I feel called to the Priesthood...need advice


#1

For quite sometime now, I have felt drawn and compelled to Catholicism and the Priesthood. I am not catholic at the moment. I was raised in a Methodist environment, but have not been active in any faith since I was younger (around 12 or 13 years old). I am going to contact my local Catholic church in the morning and hopefully I will be able to convert to Catholicism. I know that's the first step, and I know I have a lot to do before I would be able to go to seminary. I'm asking for advice from anyone who has any insight into my situation, or has successfully converted to Catholicism from a Protestant faith. All comments are appreciated. Thanks all...
Justin


#2

Just a basic run-down. You should expect around two years of formation before you’re Confirmed in the Church. From there, each Diocese has its own rules, but you can expect that you’ll need to be a member of the Church in good standing for two to five years before you can be considered for any sort of seminary formation program.

Learn the basics for now. Keep on praying about it. Once you’re Confirmed and RCIA is behind you, I’d start thinking of contacting the Diocese’s Vocation Director to start the process. Even though you may not start seminary right away, he’ll probably want to keep tabs on you to help with your Discernment.

Best of luck!


#3

Justin,
It is very interesting that you feel the call to the priesthood, while you are not a practicing Catholic. If you discern this to be a true vocation and not an infatuation with Catholicism in general, then it would be most interesting. As for now, work on your conversion–on both interior and exterior levels. I wish you the very best.


#4

I can only share a somewhat similar perspective in my own life.

Having been separated from the Church for about 10 years (and harboring rather harsh views against it), suddenly I started feeling a strong calling towards meditation and ascetism...at the time, I was in a very chaste relationship with a Christian girl, and I once remember telling her that I felt I'd become a monk one day, and she smiled, saying that this implied our separation. A few years later I was back and active into the Church, in love with God like never before, greatly appreciative of the Carmelite spirituality, and with a latent calling to the religious life (I say latent because right now God's will manifests itself in a different direction, at least for the time being).

Thus I learned two important things: we can truly love God as a mystical spouse (never before I had understood consecrated life and celibacy as I do now) and God can indeed call us to consecrated life, even if we are not in full communion with the Church.

RCIA was an extraordinary experience for me, and both First Communion and Confirmation did something to my soul that I cannot explain but that changed my inner self.

I also reached a significant understanding of what the Catholic Church is, and I am very ashamed of the views I had in the days of my great ignorance. I now have literally learned in a most natural way to love the Church as the true bride of Christ and Her teachings as enlightened and guided by the Holy Spirit, something that I would have never been able to do before, particularly concerning the Sacraments.

I sincerely commend your strong will to follow God wherever He may be leading you. Remember: many are called, few are chosen. If God calls you, He will bring to completion what He begun in you, if you are willing to follow Him. Many saw the Lord in the days of great joy. Some loved Him, some hated Him. But His disciples, He only needed to look in the eyes once and say: "follow me". And leaving everything behind, they followed Him.


#5

You want to be a Catholic Priest. Keep that in your heart. But first learn to be Catholic, then your understanding will grow, and your desire for a priestly vocation may as well.

Go to Mass. Every day. Begin now. You will not receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ until your confirmation, but go before Him every day. And pray for patience, and humility. You will need both.

Go to adoration whenever possible. (There’s probably a perpetual adoration chapel in your area, or at least a parish that offers adoration fairly frequently.)

Learn first to be a very good Catholic, and submit yourself to God’s will and his Church.

Pray the Rosary, every single day. Pray for the strength to be a good Catholic, and for discernment towards your vocation to serve God and His Church, and to do only His will, regardless of what His will for you may be. Abandon yourself to His will. Ask our Lady to guide you on your path.

Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, front to back. And then again. Here > > vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
Begin now.

Help the poor and/or sick. Devote some time to this. Begin now.

You want to be a Priest. Once you are confirmed as a Catholic then get close to the altar. I suggest becoming an Altar Server at your parish, this will include becoming a reader, and an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
Becoming a Server will help you foster closer relationships with the priests at your parish. If you do decide to pursue a priestly vocation then you will need your parish priests to give a recommendation once the Vocations Director inquires to them about you. Serve your Church and the poor in your community.

Once you are confirmed and serving Mass and doing charitable works then contact the Vocations Director in your diocese and set an appointment for your initial inquiry about possibly becoming a Priest. He will direct you from there.

Immerse yourself in your Catholic faith. Live it. Begin now.

Live a chaste life. Pray for purity and begin now tackling any issues you may have with this.

There is so much more, of course. This barely scratches the surface. Typically, as already mentioned, the Church won’t accept applications for seminary from neophytes, but I can tell you that exceptions are sometimes (though rarely) made, depending on the candidate.

First thing you want to do though is learn to be the best Catholic that you can possibly be. Focus now on that. Daily Mass, prayer, and study.

You are in my prayers, Justin. God bless.


#6

Justin - What a wonderful story.
I have read all of the advise given and can add very little. I am a member of our parishes RCIA team and can tell you a call to your local parish and contact with the RCIA director is where to start. RCIA stand for Right of Christian Initiation for Adults. It is the churches way to help adults convert. I have been with our group for 8 years and have seen miracles.
All of the other advise is sound and will help you mature in the Lord. One other thing I might suggest is spiritual direction. In our diocese we have a spiritual renewal center which will connect a person with someone to meet with on a regular basis to help them grow in their spiritual life. I am sure most places have one.
God has blessed you with a longing to, as Saint Augustine says “rest in him”. I will keep you in my prayers and add you to my prayer circle


#7

Dear Justin,

May God bless you, and lead you to where He wants you to serve Him. I know several converts who are, or are training to be, Priests. They are wonderful men filled with love of God and His Church. If this is what God calls you to then I wish you every grace and blessing.

However the Church asks new converts to wait at least two years after they convert before applying to seminary. This is so they might adjust to, and grow comfortable with, life as a Catholic layman before training to be a priest.


#8

Thanks so much everyone. I really appreciate all the prayers and the encouragement. I feel that after being confirmed in the Church, I will become an altar server. After doing this for a few years, if I still feel the calling, I will apply to seminary. Thanks again everyone.
Justin


#9

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