I am only in RCIA, but I might be called


#1

I have never even been baptized, yet I think God wants me to be a priest and I think I want to be a priest. To be sure that I am not just caught up in zeal, I created an account on this site just to share this and to get some advice. Here is the story.

I am in college right now. I felt the desire to be a Roman Catholic about five years ago, and I have been contemplating the priesthood for a while as well. I have tried to tell myself to snap out of it when I get these periodic feelings, and I am afraid to surrender all that I have wanted to be for most of my life. I have always wanted to go to a great law school, become a lawyer, and maybe go into politics. Now it seems like those are/were selfish goals. The main reason why I wanted to do those things was mainly out of ambition and to satisfy my own ego.

Here are the reasons why I think I might be called:

  1. I feel closer to God and want to serve him
  2. I feel that I have skills that allow me to engage with people and aid people
  3. I love studying philosophy, Church teaching, and anything Catholic
  4. I am mesmerized by the Catholic Church
  5. My past plans seem trivial now
  6. I look good in black
  7. Joining the priesthood feels like the way I was meant to honor God

Here are the reasons why I think I might not be called:

  1. I am not even Catholic yet, and I don't have the strongest relationship with God
  2. I am kind of an introvert
  3. I wrote this post like a legal argument
  4. My life is very sinful - full of lust, pride, anger, disobedience
  5. I don't know enough about Catholicism
  6. Why would God put such grand plans in my mind before, but then change them just as I was starting to get closer to them?
  7. I have not been given a tangible sign

I am not saying that I am going to transfer to a seminary college. I even still have a few years of college left. I am going to change my major to philosophy, and even if I do not have the call, this major is still much better for preparing for law school and in a legal career.

Still, I feel more relaxed, content, and meaningful in possibly being a priest. I am, nevertheless, afraid to stop doing what I had always wanted to do and change the course I had planned for myself when I was very young. My plans are all muddled right now, and I don't know what I should be doing.

Any ideas or advice?


#2

God does not choose the qualified. He qualifies the chosen. That’s what Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta once said. I was the same way. It was my feeling called to the Priesthood that brought me to Catholicism. While it’s rare, it’s not unheard of. Whether or not God is calling us to be Priests I guarantee He “is” calling us to be Catholic. So joining RCIA is a fantastic thing to do. Once you’re in, find a spiritual director and just take it one day at a time.


#3

God is outside of time…if he wants you to be a priest…it will happen…no matter how long it takes. In one parish where I live, they just had a new priest who was ordained in his mid 40s.

Anyway, complete your RCIA…continue praying and discerning. Ask your parish for the diocesan director for vocations…get in touch with him and ask for advice. There are retreats also for those contemplating the priesthood, to help in the discernment process.


#4

What a wonderful story and congratulations on your choice to become Catholic. Why not take a moment to make a prayer plan and set a time frame to come back to this feeling of being called after the time is up. Discerning the priesthood is something that I feel evolves over time and with a great deal of patience and prayer. Since you will have to be Catholic before you take the next step try to spend your time thoroughly learning everything you can about the Church, its history and rules. Pray constantly for the Holy Spirit to fill you with the wisdom and knowledge you need to be a good Catholic and ask God to speak loudly to you as you consider devoting your life in service to Him. Praying for you as you move through this next step in your life.


#5

Tom Francis:

Thats interesting, I think you should go for it, stay and browse this site, talk to a Priest, or a couple of them.  Also research some of the Saints, found this group, looks fairly inactive, but maybe you could e-mail the members and get it going again, heres a link to at least one group. Why not contact a seminary and talk with them as well, will be praying for you! Hope you were teasing about the "look good in black" thing!:D Lol! 

forums.catholic.com/group.php?groupid=1539

Peace! Mary

If God is all you have, then you have all you need.


#6

I smiled at “I look good in black!” :slight_smile: Pretty sure you were kidding about that…

Remember God called Saul/Paul when he was mired in sin…and read about St. Augustine, your hair will stand on end at that conversion. Thank you St. Monica for your patience and dedication to prayer!

I think you should have peace about this. God will not forget you. If there’s one thing I have heard over and over again, it’s that if you are called, you will hear the call again and again and God will not let you go until you fulfill that calling.

Remember the story of the rich young man who wanted to follow Jesus, but went away sad because he had many possessions. What is more important? A life that we plan for ourselves, or a life given to Jesus Christ for the furthering of His Kingdom? There are too many lawyers as it is, and don’t even get me started on politicians! But we desperately need priests!

Talk to your parish pastor and be at peace.


#7

#6: HAHA

man, don’t worry, because i am a convert, and i am the LAST person one would think would be going to seminary. well, that WAS true, not too long ago. anyway, i am (God willing) entering seminary in 2013!! one thing though, you must wait several years after conversion to apply to seminary. i tried to suppress my feeling that God was calling me too! I liked having sex, getting drunk, and whatnot!! but, the Lord draws straight with crooked lines, man! keep learning, keep PRAYING, and you will have your answer. but remember, you won’t likely get some huge sign from God, more of a whisper. and remember too that seminary is discernment too. basically up till you are ordained a deacon. good luck to you!


#8

You look good in black?
Well, if the priest thing doesn't work out...you can always move to Manhattan. You'd fit right in :-)


#9

I'm glad you posted your story. You may very well be called to the priesthood. Many great priests, bishops, and saints are/were converts. So it is possible!


#10

Tom,

I think that sounds like a good plan to switch to philosophy, that is something you find useful whatever course your life takes. Speak to your Priest, your diocese will have someone who helps people with the discernment process.

God bless you in serving the Lord whatever direction it takes.


#11

Welcome home!

You are definitely feeling the call to holiness, which all of us are called to as a priestly people (see 1 Peter 2:9).

Normally, it is not permitted for newly baptized men to enter seminary so they can become accustomed to the faith before discerning their vocation. In the meantime, it is a great idea to make spiritual retreats, etc. I will pray for your success in your walk of faith.


#12

Wow! I thought I was the only one who is in RCIA while thinking about priesthood … Now your story truly encouraged me. One thing I would like to suggest is that though the greatness of Catholicism makes me in awe wholeheartedly, priesthood is not the only way of contributing to the Kingdom of God. Therefore, if you consider that Church needs lawyers, would such thought renew your “old plan”? Anyway, you have plenty of time to discern. Think broadly and bravely. as I will also try to do. Please keep sharing your progress with us. Thank you and God bless!


#13

Your anti-point #4 is the one that concerns me. Before taking steps toward becoming a priest, I would say that you need to get those vices under control, and keep them under control for a significant period of time, like say a year or two. I think vocation directors say the same thing.

No one enters the seminary in a state of spiritual or moral perfection. But, if basic and substantial self-discipline and inner peace is not in place, I think you’d be heading for trouble.

I am not judging you. I am not looking down on you. I myself have my own vices I have struggled with, and still struggle with, though, through the grace of God, I have made progress. I used to be much angrier than I am now, for example.

I would say that to be a good priest a person needs first of all to be a good Catholic.

There’s no skipping ahead.

Before you can run a 4 minute mile, you have to be able to run an 8 minute mile.

In my opinion, being a priest is a harder life than being a lay person. But, the key to everything is relationship to and obedience to God and God’s Church. At least, that’s what I’ve always heard.

If I were you, I’d talk to lots of people openly about all this. If you are in RCIA, say it all right out in front of everyone. Or talk this over with as many priests who will let you. Talk. Don’t keep it all inside yourself. Don’t just talk it over with anonymous people online, since, somehow that doesn’t seem as real.

God bless you.


#14

Become a priest! Just do it. There will be plenty of people counselling you to take five to ten years and to read Raymond E Brown and do some voluntary work or some such like. I say . Dive in and trust Jesus::thumbsup:


#15

But if I do tell everyone about it, I might sound a little presumptuous, and I might not be taken seriously. I have barely said a word in my RCIA classes, and if this suddenly came out, I am sure I would get a few snickers. Couldn’t I just wait until I think I have a stronger impulse to start telling people? If it’s really a calling, it won’t disappear, right?


#16

You can tell people when you are ready. A part of discernment is determining when you are “comfortable” enough with what you believe to be your vocation to talk to others about it. Another part of discernment will be actually discussing your situation with other people.

When you are discerning marriage, you don’t usually announce to the world you are planning on getting married until you and your prospective spouse have discussed the issue and come to your own peace on the subject. Typically you first talk to people closest to you and then progress to a more general audience until the public statement of commitment at the wedding.

Other vocations are no different. You feel called to a vocation. You finally speak with a vocations director, and a spiritual director. You find out more about the vocation you think you are called to. You continue to discern (apply to the seminary or a religious community) with the help of others until you are ready to make progressively more public affirmations of your vocation. Eventually you have discovered God has given you the grace to make that public profession of your vocation in ordination (or final vows for religious life) or He has given you the grace to know your path lies elsewhere.

Remember one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is Peace. When you are on the right path, you will know it.


#17

Tell a few people who you are comfortable relating to. Sometimes it helps get this off our chest. I am thinking, maybe your RCIA sponsor, your RCIA instructor, and your parish priest. And do get in touch with the diocesan vocations director who can help you in your discernment.

Also, when you tell some people, you can ask them, and they certainly will, pray for you.


#18

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