How do you know?


Alright, a little background. I fell in love with my Catholic faith my Junior year, and have been devout since. At first, I always felt marriage was my vocation. But one night, as I read the Bible, I started thinking “you know, I could see myself studying the Bible as a career, as a priest.”

I quickly pushed this thought out of my mind. You see, my parents haven’t always been that keen on the idea. They would certainly let me be a priest if they knew that’s what would make me happy, but they also believe that priests should not be required to be celibate, that they should be allowed to have wives. They also can get paranoid about priests. Every time I mention that I am talking to one, the first question they ask is “Was he telling you to be a priest??”

I know that ultimately, they just don’t want me head diving into the seminary without some thought, and I think they also want grandchildren someday too. The thing is, I don’t know where I stand.

I love theology, I am a great public speaker (I once came up and delivered a speech on prayer to a large crowd at a conference in under a few minutes, and it was met with excellent reception), and most of all, I love helping people. However, I often look at faith filled families, and fancy the idea of serving a wife and our family together in the love of Christ.

I won’t be going into the seminary if I decide to until I am out of college. (I’m a freshman in college now). I know that for most people, it’s not like you can find out overnight. But, would you guys have any advice on discerning?


Prayer, time in Adoration, and an appointment with your Diocesan Vocations director at the Chancery.
They do this for a living…help young men and women sort out their feelings, without pushing. Nobody want to “make” a person into a religious if they are called to it. But if they are, they need prayers and support. Go speak with them. There’s no pressure.
Parents are always fretting about their children because they love you.
I had a friend who was in a seminary, and he said his(supportive) mother was lamenting
“well, I guess I’ll never have grandchildren!” His response to her was: “Oh mom, I’ll have hundreds of children…you just won’t be able to know all their names!”. :wink:
God bless you in whatever you pursue.


Find a good spiritual advisor/director, if you haven’t already done so. The student Catholic ministry would be a good place to begin searching.

Don’t hide what he says from your folks, but don’t volunteer everything to them, either.

Remember that discernment is two sided, it’s you and the Holy Church deciding if you and the Priesthood are a match. So be patient.

Don’t go looking for girlfriends, but at the same time, don’t reject dating activity altogether. That sacrifice is not necessary until one is in the seminary. If you have the call, it is better to get those doubts “out of your system” early. And if God has someone special for you, that too is a vocation.

And above all, keep your sacraments, Mass attendance, prayer life, and penance up to date!

Good Luck and ICXC NIKA.



When I was a young child I remember my pastor, at Mass, telling all those gathered there that parents should never push their child, nor stop their child from having an interest in a religious vocation.

He mentioned this on several occasions and it has stayed with me and it makes a lot of sense.

Pray, and let the Holy Spirit guide you.

You have gotten very good advice from the other posters above.

Peace and Blessings to you!



A regular personal prayer life as well as frequent reception of the sacraments is important. Having a regular spiritual director is also important. It also wouldn’t hurt to talk to the Vocations Director of your diocese or of a religious institute. This last point will allow you to really see what life as a priest/brother would look like. It can often be more than just what we are used to seeing at church every week.


Pray to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your discernment.



I want to encourage you whole-heartedly on your discernment. We need good and holy priest.

Talk to your diocesan vocation director ASAP, as someone else said. Please do not wait until you graduate.

You love theology, you’re a great public speaker, and you love helping people, that’s great! Unfortunately, for a priest, those are kind of secondary necessities.

The primary necessity is you must love Jesus Christ and the Mass. We have lay scholars who can write and teach amazing things on theology. We have lay men and women who can run charities and missions. Only Priests can celebrate the sacraments.

Go to Mass as often as possible. Ever day would be awesome, because you must fall in love with Jesus. You cannot fall in love with a spouse if you do not spend time with them. Spend time with Jesus and his presence, body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Mass and adoration.

If you cannot make it to Mass, spend time meditating on the daily readings, and listen for God’s prompting in your soul through what you read. maybe start with 15 minutes. If you’re already praying for 15 every day, go to 30. Pray the rosary, not with rote repetition, but with your whole heart. You won’t feel it every day, but try.

Those are the two pieces of advice I think you need.



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