Do I want to become a priest?

I am only a freshman in college, but recently I have contemplated transferring to a Catholic school, studying up on church matters, and then being a priest some day. I am not sure if this is right for me and it might just be a rash phase, so I would like to know what you all think before I make some decisions that I would regret and that might not be genuine.

I should tell you a little bit about my background. There are a lot of things going not really as I had planned in my life right now. I had always envisioned myself going going to the University of Notre Dame, but instead I have been stuck at an uncomfortably public liberal school. I feel so out of place here, and that has grown my awareness that I might prefer a higher calling. Just the other day, I got stared at and snickered at because of the ash on my forehead. Also, when I first arrived at this school, I hung up a crucifix on my wall and was chastised by my roommate and some people on my floor. To make myself feel a little more comfortable, I have spent some of the few dollars I have buying statues of the Virgin Mary and rosaries. I secretly hope that my roommate goes home every weekend so I can say the rosary in private and stare at the crucifix on the wall. I’ve seen how secular and meaningless my generation is, and I don’t feel like I’m a part of it.

I have always been a very ambitious person, in a secular sense. I have always dreamed of going to best law school someday, making myself known in that profession, and maybe running for political office. But I have struggled to find a place in a secular community, and I am beginning to see that some of my lifelong ambitions might not come to pass. I pray in my head frequently throughout the day. I clutch my rosary beads when I get nervous or stressed. I would rather spend a night listening to Catholic hymns on my iPod than meeting people and socializing. The things I have always wanted increasingly appear trivial.

I have always admired the priesthood: the respect and faith parishioners put into a simple man, the powers he has to perform the sacraments to save his followers, and how he so easily makes our earthly wants and problems insignificant. Last Wednesday I began to realize that I might want to seriously throw away my earthly ambitions and join the priesthood when a heard a priest so beautifully explaining Lent and then putting a dirty pile of mud on my forehead while explaining that it symbolizes my faith that everything I have now will someday turn to dust but that if I can remember what that dirty muck means, I won’t have to worry about the tiny issues of today.

I’ve been told that priests consider their vocation a calling, or that they believe they were chosen to be priests. For me, my rationale for joining the priesthood would be because of my misfortune. All of the times I have felt excluded because of my faith and the insecurity I have that I might not be good enough to achieve all of my secular dreams could be taken as a signal that those goals are not worth pursuing and that I have something more to offer.

This probably is less important, but I also have some childish fascination with the black garments and the white collar, sort of like how a child sees a GI Joe uniform. I think I would look good in that “uniform.” It would complement my red hair nicely. I have constantly told myself, I thought jokingly, that if I am still single when I’m forty, then I will become a priest.

My concern is that this is just a phase. After all, I am going to try to transfer to Notre Dame next year (I have a good chance since I have a 4.0 right now). If I get there, I could feel more comfortable socially and forget about why I would want to be a priest. I still want to go to one of the country’s top law schools, which obviously are not Catholic.

What do you all think? Should I start prepping for the priesthood? (Sorry for writing so much.)

I think you need to consider, are you looking toward the priesthood because you are running away from something (difficulties with secular life)? Or are you looking toward the priesthood because you feel drawn to the priesthood?

While your strong faith life is evidence of a good relationship with Christ, you made three statements that make me think that you are really running away from your difficulties with secular life rather than feeling drawn to the priesthood:

“I would rather spend a night listening to Catholic hymns on my iPod than meeting people and socializing.”

“If I get there, I could feel more comfortable socially and forget about why I would want to be a priest.”

“For me, my rationale for joining the priesthood would be because of my misfortune.”

  1. I completely understand the difficulty in relating to people who are completely secular and even hostile to the faith. Does your university have a Newman Center or a nearby Catholic Church that you can get involved in and hopefully make friends with like-minded people there?

  2. You should talk to a priest and tell him what you have told us here. Ask him for his advice.

  3. In the meantime, since you say that you “still want to go to one of the country’s top law schools”, I think you should pursue this goal. If the priesthood is truly a calling for you, the Holy Spirit will persist until you cannot ignore Him, and you will want to become a priest for the right reasons.

Never be afraid to talk to a priest about your curiosity. Some start discerning as young as freshman in high school. Age is never a question of when God might be calling you. It’s a matter of when you should enter an order or seminary. That would be between you, your spiritual director, and the diocese/order. It is also very good that you seek to make decisions that are not rash. Vocations are complex, and they grow slowly. They are far more savory in hindsight, unfortunately, but thank goodness one might have so much to look back on. When he has hit rock bottom and needs a push forward!

I should tell you a little bit about my background. There are a lot of things going not really as I had planned in my life right now. I had always envisioned myself going going to the University of Notre Dame, but instead I have been stuck at an uncomfortably public liberal school. I feel so out of place here, and that has grown my awareness that I might prefer a higher calling. Just the other day, I got stared at and snickered at because of the ash on my forehead. Also, when I first arrived at this school, I hung up a crucifix on my wall and was chastised by my roommate and some people on my floor. To make myself feel a little more comfortable, I have spent some of the few dollars I have buying statues of the Virgin Mary and rosaries. I secretly hope that my roommate goes home every weekend so I can say the rosary in private and stare at the crucifix on the wall. I’ve seen how secular and meaningless my generation is, and I don’t feel like I’m a part of it.

Very good! You understand and grasp that vocation that all people have-- the call to holiness. Do well to keep in mind, though (in regards to your live not going as planned) that we simply don’t know where God might lead us. We shouldn’t pre-decide what our life is going to be, or we won’t accept God’s greater and more joyful plan as easily. It is imperative that we have enough faith to know that God’s plan is not only the best plan, but the plan that will make us the most happy.

I have always been a very ambitious person, in a secular sense. I have always dreamed of going to best law school someday, making myself known in that profession, and maybe running for political office. But I have struggled to find a place in a secular community, and I am beginning to see that some of my lifelong ambitions might not come to pass. I pray in my head frequently throughout the day. I clutch my rosary beads when I get nervous or stressed.

This is understandable. Take consolation in the fact that many people feel this way. We aren’t made to fit into a secular life. We are made to fit into God’s plan, which is hardly secular. It’s a life of living the Gospel out in all we do to be light to the world. Like I said above, let go of your ambitions. The surprises of the Spirit are far better than anything we could make up on our own. Living in an un-phased gaze into the eyes of Christ is hardly boring. In fact, many people would complain its too hectic, since they can’t see what coming around the corner!

I would rather spend a night listening to Catholic hymns on my iPod than meeting people and socializing. The things I have always wanted increasingly appear trivial.

The life of a priest is indeed very active, very social, and very demanding. If you are called to any sort of religious vocation, save perhaps living as a hermit, you will constantly be socializing with other people and serving them! Even in conventual religious orders, you live in a fraternity that is a beehive of social activity. Some of it is silent activity, but nonetheless is very fraternal.

I have always admired the priesthood: the respect and faith parishioners put into a simple man, the powers he has to perform the sacraments to save his followers, and how he so easily makes our earthly wants and problems insignificant. Last Wednesday I began to realize that I might want to seriously throw away my earthly ambitions and join the priesthood when a heard a priest so beautifully explaining Lent and then putting a dirty pile of mud on my forehead while explaining that it symbolizes my faith that everything I have now will someday turn to dust but that if I can remember what that dirty muck means, I won’t have to worry about the tiny issues of today.

And you ought to admire the priest. Thanks be to God for giving you that admiration! Priests are our role models. They are the face of the Church in day-to-day life. All of us are truly called to throw away our earthly ambitions. Things don’t make us happy. God does! His love for us makes us happy, and that can be in whatever form or fashion he’d like to do so. Always be open to God’s calling. Some people are called to be teachers. Others are called to be firefighters and policemen. Still, others are called to hospitals and hospices. Are these vocations automatically secular ambitions because they don’t exclusively involve pastoral ministry? Of course not! We need teachers, firefighters, policemen, nurses, and doctors no matter what type of society we live in.

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I’ve been told that priests consider their vocation a calling, or that they believe they were chosen to be priests. For me, my rationale for joining the priesthood would be because of my misfortune. All of the times I have felt excluded because of my faith and the insecurity I have that I might not be good enough to achieve all of my secular dreams could be taken as a signal that those goals are not worth pursuing and that I have something more to offer.

Everyone who has been baptized has received the vocation of evangelization. We have more to offer the world than sitting in a pew every Sunday or Saturday evening. We have the vocation to evangelization, and living out this holiness in Christian dignity. Now, this is not to say we all have a vocation exclusively to evangelization, but that it is a very necessary and proper part of every Christian’s life to be that lamp on the stand to a world who is sinking into darkness. We need good wholesome Christian men and women, no matter what their career field may be.

This probably is less important, but I also have some childish fascination with the black garments and the white collar, sort of like how a child sees a GI Joe uniform. I think I would look good in that “uniform.” It would complement my red hair nicely. I have constantly told myself, I thought jokingly, that if I am still single when I’m forty, then I will become a priest.

It’s fun, but try not to fantasize too much. We don’t know what God’s plan for us is, and if we become attached to our ambitions and fantasies, we will most likely be resistant to whatever his plan might be (since it’s not what we pictured). Always remember, God knows you better than you know you.

My concern is that this is just a phase. After all, I am going to try to transfer to Notre Dame next year (I have a good chance since I have a 4.0 right now). If I get there, I could feel more comfortable socially and forget about why I would want to be a priest. I still want to go to one of the country’s top law schools, which obviously are not Catholic.

What do you all think? Should I start prepping for the priesthood? (Sorry for writing so much.)

There’s actually not nearly enough information to make a call as to whether or not you are truly having inklings. You provided the information that you felt was most important. I would say get in contact with your priest, and make an hour appointment with him. If you leave the appointment with your questions answered (and the curiosity gone), then you at least know where God isn’t leading you and you gained a wonderful admiration of religious life. If you still sincerely feel that you are being pulled towards the matter, then schedule another appointment for about a month later. Also, pray before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament on this topic. No better person to go to than God himself.

May God bless you abundantly this Lenten season,
Anthony :slight_smile:

Your roomate acted very direspectfully to you!Anyone that is differnt people have a tendency to be mean to them! I am white and my wife is black and we moved to a mostly white small town. We werent accepted warmly, but we stood firm didnt let people intimidate us and now we have a succesful small business…Not everyone likes us ,but its getting better!Now the priest question only you can answere!But ask yourself ?Do I want to be a priest to escape the mean people of the world?Or do I want to be a priest because I absolutely think its my calling and I have weghed all the costs? Good Luck and God bless!

Contact the vocations office in your diocese. I’m sure they can help you sort it out.

Father O’Brien has a nice, nostalgic ring to it, doesn’t it? :slight_smile:

If you’re thinking of politics, I’d advise you to stop posting under your real name since forever ago. Or just start now since time travel isn’t presently possible for you.

You need a spiritual director to help you determine if God is calling you to the priesthood or not. Make an appointment to speak with a priest and see if he can recommend someone, if he is not available.

If you feel that you have the calling,go forward and live your live service for Jesus.
See when I was in my time to go to a collage, a priest at the Fatima Shrine ask if I wanted to stay a while, for he though I had the calling., I didn,t have the calling, but I,am a member of doing Apostle work,making Rosary’s handing out Brown Scalpers and Green Scalpers.
At times I piturce myself as a flair,in a room with just a bed,a table a Cross on the wall,and on the table A Statue of Mary with a candle on each side, but I leave it in God,s Hand,s, he knows our desinty.

Why not make an appointment with a priest you can trust and talk to him. Maybe - Only you can know what you to do
Good luck - I will pray for you.

:signofcross::signofcross::signofcross:

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