I have finally contacted my priest. I have told him that I am highly considering becoming a priest. I’m scared he’s going to think I’m stupid because I’m only 16. Am I over thinking this?
Sounds to me like you are following the Lord’s invitation to “Come and see.”
May God bless you in your discernment.
Praying for you,
Not at all; that’s the perfect age to be making serious plans for your future.
No, I thought of it ever since kindergarten and went to an overnight retreat when I was 16. It’s an ideal time because you’re starting to figure out your path (although at that age…you’re JUST starting).
So I’m sure the priest will rightly tell you to “go slow” and continue to work on becoming a strong catholic man and help you learn how to be open to God as you continue on.
It’s just good to let the priest know so you have someone to come to as you go through all this and can help keep you informed of retreats and other aids.
The majority of people that sense they’re called…generally don’t become priests. Many that go to the seminary and enroll…don’t become priests.
But ALL of them (including myself) are very appreciative of the journey which will help form you in either way you go.
So going to the priest is a great first step regardless of what ever stage you are in.
God bless you on your journey.
Here’s the email I sent him. What do you think?
Hello Fr. xxxxxx
I haven’t properly introduced myself to you, but I am a member of Saint Elizabeth’s. I’m not sure if my name sounds familiar to you or if you recognize me from church by my profile picture. I attended Saint Elizabeth School for all of my grade school years. I will be entering my junior year of high school this year, at Reese High School, and will be turning sixteen next month. The reason I am messaging you is because I have been thinking about being a priest for a while now. I have always attended church and can probably count on one hand the amount of times I have missed. My parents are very devout Catholics. Up until my sophomore year of high school I had never considered the thought of being a priest. I would ignore the feeling and push it off as whatever. The more I pushed that feeling off, the more intense that feeling became. Soon, it was all I thought about. Around February I started exploring the idea online, reading books about it, and of course, praying about it. The more I thought and prayed the more intense this desire became. Once school ended for the summer, I had more time to think about this. I haven’t ever expressed any of this to my parents. I feel ready to tell my dad, but I wanted to talk with you first before anything was said. I know I am still very young but this is all I can think about. I’m not exaggerating this in any way. I kind of have ruled out that this not just a new, deep love for Jesus. I feel such a deep desire to serve God and the Church. This is the first time I am really acting on those feelings, except for praying about it. I know that I haven’t been discerning as long as some people usually do (According to Online Sources) and I realize that there is plenty of discerning to be done, but I don’t feel that this is just some old “career choice.” I can’t even describe how intense this calling is to me. I shrug it off; it comes back ten times stronger. Like I mentioned, I haven’t told my parents yet and don’t want them to know until I have talked with you. I will try to bring this up with my dad before my mom, just to see how he will react. I know my dad will react better. I would just like this to stay between us for now, until I tell my parents. If you could get back with me, I would highly appreciate it. Thanks.
I don’t think you need to worry about it. When I told my Priest that I believe I have a vocation to be a Religious Sister, his face lit up brighter than the sun, and he said he was so excited for me, and for coming to him to seek guidance. He was more than willing to help me with all of my “stupid” questions, some of which included how I should tell my parents (which I still haven’t). Trust me, if you haven’t told them already, that is the last thing you need to worry about.
One thing I learned is that if you keep it bottled up, you will only feel worse. It took me almost two months to gain the courage to speak with my Priest about my vocation. Once I told him, I felt so much better. I felt silly for waiting so long. But, I was in the same position as you. Okay, not exactlyI the same. But I honestly thought he would think I was stupid, and that I was far too young (I’m 16) to even think of such things, and that he would try to steer me to another direction, which is why I waited so long. Boy, was I wrong! He told me exactly what I would need to do, such as completing RCIA. He gave me a couple of books so I could read about various things that have to do with the Church. You might want to ask your Priest if he has any reading material he thinks would be good for you to read, whether he gives it to you or you borrow it.
I think he will be excited for you! Not to sound weird or anything, but I’m excited for you. If you ever want someone to talk to, you are more than welcome to PM me. I will be keeping you in my prayers.
You don’t need to send him your whole resume. Shorten it up and make it easy for him to read. Think of yourself on a day when you have two exams to study for, and a party you want to go to. That’s how busy a priest is every single day.
So you want to keep it short and easy to read,
I hope you are well.
I am interested in finding out more about the priesthood, with a view to entering seminary as soon as possible. I would like to discuss the possibilities with you at your convenience. Please let me know when would be a good time for me to come and visit with you.
I’m not sure if I’ve introduced myself to you yet, but I’m a sixteen year old boy, attending High School at St. xxx here in the neighborhood. You probably know my father, Mr. xxxx, who volunteers with xxxx, and my mother, Mrs. xxxx, who helps with xxxx.
You can call me on my cell at xxx-xxx-xxxx and we can set a time.
I look forward to our meeting.
He already sent the e-mail. I think any priest worth his salt would be thrilled to receive such an e-mail.
Thank you all for your support. I truly appreciate it and will remember you all in my prayers.
Wonderful! What a blessing!
…eagerly waiting back from the email I sent…I don’t think I have been more nervous in my entire life…I feel sick to my stomach…but at the same time I feel like I am falling into God’s plan…I think by taking small steps like this I am fulfilling my call…
It’s perfectly fine. Discernment begins with spiritual direction, not before. And 16 is a perfectly fine age.
A good book to discern diocesan priesthood: “To save a thousand souls”.
And discernment takes time, prayer, and patience - because it is not whether you are considering becoming a priest…it’s about whether God is considering that he wants you to be a priest or not. He’s the one who makes the call. So you may not necessarily be immediately admitted to a seminary before some time of discernment…But it is good that you are open to considering this vocation.
I pray you may remain in the Heart surrounded by thorns, where it’s safe.
I’ve gotten a response. He told me I was the greatest gift he has received this week. I feel so strong about my calling. I can’t even describe it.
What a blessing!!! God bless you! I will keep you in my prayers. (I was the one who messaged you)
Praise the Lord!
Congratulations in taking the first step of faith. Discernment is a life long journey with many twists and turns. As you begin this wonderful journey, I hope you will pray always and keep your ears open because you never know what God will call you to do. The journey to become a priest takes many years therefore patience will be important. The church is needing wonderful caring priests. Furthermore as you discern it is also important to continue using your gifts such as if you are an artist, a musician, writer, good at math, computers, photography, making videos etc because different ministries and different parishes need these gifts to glorify God and help others. I know one priest who is a gifted artist, and musician. During the journey if at some point, you believe God is calling you into a different direction or an unexpected door closes, remember that God loves us and another door will open. Discernment, prayer and dedication is what helps us navigate through this world.
Not at all. I just got back today from a retreat with the Capuchins and I’m 16. They didn’t think I was stupid and I was the youngest one there. I’m still trying to get the courage to contact my diocesan vocation director. It took me months to work up the courage with the Capuchins. Congratulations!
He won’t think that at all!
I’m Thirteen and dicerning a vocation to the priesthood.
I told my parish priest about my vocation and he is now my Spiritual Director.
My priest even said he would take me to meet the Director of Vocations for my Archdiocese!
Priest are joyful when they hear of young people with vocations for the most part.
I am so happy for you! See? You had nothing to worry about Keeping you in my prayers!
Having a vocation is good. I’ve had several priests who have told me to join. However, at this point I’m not interested for various reasons.
I would advise looking into various orders and not settling on one too soon. Personally, I see serious issues with religious orders and priests in the near future. The issues I see are mainly money and sustainability. I don’t believe priests or religious are independent enough. This could be a very big problem if collections and donations decrease. Therefore, I would advise seeking orders that are independent and sustainable in their lifestyle.