Novels for those considering their vocation

Has anyone suggestions for novels to suggest to those considering their calling to the priesthood - maybe novels which tackle deep questions, or portray well the priestly life.




The Shadow of His Wings by Goldmann

To Become a Priest: A Love Story
Den Adler (author)

A Priest is not His own- Fulton J. Sheen

Priests for the third millenium- Cardinal Timothy Dolan

I will pray for you brother!!

May the SACRED HEART Make You a Priest and a Saint for our Church!!

I was actually think more of novels to explore the theme.

A Priest is Not His Own by Sheen

30 Questions on Celibacy (not a novel, but still good reading), various authors, published by Ignatius

The Seven-Storey Mountain by Merton

Life of Christ by Sheen

Insofar as fiction written about the process of discernment, I’m not sure there are any. If there were, they’d have a limited readership at best, I would think (I have a vocation, but don’t really read fictional stuff). Not to mention the countless problems such novels would likely have with orthodoxy and Church doctrine, as many, many, Catholic books - even with the imprimatur - do. It would be a prime target for heterodoxy and the Modernist heresy.

I think the best bet for something in the same ball-park as you want, is reading the memoirs of priests, or priests’ retelling of their own discernment, or the same but of religious brothers, and similar materials.

Wow. I’ve been discerning (and it has been a very difficult and trying time) and I’m glad that I came accross this thread. Thanks to the O.P. for your question.

More simply then.

Can you recommend some novels which provoke thought about priesthood?

Maybe “Shadows and Images”, historical fiction about John Cardinal Newman?

The novels of Michael O’Brien (published by Ignatius Press) all offer insightful portrayals of the life of a priest in wide and varied circumstances (often dangerous), e.g., Father Elijah, Island of the World, Sophia House, etc., etc…

The only book/novel that ever awakened in me a desire to be a priest before I became one:

The Power and The Glory by Graham Greene

Since then I have also read a few wonderful novels by Louis de Wohl:

Set all Afire (about St. Francis Xavier)
Throne of the World (Leo the Great)
The Quiet Light (St. Thomas Aquinas)

Really all the novels are great, but these are the ones that most specifically address the priesthood.

God bless,

Fr. Scott Kallal, AVI

Yes, The Power and the Glory is a masterly work I think.

Someone mentioned the works of R H Benson but I reckon they may be a bit dated.


Cross Dressing Saints?

Perhaps in some nonessentials, but in the essentials his writing is very powerful. With Lord of the World he was very prescient.

" Keys of the Kingdom ,"he movie and Novel

" The Scarlet and the Black, " Movie and Novel ( I think )

" Lord of the World " Fr. Robert Hugh Benson
" Come Rack Come Rope " Fr. Robert Hugh Benson
" The Big Fisherman " Movie, don’t know if it was a Novel, but I think so.
" Going My Way, " Movie, don’t know if it was a Novel.
" Bells of St. Mary’s " Movie, don’t know if it was a Novel. :thumbsup:

The Mass of Brother Michel by Michael Kent.

I’m not a man, so I’m not considering priesthood, but I still have some input, because I think all of us need to consider vocations in order to pursue the will of God.

Keys of the Kingdom is excellent because it fallows a man who not only has to discern his vocation, but then needs to figure out where God wants him within his Church. In other words, once he became a prest, he wasn’t really successful in working with the pastors who supervised him. It’s a well-written book. The movie is very good, but I think the book is better. The movie stars Gregory Peck, who is one of my favorite actors in priestly roles. I also like Bing Crosby, but I don’t think he was as interested in being faithful to what a priest’s life would really be like.:popcorn:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is a long book, but it’s an excellent choice for someone trying to figure out his vocation in life. The various movie versions are good, too, in bringing out the deeper questions of life: Should a person get a second chance? is it okay to steal if you have no food and your nephew is dying? Can a person change? How does a person get to Heaven? What is just punishment for criminal activity? The Catholic Church figures prominently and positively in this story.:clapping:

These books are classics and timeless. Don’t pass these books by simply because you want a more contemporary book. They’re worth the read.

I hope this helps. And I’ll pray for you. We certainly need more priests and religious in the world.:banghead:

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