I feel a calling to the priesthood


For a while now I've been feeling like I should give my service to the church through priesthood.

But I can't have a firm decision, I'm 16 at the moment I love my faith even though I sin I try and confess them a few times a month.

I find I'm being called to the priesthood but I also feel like I don't have what it takes.
I'm not a good public speaker, I'm often quite shy to new people.

I've emailed my local priest about this and waiting a reply.

Could it work out for me to become a priest?


You will be in my prayers. You are doing well to confess regularly - keep it up! I am sure you are also attending Mass and receiving the Eucharist frequently - these are all good steps on the way to your vocation.

If I were you, I would do more than email my priest. I would make an appointment to see him in person, during office hours. Tell him about all your future plans. Discern for yourself if you would like to have him as a spiritual director, and if so, propose this to him. You need a spiritual director at this point in your life. You will have regular meetings with your director and he will be able to provide you with information about religious orders or the diocesan program, as well as contacts to vocation directors you might be interested in.

Of course, it is probably too early for contacting vocation directors right now, if you know you are headed to the priesthood, you will need to finish high school and at least start college and perhaps get a Bachelor’s degree before you actually enter seminary. But it is good to have a spiritual director now, to help you see the big picture as you explore possible vocations.

Don’t rule out a vocation to married life and fatherhood yet. You should naturally feel some attraction to girls now and it would be normal to date and enjoy their friendly company.

There should be plenty of opportunities to give service to your church through parish ministries and volunteering. Have you considered being an altar server? That is a traditional “apprenticeship” for boys discerning a vocation to the priesthood. Perhaps you would be interested in the Knights of Columbus in the future. If you are lucky, there is a Columbian Squires Circle already formed in a parish near you. You could join the Squires right now and then move on to your First Degree in the Knights when you turn 18. This is an excellent opportunity for service, and you can continue a membership in the Knights as a priest.

I will again pray for you, and I commend you on considering a vocation to the priesthood. And pray for our holy priests today! St. John Vianney, pray for us!


Thanks for replying,

For several years I have been an alter server and soon I will be joining the Knights of St.Columbus.

It may sound like a stupid question but what degree would it be in?


Don't worry about being shy. It is possible to overcome that, confidence can come with life experience. Speaking in public is a skill and the more you do it the better you get at it. Priests don't come in a cookie cutter shape. Maybe you are idealising it and comparing yourself to a priest you admire. You don't have to be like him, but be yourself. God is happy with that.

I encourage you to discern your vocation and speak with someone. It is wonderful to hear of young men thinking of priesthood. You just made my day. :D


Columbus is not a saint, and I am not aware of a viable cause for his canonization, so careful with that :cool:

You would start in the First Degree, with a short First Degree ceremony. Ceremonies are held in secret, with only initiated members allowed as guests. First Degree members are able to attend regular business meetings, usually held monthly in your Council. Business meetings are confidential and restricted to members only, but are not secret like the ceremonials. Membership in the Knights is not secret. We are not a secret society.

When you feel ready, you can progress to the Second and Third Degrees. There is no waiting period required for this, just approval of your Council. Sometimes, the Second and Third Degrees are held in a joint ceremony on the same day. Sometimes they are separate. Third Degree is longer than the ones before it. As a Third Degree member, you can hold an officer position in your Council. You can even be Grand Knight if you choose. You can attend State Conventions as a delegate. A Third Degree Knight is fully initiated in the Council.

Six months or more after your First Degree, you may continue to the Fourth Degree. This is the Degree of Patriotism. The Fourth Degree ceremony is a grand, all-day affair, and includes a celebratory meal with your wife and family, if you have them. With the Fourth Degree come new rights and responsibilities. Fourth Degree Knights are organized in a parallel structure known as the Assembly. You will attend more business meetings in the month, and you can be an officer in the Assembly. The head of the Assembly is the Faithful Navigator. As a Fourth Degree Knight, you must own or rent a tuxedo appropriate for the Degree ceremony, and special occasions. You can optionally join the Color Corps, and wear the Regalia with your tuxedo. Some choose to purchase their own regalia from approved channels; sometimes, lightly used regalia is available to borrow or own second-hand.

The Fourth Degree is highly recommended, but it is an optional part of the experience, and I have chosen to remain in the Third Degree for four years now.


What are the requirements to get into a seminary?


You're not too young to go over to the phone and give your diocese office a call; they probably deal often enough with guys your age and with your kinds of questions. Give them a buzz.

I think anyone who feels a calling from God is blessed. It must be an enormous relief to feel a vocational calling. As well as a grand obligation, an invitation to a fantastic life voyage.



I would say these are 2 of the most common fears for young men thinking about priesthood: not being “good” enough (and all the permutations and combinations of that) and public speaking.

The first is quite easy to take care of and that’s because nobody really has what it takes when they first think about priesthood. That’s what Seminary is for, to teach you theology and about the sacraments and what to do so that you do know what to do. Think about it this way: most doctors didn’t have what it takes either when the enter med school, but they come out as GPs and surgeons.

Public speaking is something that you can work on in time; it just takes some practice. You could volunteer to be a reader at church if you wanted to work on that. A “sub-fear” of this one is often connected with the homily and needing to give one, but there is some help with that for priests. There are homiletic supplements and aids written by theologians for priests to give them ideas of what to focus on on a particular day. Generally, in any undergraduate degree there will be some public speaking factor because everyone gives presentations.

  1. Be Catholic
  2. Male
  3. Graduated high school
  4. Get sponsored by a bishop & diocese to attend

Those are in the most general sense the requirements. It is possible to enter the seminary right after high school and to do an undergraduate degree (usually in philosophy); it is also possible to do an undergraduate degree on your own (in anything) and enter the seminary (you would need to make up any missing pre-requisites before entering theology). Personally, I did the second one, I went and got a degree in engineering and felt the call halfway through, so I’ll start with a year of philosophy and then move onto the theology.

The specific requirements by diocese can be learned by contacting the vocations director.


I myself am considering the priesthood, and too wonder if I have what it takes to be an effective priest. I always remember that no man is worthy of priesthood, but will be chosen by God. If you are called to be a priest, than God will tell you. If you don’t have the tools, God will give them to you. If you feel lost and confused, God will give you clarity.

The best thing you can do right now is talk with other Catholics and your local priest, keep an active prayer life and have an honest openness to God’s will. I would encourage you to check out www.saintfactory.com to learn about Fr. Andrew Trapp and his vocation story. His words really helped me to see all that priests are and can be! I will pray for you and your vocation as I also discern my own.

In Christ,



W Michael, I’m wondering what has happened between the time when you first posted and now. I’m also in discernment right now. I was going to give your some advice, but I think the others did a good job or I trust that they did, as I have not read all of the responses yet, but will for sure in a few minutes. I will respond again if I see that they missed anything I feel important.


Well soon I will be meeting with my local priest to talk about the vocation, and I guess all the problems that I feel I guess can be improved upon with time.



To be a priest it must firstly be God's will that you be a priest.
Secondly you must also want to be a priest.

Also you

You should have a desire to say the Mass and hear Confessions.

A desire to bring souls to heaven for God.

You should also have a desire to attain holiness since you cannot be a good priest without being holy. This is a process that happens over time though, so don't worry that you're not holy now.

Finally you must be very determined since you will have to overcome many obstacles, sufferings and trials before and after being ordained.

The rewards though are huge and incomprehensible if you are faithful to God's calling.

God bless you.


Start reading To Save a Thousand Souls : A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood. That book is strongly suggested by a lot of vocation directors here in the USA. Anther book that you might want to read is Religious Vocation: An Unnecessary Mystery.

Take also a peek at this post that i wrote for another thread in this forum.:

This is a good and fast read for vocations in general:
A Vincentian Father - Vocations Explained

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