Married Priests in the U.S



I was wondering if you could tell me what the quickest and most practical route is to becoming a married priest in the U.S. Does it involve joining a particular rite? I assume it means getting married before taking Holy Orders.

Thanks! If I can be a married priest, then I will definitely do it.



The Latin Church, with a few exceptions, restricts ordination to the priesthood to celibate men. Historically, the Eastern Churches ordain married men to the priesthood, although they have not always been permitted to do so in the Americas. Those restrictions have been eased, and I have heard from a source I consider to be reliable that Pope Francis has told Eastern bishops in the Americas to ordain married men if they see fit to do so. For men of the Latin Church, one cannot transfer to another ritual Church in order to bypass the Latin requirement of celibacy. It is my understanding that when married men are granted a transfer to one of the Eastern Church from the Latin Church, it is with the stipulation that they are barred from ordination to the priesthood. Both East and West consider Holy Orders to be a canonical impediment to marriage, so marriage would be prior to ordination, not after.


Not to be harsh (:o) but – when it comes to discerning our vocation – I don’t think seeking out the most expedient way to do it the way that we want to do it is the best starting point. That’s going to be a red flag for any Vocations Director.


Given that marriage is a non-negotiable, is it unheard of to persuade the admissions officer to let you in despite marriage? I feel called to be married, but I am also feeling a strong call to serve God in the highest possible way-priesthood. If I can’t do that, I’ll be a deacon, but it would be the lesser of two goods.


I think it’s great that you feel such a strong call to serve God. I would encourage you to speak to a priest and/or spiritual director about the discernment process and figuring out where God is leading you.

There are many ways to serve the Church without being a priest. I know plenty of married Catholics who serve the Church is many, many different ways: working at Catholic universites, Catholic publishers, Catholic news outlets, Catholic schools, Catholic parishes, Catholic Charities, Catholic non-profit apostolates, Catholic diocesan offices, etc., etc., etc.

But oftentimes saying yes to one path requires saying no to another – even when both paths are something really, really good.


There is also the possibility of discerning a call to the diaconate once married…


ESTP, I strongly recommend you seek out a personal spiritual director. Your pastor may be able to help, for example.

There are a lot of knowledgeable people here on this forum, and you surely can pick up good general information, but a lot of very helpful personal advice requires working face-to-face with someone who has really gotten to know you.


God must be pulling on you something fierce, and that is a blessing. Marriage is an equally important but different sacrament of service to others than holy orders. I presume you know this. For men like you and me, there is now restored the ancient Order of Deacons (permanent, mind you) following the Second Vatican Council (although it was first given credence at the Council of Trent five hundred years ago). That is something you may wish to explore. The world needs not only more good and faithful priests, but good deacons–as well as religious sisters and brothers. Finally, and this is very important for you and me, the world desperately needs more Christ-centric husbands, fathers, wives and daughters–families that will return to the LORD more deacons and priests. Priests and deacons don’t pop out of thin air–they are nurtured in good Catholic families that you and I are called to assist in building.

I hate to sound “preachy”, but being a father and husband, whilst loyal and loving within the Catholic Church, is about the best calling one can have. If you have the acumen, the calling and time-balancing abilities, then maybe the permanent diaconate may be for you as well. May God richly bless you as you reflect on your calling. :thumbsup:


^^It’s the deaconate.

I told God, if you act on only one request I make in this entire life, please give me a beautiful wife.

Then the gist of what I discerned from God was like this: I don’t want forced subservience. i wanted you to be a priest, but now, your calling is the MARRIED life and things will start to happen as such.

Then I was praying the Rosary and the word “diaconate” kept coming up.

I will bring it up to my priest in confession tomorrow anyway, but thanks to all of you for your help!


Someone once said

[SIGN]If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans[/SIGN]

If God wants you to be a priest, you should be a priest
If God wants you to be a deacon, you should be a deacon

It shouldn’t be considered
“I like women to much so I will be a deacon instead”

Psalm 25
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul,
my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be disgraced;
do not let my enemies gloat over me.
No one is disgraced who waits for you,
but only those who are treacherous without cause.
Make known to me your ways, LORD;
teach me your paths.
Guide me by your fidelity and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
for you I wait all the day long.
Remember your compassion and your mercy, O LORD,
for they are ages old.
Remember no more the sins of my youth;
remember me according to your mercy,
because of your goodness, LORD.

Good and upright is the LORD,
therefore he shows sinners the way,
He guides the humble in righteousness,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth
toward those who honor his covenant and decrees.
For the sake of your name, LORD,
pardon my guilt, though it is great.
Who is the one who fears the LORD?
God shows him the way he should choose.
He will abide in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.
The counsel of the LORD belongs to those who fear him;
and his covenant instructs them.
My eyes are ever upon the LORD,
who frees my feet from the snare.
Look upon me, have pity on me,
for I am alone and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart;
bring me out of my distress.
Look upon my affliction and suffering;
take away all my sins.
See how many are my enemies,
see how fiercely they hate me.
Preserve my soul and rescue me;
do not let me be disgraced, for in you I seek refuge.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me;
I wait for you, O LORD.
*Redeem Israel, O God,
from all its distress!


I fear this is insurmountable. I’ve been very attracted to women from Day One. I remember cutting out women from the swimsuit catalogs when I was 12 just to look at them. I have a dream wife and a dream family. I would have to throw away all this to be a priest, and I don’t think I can do it. I’m not strong enough. I’m weak and I want those things very badly.

I know in my heart I can’t do it. And that’s why I feel so incredibly guilty, because God wanted me to do it and I couldn’t. This will be my dirty little secret I carry throughout my life. No, I’ve got to talk to somebody.


I will pray for you:)

[BIBLEDRB]Matthew 19:11-12[/BIBLEDRB]


Perhaps in time you will learn that those things we want badly are not always the best for us to have. God’s plan is not for us to have everything we want. Right now you wish it could be both ways for you. Your only task at this time is to find a spiritual director you can trust and keep his advice.


If God wanted you to be a priest, He would give you a very strong desire to do so. It would be much greater than a natural desire to marry. You would be, after much prayer, reflection and guidance, willing to give up a wife and family. Your desire for priesthood would be greater than your desire for marriage.

As the other posters stated so eloquently, you can certainly serve God very well as a married man. Our highest vocation is to do God’s will. And God’s will is what is whatever is written on our hearts.

God does not send us mixed messages. His will is not a conflicted message, full of anguish. He wants what is best for you. Marriage is a very holy vocation.

Be at peace. After wise guidance from a good spiritual director, your true vocation will be discerned.


Again, i will certainly bring it up to my confessor, but I now believe that the voice telling me to become a priest (and added “No family”) was the devil. It was loud, bold, abrasive…and it caused distress. Seemed like it was from God, but wasn’t.

-I have always wanted to be married
-I have always been extremely interested in women
-When a priest once gave me a pamphlet on discerning the priesthood years ago, I was repulsed
-The thought of not having a wife resulted in violent crying

I was praying just now and God seemed to say, I would never ask you to do something you didn’t want to do. You’re supposed to get married. You’ve always wanted to get married. That is your vocation.


No. Confession is not the time and place to discuss your vocation at length. It is the place for confessing your sins and receiving penance and absolution. It is not wise to mix the two aims in the confessional. You need to find a spiritual director (a trusted confessor would actually be a good man to start your search) and set up regular appointments with him so that he can get to know you in a way that is confidential yet not bound by the Confessional Seal, and then he can give you advice on your vocation.

Right now you seem to be speaking to God directly, which is great, but you need an interpreter along for this ride when it comes to matters of great importance to your spiritual life and well-being.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with growing and protecting a Catholic family for the LORD. May God bless you so very much!


I must agree, you need spiritual direction…

If you’re called to be married…God bless you!:thumbsup:

you’re posting about priesthood…
in a vocations forum…
and even the previous posts seem in conflict…

And if you are wondering, spiritual direction is NOT some recruitment tool for the priesthood
many married people need spiritual direction too

you still sound pretty young, don’t try to find the answers right away
maybe take a little breather…

[SIGN]And get a spiritual director!![/SIGN]



The bolded sounds… disconcerting… to say the least. You are not “throwing” anything “away.”


We never want something so bad as when we feel we can not have it.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but on behalf of women everywhere I am begging you to never get married. Even if you never become a priest you will most certainly become an abuser.
There is nothing quite so frightening as someone with high expectations of a relationship. You take the cake with not only relational expectations but personal expectations that extend to children.
Sir, you need to back off and calm down.
Yes … yes … talk to someone, but also don’t be afraid to live a little too.

Being married to the Church is wife enough. If you were to marry a woman as well it would be like bigamy; especially if that is your intent when you set out.

Of course this is all more than you can handle. It’s all more than any of us can handle; that’s why we turn to God.

Pray for transformation and clarity; not for your will.

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