How long does it take to become a priest?


#1

I am 34. I have Catholic family, but I am not baptized, nor do I practice a Catholic lifestyle.

What would it take for me to become Catholic and work toward becoming a priest? What are the steps. What is the time frame.

I have never been married.

Can someone discover the lord and passionately pursue this avenue of leadership? I’m not saying I personally would do this, but I was just curious if someone could start over their life and focus it completely on Jesus and helping others in a leadership capacity.

My grandpa was seriously entertaining the idea of priesthood as a young man, but thank goodness he met my grandma and I’m here typing to you today :slight_smile:


#2

Well, you would need to be baptized and receive all the sacraments. That would take about a year. Then you would need spend time to properly discern that you really wanted to be a priest. That could take anywhere from no time to forever. But let’s say it took no time, you would then need to apply to and be accepted at a seminary, probably six months to a year. Then the actual formation takes about six years.


#3

this is true, but keep in mind there is a waiting period for converts and those who enter the Church of about 2 years ( for most dioceses I think) before acceptance to pre-theology. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but this would add a little time to the above.

Perhaps the best thing to focus on right now, regardless of what you have done, is work on your primary vocation: to holiness. Spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and entrust your secondary vocation to out Blessed Mother, she will take care of the rest!


#4

The amount of time required can also grow or be shortened based on prior education. To be accepted into a major seminary you generally need a 4 year degree from a college with some focus (as least a minor) in a subject like theology or philosophy. If you already have these things it speeds the process up a little since you don’t have to worry about obtaining them.


#5

Thank you. That is so interesting.


#6

You would need to go through RCIA which depending on where you go it could take up to a year or more. Then you would need to be a praciticing Catholic for about two years or so.

Then it depends on your education. You need a bachelors degree and 30 credit hours in philosophy and 12 credit hours in theology. These must be done at a Cathlolic institution. If you do not currently have a bachelors degree then you can get one in philosophy which will fulfill this requirement for entry into the Masters of Divinity program at a Major Seminary.

After that the M.Div. is a four year professional masters degree program.

So if you have a bachelors degree it could be as little as 6 years of school, 2 years as a practicing Catholic, and 1 year (or so) in RCIA for a total of 9 years. With out a bachelors degree the schooling goes up to 8 years which would make a total of 11 years.

This is not counting any pastoral (or internship) years that the diocese or religious institute might require. Most dioceses add a pastoral year, my religious community has a two year internship it adds.

So it could go up to from 10 years to 13 years with all that added in.

EDIT:
Having said all this you can work on your undergraduate degree or your philosophy/theology requirements while you complete RCIA and work on being a practicing Catholic so, if you are accepted as a candidate for the priesthood, you could shave some time off of this, like 2 to 4 years (depending on what requirements you need to fill), so it could drop to 6 to 8 years or so.


#7

In the example we are using. I have a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Telecommunications. I have some units in Psychology, ethics, philosophy, sociology, and other classes. Obviously this is not very beefy in Philosophy or Theology, and I didn’t go to a Catholic Institution. But I see how I would easily need like a decade plus or minus of work.

On a side note. What is a Br. exactly? What does a Br. do? I tried to look it up but I couldn’t figure it out and my Catholic family wasn’t exactly sure.


#8

A Br is a Brother. A consecrated religious. I am under the vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity (temporary right now). A brother works within his order in the ministries that they have. They are non-ordained individuals. I am studying for the priesthood so eventually (God willing) I will be ordained.


#9

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