Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I am considering entering the seminary to become a Catholic priest.
If I were to enter the seminary I would be a priest after seven or eight years and I would get to serve in a parish. However, I’m wondering whether, as a parish priest, I could also be a Carmelite priest. I am highly attracted to Carmelite spirituality and if I became a priest I would really want to be a member of the Carmelite order. However, I do not want to live in a monastery away from the world – I would rather be a priest in a parish amidst families, youth, etc.
A large part of me desires to have a meaningful life, and I feel that this could be better accomplished in a parish than in a monastery.
Are these things exclusive? If I become a parish priest, can I also join the Carmelites and wear their habit? Or, to be a Carmelite priest, do I have to be living in a Carmelite monastery?
Thank you. Please pray for my discernment.