I’m 16 and I very seriously want to become a priest. I was just wondering if there were any other teens who are discerning the priesthood. What lead you into your discernment? Here is my vocation discernment story. I hope you share yours!
I started altar serving in 2014 and I think that’s what first got me thinking about the priesthood (sorry if this sounds cliche). I noticed that during Mass, I would watch the consecration and feel a strong desire to say Mass. In those moments I could really see myself holding the host and saying the consecration, and I imagined it as an indescribably intimate moment with the Lord.
In summer of 2014 I went to a Steubenville Conference. My youth group had 5 people total (sad, I know) but we grouped up with another youth group from another parish in our diocese, so we had a good group going. The weekend was a blast, but that’s another story… The other group had a seminarian and I became friends with him. After Steubenville I contacted this seminarian and he told me about a retreat at the seminary he attends. I wasn’t able to make it in 2014, but came to the retreat this March.
When I was at the seminary, I had this strong sense of “this…is…HOME!!!”. It was an amazing weekend of prayer, fellowship with the seminarians and other discerners, and fun. I had waited a VERY long time to go on the retreat, and it was amazing to finally be there in real life after seeing so many photos. I felt that I was at home, and I was VERY sad when I had to get on the bus to go back to my diocese.
I also have been helping out friends with problems. I know priests have to counsel people, and I’ve been helping my best friend who has depression, as well as another friend who is suicidal. I enjoy listening to people’s problems and offering advice. I love being there for people, even though they may not be there for me. I love being a face of mercy who is always ready to help them. I’m trying to do what Jesus would do. People usually don’t open up at first, but I get them to tell me their problems and offer help. Sure, they may not take my advice, but that’s on them. I just want to be there to offer consolation to the suffering. I feel like it’s what I’m meant to do!
I also would love to be able to Baptize the unbaptized, and to restore sinners back to a state of grace in Confession. I see the priesthood as one of the most amazing gifts God has given us, and I’m very sad that a lot of people may not see what I see in the priesthood. God’s mercy is given to us by priests!!! I remember some saint (I think it was St. John Vianney) who said something like “if we really understood what a priest is, we’d die of love”. How true!
I have this longing to be a priest. I just know deep down it’s my vocation, even though I experience doubts and negative feelings in discernment sometimes.