Places to live / work in discernment period?

I felt the calling to become a priest in 2010. I temporarily moved for three months to the area where I was applying to the priesthood for interviews and testing. I have been through a tumultuous life, but did not have any major transgressions in the eyes of the church. I was ready to live as a man of the cloth and was looking forward to starting school at a seminary. I had 4 years work experience at the time and also had my bachelors degree; the vocation director was confident I would be starting in the seminary that year.

I interviewed with the bishop and about 8 other Monsignors. I got past every phase of the process. However, the Cardinal saw my application and neither accepted it or rejected it (very uncommon according to the vocation director). The Cardinal recommended I take a minimum year of discernment.

I negotiated out of the lease at my former apartment at this point and had plans to enter the seminary. I found out about a month before that I would not be entering the seminary that year. I moved back to my prior city and went through the majority of my savings just to get settled again and to pay bills without income.

I had to move back into my parents place about a year ago and felt as somewhat of a failure.

I am hesitant to start the whole interviewing process with a seminary or order anytime soon. The hardest part for me was going through the process with my friends and family (as well as getting my hopes up) to have nothing happen. I felt particularly devastated by that.

I would like to move to a place and be surrounded by those living for Christ on a daily and hourly basis. I am happy to work to pay for rent and food. I have found some sanctuaries, but they are $20-$30 per day. I am willing to move anywhere in the world provided that I can work, live, eat, and pray in a community of fellow believers.

If anyone knows of a place, ideas would be greatly appreciated.

What about volunteering someplace?

Catholic Volunteer Network
Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Vincentian Service Corps

You are not alone Isaiah, i have spent all of 2012 in discernment, an this past summer put in an application, i have basically put my life on hold, i have a military background, some college, and i don’t know what else to do, i feel if i go back to college to pursue anything i will just then have to change gears if called / accepted to a seminary, I do not want to work in a secular job , and i do not have the needed skills degree to work in a compassionate field such as hospitals or what have you… I have been told plenty of reasons why things are taking long, an i just don’t know what to make of anything…

I feel tremendously lost, and even foolish, I have put myself basically infront of God saying here I am, an i do not even get an acknowledgement that my application is even under review. My vocations director simply doesn’t know what is going on, he doesn’t talk to my Bishop at all. An i just go from one seminary retreat to the next. An it hurts because I enjoy it so much an want to start a new life only to have to go back home with more waiting.

Perhaps something to do with waiting on a new Pope, or this is everyones way of testing us to see how long we are willing to wait, I have no idea. You have at least had more information given to you than I have gotten.

I don’t know what else to do, no one has any answers for me, an perhaps i am expected to wait another year after turning in my application after already putting my life on hold in personal discernment for a year already… if that is the case then so be it.

Doesn’t ease the pain any.

In the mean time i feel very alone and lost.

Hi Isaiah,

Not sure where you’re located, but I thought of Madonna House in Ontario, Canada.

Contact info

Hi John,

Tough times, I know… Have a look at my post about Madonna House.

Dear Isaiah,

Please know your are not a failure. We should assume it was after prayer that the Cardinal decided on the minimum year of discernment. Please trust that the Cardinal for some reason felt a call to ask this time of discernment for you. None of that time is wasted.

“The hardest part for me was going through the process with my friends and family (as well as getting my hopes up) to have nothing happen. - Isaiah”

Something has happened… you were asked to accept a gift, a gift of additional time discerning your call. That truly is a wonderful gift.

When God is calling us, we sometimes have to take a different path or time frame than our human hearts see. Trust God. Trust his holy priests who are leading you and the other men on a path towards the holy priesthood.

Remember that obedience is something we are called to follow. As a man discerning the priesthood, you will want to follow the Cardinal’s recommendation, trusting that he did so after prayerful consideration. As a priest you will make a vow of obedience. Today you have a chance to begin practicing that virtue.

Maybe Little Portion Hermitage is a community you would like to visit.

Dear John,

Please know you are not lost, alone, or foolish. You are on a journey of the discernment towards the priesthood.

Stay in touch with your bishop and vocations director for your diocese. Continue with your retreats. Focus on the call that you are feeling. God’s timing is somethings very hard for us to understand.

Maybe a personal spiritual director would be a blessing for you, a priest who can help you during this time of waiting.

Thank you for continuing this path towards the priesthood.


Wow - these are great! Thank you.

Thank you very much for this link. I especially like this 7 month program for those considering the priesthood :

I’m hopeful again. It is difficult when we want to run and Jesus wants us to walk. :slight_smile:

Thank you for the kind words and the link!

I did not look on the experience as a gift, but you are right. I am a very driven and ambitious individual; I felt that I was wasting time. I definitely have gained patience and a greater passion for life and the word during this period. It has had its share of ups and downs with some experiences that felt like I was truly being tested; sometimes I made the right decisions and sometimes I did not. I am stronger now because of it and maybe that was part of the plan all along. :slight_smile:

Discernment houses also are very good places.-

Hi Isaiah,

I wholeheartedly agree with the suggestion of going to Madonna House. Asa young man you may either be assigned to work on the farm, St.Benedicts Acres, or you could end up doing various tasks around the main house such as splitting firewood, or general maintenance If you make it there in time maybe you'll be fortunate enough to work in the sugar bush collecting maple syrup:) Anyways, there is daily Mass and morning vespers and lauds, And you live in the beautiful countryside nestled on the Madawaska  River. It truly is a great place to discern. All the best and God bless.
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