Is this a vocation, or just a 'career of interest'?

Hi,

I am a 15 year old Catholic guy who is interested in becoming a priest, most likely in a religious order. However, I can’t tell if this is a vocation or a ‘career I’m interested in’?

I think that I first said I wanted to be a priest in the first grade. I had most of the mass memorized by the time I started altar serving in fourth grade. Speaking of fourth grade, I read like half the Bible by the end of 5th grade (not that I really understood any of it, but it’s the thought that counts) Then in middle school I started “experimenting”, which culminated in a girlfriend that I broke up with a couple of months ago. I love spiritual reading, and have read everything from St. Augustine to Thomas Merton to Jesus Freaks to the Baltimore Catechism. Every other career I have ever been interested in has been is related to the priesthood somehow: teaching, politics, social work, stuff like that.

On the other hand, I have very little patience, and a quick temper. I don’t think I am responsible enough, patient enough, forgiving enough, or in general “priest material”. I also can’t tell if I am genuinely interested in the priesthood or in the cooler aspects of it, like remote missions and being a chaplain in the military.

So is this a vocation, not a vocation, or what? If it is, is 15 too young to start talking to the vocation people in religious orders? Which would you reccomend? (I am very big on the “Church militant” stuff, i.e soldiers of Christ, St. Michael, etc.)

The vocation may well be genuine: being immature at 15 won’t discount you:thumbsup:

I’d say if being a priest stands out to you as a bigger desire than marriage, then it is definitely a vocational calling. I would recommend getting a spiritual director to help you discern more deeply (since you are only 15). But I feel God puts specific desires in our hearts that determine He desires us to become.

My view is that the priesthood is a career, a vocational calling, and a life style choice. It is a wonderful thing for those who are called into the ministry. If you would only view the priesthood as a career it would not seem appealing to you. Seeing it as merely a career would mean that you feel that it is your only option because you do not think you are good at anything else. That is why I think it is a vocational calling for you, because you seem to have a genuine interest.

Good luck, God bless, and I’ll pray for your discernment

From what you have shared it sounds like a genuine call to service to the Lord but how that will manifest itself in your life will probably amaze and surprise yourself.

People change in temperment, intellect,spiritual and emotional growth during their adolescence and early adulthood. You never know where the Spirit will lead you and how the Spirit will shape and mold you in the years to come. Your “job” or “career” at this point is to be open to Spirit – to listen, to learn, to ask questions, and rejoice that God has given you this time to explore and reflect on your calling.

Finding a good person of prayer – parish priest, for example – who knows you can be valuable in your discernment process.

Hello my name is Matthew and I’m 16 almost 17 and I have been discerning the Priesthood since about your age. My advice is if You feel a calling ( and even if you don’t ) you need to really get your prayer life set up. I pray a Rosary a day and it really helps. Also I like to listen to podcast sermons by Fr. Barron he is a model Priest an you will learn a lot about the Bible and the readings listening to his sermons. You can download them free from iTunes just type in Fr. Barron or go to his website www.wordonfire.org. Just remember that a vocation to the Priesthood especially since Priests don’t marry is a slow falling in Love with the Lord. You have to grow closer to the Lord. In the past two years of me discerning I’ve learned so much grown so much , grew closer to the Lord met new people it’s great.

Just give the Lord what you have and He will take care of the rest.
Feel free to message if you wanna talk!

Go ahead and complete high school and start college. Stay active in your parish and when you’re 18, become a reader or a eucharistic minister. However, I do not know if one has to be 18 for those, as I became one after I was of age. And one can only be one at a time. That will prepare you to be much better equipped to present yourself in front of a vocations director. Then your official discernment period will begin there. So, you have plenty of time indeed and you’re young still. Now, what you have to do is stay active in your parish and start college. Only when a person has somehow worked closely for a period of time with a particular Order do they accept you right out of HS. But, I think 2 years of college is about right, although you have to ask that of the vocation director. Active Orders usually ask for that. Contemplative ones, although they would prefer and appreciate you do have the 2 years or even 4, can, in some cases, be a bit more lenient. However, you sound like being interested in an active Order.

First of all, Thank you everyone for posting. Secondly, what is an “active” order? Is there such a thing as a “passive” order?

15 is not too young to discern. I was younger than that when I began discerning, and now I’m 18 and hoping to enter next year! As for not thinking you’re “priest material,” you’ve got time to learn and grow before you can begin seminary/enter a community and also time in formation. I don’t feel like “nun material” all the time either.

There are a lot of different types of communities: active, contemplative, monastic, apostolic, cloistered, active/contemplative, missionary…did I get them all? plus diocesan priesthood :wink:
Active meaning religious who have an external apostolate (job) such as teaching as opposed to one whose main apostolate is prayer.

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