Do you have to be an extrovert as a priest?


Do you have to be an extrovert as a priest? I am thinking about priesthood but I am a very introverted person.


Depends on what you mean by “introvert” as this word is used with a variety of meanings.

I’m pretty extremely introverted, in that I need alone time in order to recharge. If I don’t get my alone time – praying, washing dishes, reading, spending time in the yard or in nature – I get irritable and just can’t function at my best.

But I also LOVE my job as a public school music teacher! I teach almost 200 students a day, and interact with dozens of staff members and student family members every day. I enjoy interacting with them and can be playful and high-energy throughout the day… so long as my day starts with a couple hours of silence.

If, however, you mean introverted as being uncomfortable being around people, or that you don’t like being around people, that might be a problem.

I’ve known many, many priests over the decades. Some were always seeking out contact with their flock. Some were quiet and reserved. Some were the life of the party. Some were seemingly always serious. Most all of them were faithful men of God who were great servants in their parishes.

If you are serious about considering the priesthood, begin a conversation with your pastor, or a spiritual director, or your diocese’s vocation director. The priesthood is a garden of souls that is beautiful in its variety. Perhaps you will find your place there.


I too am thinking about the priesthood, and I too am very introverted. Introvertedness per we isn’t a problem, but shyness might be a problem. It’s possible to overcome shyness though.


Please don’t stop considering; Lord knows we need more priests! Sometimes I wonder if I should have listened to a priest 30-some years ago when he said he wanted me to think about becoming one, but it’s obviously a moot point today.

Just because one is an introvert doesn’t mean he can’t be a good priest. Romans 12:6, Ephesians 4:11, and 1 Cor 12:28 all speak of people with differing abilities working for the greater glory of God. The video I’m posting doesn’t speak directly to extrovert vs. introvert, but it does go to show how we can all do our own part.


@anon79053769 , may I suggest a retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola .

The emphasis in such retreats is on discernment , especially the discernment you need regarding the priesthood .


As a priest, you would be expected to celebrate public masses several times a week, often with large congregations. Teaching people, leading the parish, going to meetings, leading novenas, its largely a very public vocation requiring a ton of public speaking. People will seek you out for advice.

If you can’t follow through on this, you probably wouldn’t work out very well.


My 3 younger parish priest all seem very extroverted at Liturgy and homily and when askibg things they want from us in public in the church. In private 1 on 1 they seem shy and somewhat introverted.
I think spiritual life definitely makes you introverted. I would not mind an introvert priest at all. My whole expectations from one is to be honest, well intended even if flawed and open to more mystical stuff, not a funny cynical guy.


No. I believe introverted people make for better priests, as long as they are not introverted to the point of experiencing interaction as distasteful or cumbersome – in which case someone is better off becoming a monk. As for extroverted people, many of them are too “worldly” to make for very good priests. Introverted people are naturally better at contemplation and introspection, which makes them grow faster spiritually.

Perhaps it seems that a priest would need extroverted skills when saying Mass or taking confessions, but that isn’t really the case. The mass is not a performance, a homily is not a speech, and a confession is not a social exchange. All of a priest’s roles and function can be fulfilled very well by an introvert.


God’s will be done—praying for you in your discernment of a Priestly vocation.

Hail Mary
Our Father
Glory Be


Thank you very much.


May God’s will be done—praying for you in your discernment of a Priestly vocation.

Hail Mary
Our Father
Glory Be


Perhaps being introverted your vocation might lead you to counsel people; listen to them more.


not at all. Priests all contribute their own personality to their ministry. be it quiet or loud


That is a big plus .

Quiet people are often good listeners .


An introvert or not if our Lord calls we must answer his call. I too believe I was called to become a priest when I was in 7th grade but is stopped then its back again now but I’m only in 10th grade and become a teacher and a priest at the same time


Extrovert as in take more of an interest in other people than yourself? Yes
I would think teachers have to be extroverted as well.
Oh one thing. Extroversion can be learned. A matter of flex your extrovert muscles every day so you stay in shape. But in the long run and since a priest has to work 7 days a week, I’d say it is better to be a natural extrovert than a trained one.


:slight_smile: We’re around the same age (I’m in 11th); the same thing happened to me! I also want to teach! How cool to see someone with the same interests.



The priests of contemplative orders have no need to be extroverts.


Introversion has nothing to do with leadership ability. It is more of a thoughtful approach to things and is a gift.

Many saints and leaders have been introverted, and for many years we had an introverted pastor who was wonderful.

I am introverted and work in a field that is dominated by extroverts and do well too. I just need alone time to recharge.


Hey, make that 3 :smiley:

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