I Want To Be A Priest, Advice?


#1

Hi everyone. I’ve recently decided that I not only want to be a priest but feel that God is calling me to be one. Let me start with some background info. I’m 16 years old, and will soon start my junior year of high school. I’ve always been catholic, and was baptized as a baby, but church never really clicked for me. When I was old enough to actually know what was going on in mass, I had no interest at all. In fact, until I had to go on a retreat for Confirmation, I had begun to hate it. Being a teenager I thought that it was a waste of one hour of my life. But something happened on that retreat, and now I can’t get enough of it. I handed my life over to Jesus and it’s been completely reversed - and for the better. So now, I’m at the point where, after praying on it, I’ve decided I’d like to become a priest. I know that it requires either 8 years in seminary without prior education or 4 years if you have attended a university and furthered your education in some way. So I was wondering if anyone has advice on what the best path is? I feel like 8 years would be best for me, but maybe it’s not so. Should I talk to the priests at my parish and get their advice? And in the meantime while I’m still in high school, what do you recommend I do to prepare? I serve at a soup kitchen once a week pretty often, but not every week. Should I start to do more things like this?

Please give any advice based off of what I’ve asked AND what you feel I need to know. Thank you!


#2

God Bless You. I would go to Mass frequently - daily if possible. And follow the liturgical calendar (3-year cycle). Then also discuss and obtain guidance from local priests. No need to make hard decisions at your age, but put yourself in a place and space where you can contemplate your future.


#3

Sounds like a great choice to me. You are still young. I would suggest a cautious approach to your possible vocation. Continue your studies. I would suggest you consider University if applicable, as this will open a maelstrom of ideas, problems and solutions and will allow a mature frame of mind to continue to assess your vocation. It it can withstand University and the sexual maturity of your twenties then it has a better chance of success than the walls of a seminary. On the other hand, some would argue to maintain focus and purity of thought the early inculcation of a more moral education will strengthen faith and resolve.
I would immediately look to advice from a vocational advisor and find a spiritual director for your spiritual development.
Many fail to complete seminary training and I am thinking of your need for a fall back career in case of such exigency. Thus my suggestion of University. This is only wise and cautious, however it does not ignore the value of your present focus and the need to feed it spiritually and with good counsel. Get a spiritual director and go to the seminary that most interests you,whether diocesan or an order, and pray, pray, pray. May the Holy Spirit guide your as the Paraclete has since your Confirmation.


#4

If you are discerning a vocation to the priesthood, then you need a spiritual advisor. Make an appointment with your priest and tell him you are interested in becoming a priest. He will get you in touch with the right resources in your diocese and be able to suggest a spiritual advisor. You also might want to think about a part time job to help defray some of the cost of your education.


#5

Yes, you should tell your parish priest and ask his advice. Trying to attend daily Mass, developing a solid daily prayer life, finding a spiritual director are all good advice.


#6

You should also email the vocation director of your diocese just to let him know. You can probably find his email on your diocese’s website.

I also recommend this book to help with your discernment.vianneyvocations.com/store/products/books/to-save-a-thousand-souls/
Your vocation director might have a copy for you to borrow. God bless.


#7

First off, settle down and take it slow. You have plenty of time to discern your vocation.

My advice:

-Develop a solid and consistent prayer life.
-Attend daily mass when possible.
-Find a good spiritual director; this is a must!
-Also, I might add, read about the priesthood. I highly recommend the book To Save a Thousand Souls.

I will say a prayer for you.

Blessings,

ctb95


#8

All of the above are good suggestions :thumbsup:

Volunteering at a soup kitchen is good, but as a priest, that is not your first duty. Maybe you can volunteer to help with CCD classes for younger children.


#9

I know one of the young men who aspires to be a priest in our parish currently serves as an altarboy. He looks to be about your age, perhaps a little older.

Will pray for discernment for you.


#10

I’ve actually considered taking a year off after I graduate high school to just work and save up money, and I am one of the youngest in my class, so it would line me up with people who are closer to my age if I wait to enroll in college or go to seminary.


#11

Just make sure you email your vocation director to let him know that you are in discernment.


#12

Any sort of service work - particularly in a secular environment - is helpful for one wanting to be a priest since priesthood is, at its heart, about loving service of those in need. Granted, working in a soup kitchen isn’t normally a part of priestly ministry experience of the sort of work that is will come later when, God willing, you are in the seminary. Having some sort of active involvement in your parish (such as teaching CCD classes, reading or being a EMHC) is also important for diocesan priesthood.


#13

I will pray for you – you might want to consider beginning praying the Liturgy of the Hours. There is a wonderful website that has the office for each day:

www.divineoffice.org


#14

Does anyone know what the standard cost is for a year at seminary? The seminarian currently at my parish said that his is $40,000+ a year. I talked to the seminarian at my grandparents’ parish and he said that his is too, but his is paid for completely by the archdiocese of Indianapolis. Do some pay the cost for seminarians and others don’t? And if so, is it possible for me to attend seminary through the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, rather than my parish’s diocese (Diocese of Lafayette-Indiana)? I know for a fact that I can’t pay $40,000 a year or even $25,000-$30,000. Would I just have to move to somewhere with a church in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis? Or can I stay at my current one?


#15

Some dioceses pay, others don’t although all dioceses usually find some way of ensuring that cost is not a barrier. You would normally be expected to apply for the diocese where you live since each diocese has its own particular character although within the same province (or grouping of dioceses) the variations are usually quite small - especially when you’re talking about the neighbouring diocese - but not always. Regardless, any diocese will normally expect you to have some connection with it prior to applying and will typically ask why you aren’t applying for your home diocese.


#16

Every person is different, so it is best to find a spiritual director to help you with these questions. If you are a fairly mature individual, which it sounds like you are, I would recommend going to seminary rather than a university. If you do four years at a university, you will then have to do some pre-theology (philosophy) and then move onto the normal four years of theology classes. Furthermore, minor seminary will require you take generals classes and be very similar to a university education but in an environment that is also fostering your spiritual and human development. Seminary will also provide you with resources for discernment so you can continue to follow the will of God without getting sidetracked by distractions that will be present at a university.

As for cost, talk to the vocation director for your diocese. He will know what scholarships are available for you. Basically, the cost is the same as any college education but there will be more scholarships available for you because dioceses don’t want to turn away young men being called by God simply over financial issues.

Lastly, know that you are not too young to be thinking about these things. God has put this on your heart for a reason. The right time to answer God’s call can only ever be when He is calling. So don’t be afraid to explore this vocation now. Build a daily prayer routine, continue your works of charity, get a spiritual director and talk to your diocesan vocation director. All these things will help you know the will of God and act on it.


#17

Have you checked this website, run by your diocese – I suspect you’ll find that they pay for their seminarian’s education:

www.priestforever.org


#18

While seminary life and university life have a fair amount in common (at least superficially), one of the advantages that university brings is that it is a secular environment in which you are studying (and often living) in the midst of a diverse group of people many (if not most) of whom will not be Catholic or indeed any religion at all.


#19

It depends on the diocese when it comes to how much they can cover. My diocese, the Diocese of Phoenix, covers the full cost for seminarians.

Also, if you can’t afford the application process or the seminary, then be honest with the vocation director. He can help guide you and help you.


#20

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.