Got the call, but

Maybe this is a better place to ask than the Reddit group. I suppose this is a question for the ordained and/or those with experience of being in a religious order.

For quite some time - maybe 4 years - I’ve been playing with the idea of joining the priesthood or religious order, and God does seem to be pushing me in that direction. My spiritual journey that led me to this point is a little complicated, and I’m still trying to formulate a coherent narrative for The Powers That Be, because they’ll expect that at some point.

The thing is, I’ve developed something of a heart problem over the last six or so months (rectified to some extent with medication), which I can attribute to an extraordinary amount of pressure I’ve been under since then, and to worrying about other people. How would that be viewed by The Powers That Be in signing off on my suitability?

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Not necessarily. The best you can do is talk to someone about the possibility of a vocation to the priest hidden and religious life and get some help with discernment. Health problems may be a problem depending on the severity and level of care needed, but if you have it under control it’s possible it wouldn’t be a big issue

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Thank you. I’m already gearing up for the initial discussion with a vocational director. The heart problem is just uncomfortable and slightly limiting, but doesn’t prevent me being very active.

Just be upfront about it with the vocation director

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Before you can become a Priest you must be cleared medically and pyschologically. You will be thoroughly checked out in every way possible. Like they’ve said here be upfront and honest about it when you meet with the vocation director. Don’t rule out the possibility of being a religious brother either.

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Be upfront and honest, as others have said. If it’s a condition that is well-controlled and doesn’t prevent you from doing basic activities and being active, they should be willing to work with you.

I’ve known of men with much more serious conditions who have gotten into the seminary.

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Thoroughly checked in every way? It sounds like they have very exacting standards. What are they checking for, precisely?

OK I’ll take a picture of our Diocesan monthly magazine which was all about the Priesthood in our Disocese and how a man becomes a Priest. I’ll send that to you in a private message. Let me do that for you.

I owe you one. I’ve been trying to find specific info on what they’d be looking for and whether it is indeed the right vocation for myself.

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Not to put too fine a point on it, but a prospective priest has a “call” or “vocation” (means the same thing) only at that moment when the ordaining bishop invites him to come forward and receive Holy Orders. Prior to that, the potential priest is only “discerning”. It is not a decision that the individual makes by himself. Theoretically, the potential priest could say at that moment “I hear the call, but in spite of the years of discernment, study, and prayer, I cannot (or simply do not wish to) go through with it and receive the order of priesthood”.

scarbrough did you get the 3 pages in your messages?

Yes, thank you. The info is more comprehensive than what I’ve been able to dig up the past week.

Like I said that is JUST our Diocese here and what they do. Other dioceses may be very different. Each one and each country does things their own way. Last year 7 Priests were ordained for our Diocese, this year 3 and hopefully next year 2. So we seem to be doing well. We have a LARGE # of Seminarians as well.

I’m curious: Have you been involved with a seminary before? If so, how do seminarians handle the uncertainty about their future over such a long period, when it’s not just their academic performance being scrutinised?

I’ll message you.

Dioceses tend to be much more opened to people with health problems then religious life, I know it is here in Ireland. Redemptorists, Rosminians, pallottines, and Blessed Sacrament fathers then to be more opened as well. If you still feel called to a particular religious order where it is a barrier you can write to the pope to allow you to enter even if they’re against it.

I’m not even sure whether I’m called to a religious order, let alone which order. The Jesuits and Dominicans did come to mind. You gave me a few names to research.

Every vocation director, diocese or belonging to a religious order, bishop and seminary professors want the best for you. And if you and they agree that religious order A suits you and the religious order better than B or as a priest in the diocese, they would be happy that you are where you are supposed to be.

The vocations directors have a good clue where the person would fit the best. They are likely not going to tell you up front that it is diocese or religious order A, B or C that you belong to but they would help you discover it. On the other hand, if it is very clear that if a person doesn’t have a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, those would be told fairly quickly.

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FWIW, the Pope is missing a lung. :slight_smile: (Or at least, missing some portion of one lung, depending on who you’re talking to.)

I’d imagine he’s having a much harder time dealing with that.

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