for the vocation.


May Christ guide you and strengthen you!


Thank you for the prayers, and you can be assured of the same.

Funny how you said things seem to spread like wildfire for you. In my parish, I think there’s a general knowledge (among the daily mass individuals, at least) that there’s someone going for the priesthood, but nobody knows who I am, so it’s rather funny to me. :cool:

My psych evaluation is this coming Wednesday. Frankly, I can’t wait (although the added benefit of taking off of work for the day might have something to do with it).:choocho:

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