I am a university student and I am currently in the process of converting to Catholicism. I have been in my university’s RCIA program since the start of this academic year and I am looking forward to my confirmation this Easter. I was just wondering, is it strange for someone who is a new convert to feel a strong calling to the priesthood? Thanks.
It isn’t strange at all. But you might want to wait until you are in the Church for awhile. I mean, when I first became a Catholic, I looked into becoming a Carmelite nun. I was told that they don’t take converts that new. Also, my age was a factor since I was already in my 30’s. Give yourself time, finish your studies and talk with a spiritual director. Hopefully, and prayerfully, you can find a priest to help guide you. I had one who was indeed a great priest. He has since retired and moved out of state. I really miss him. But, anyway, study and pray. God will lead you to the right place at the right time. Don’t try to force it or hurry it.
It is not strange to respond to God with such love! Feel free to discuss this with others, and your local Priest. All those discussions, and prayers before the Blessed Sacrament will help you to descern your calling in the faith.
May God bless you richly!
Canon Law 1041(ish) states a neophyte can’t be a priest. You have to wait two to three years before enter seminary. however your bishop can change that if he wishes.
Wanting to serve the Lord is a huge calling and that is the heart of the catholic Church. You are called to one of the 4 vocations and you may very well have a calling to the priesthood. I would greatly recommend the book To Save A 1000 Souls by Father Bret Brennan.
I will pray for your initiation and vocation.
I wish I was better at navigating this site so I could direct you to the thread but in the last few weeks another young man said more or less the same thing as you have expressed. Perhaps someone can help you find it or some of the same responders will post for you. There were wonderful responses. At any rate, I will pray for you to be guided by the Holy Spirit as your move forward in the faith.
Not at all. I know a priest who was call to the priesthood before he actually converted to Catholicism. He has been a wonderful priest now for close to 30 yrs! Maybe God called you to Catholicism for the very same reason! Get a Spiritual Director and speak with him.
Single life, Married life, Religious life (monks, nuns, etc), Sacerdotal (priests, etc)
As for the original question…
It’s not at all unusual for men who are in the process of conversion to feel the call to become priests. Many converts have gone on to become excellent priests - not least of which, the Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman.
But you will need to wait a couple of years from your reception into the Church before you will be permitted to enter priestly training - this is just a normal precautionary pragmatic approach from the Church, which would want to be sure you weren’t simply caught up in the process of conversion and mistaking that euphoric experience for a deeper calling… After all, it wouldn’t do you or the Church any good if you launched headlong into expensive seminary training only to realise you’d taken the wrong decision a couple of years later.
Don’t get discouraged though - it would most likely take at least a year between beginning one’s application process to actually starting at a seminary, so the two years isn’t really so long to wait - give it 6 months to a year to get used to your place in the Church, use the time to get to love the rhythm of the liturgy and experience all the Church has to offer, make yourself available in service to the Church as a lector or altar server or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion or visitor to the sick or any number of other ways to serve the people of God… The time will fly by!
I work with RCIA in my parish. I haven’t had any men thinking about the priesthood but I did have a woman interested in the religious life. As RCIA went on she felt more and more of an attraction to the Poor Clares. Even though she couldn’t receive communion, she attended daily Mass at their monastery and got to know them.
Once she was received into the Church she contacted them formally about entering. They wanted her to wait two years after becoming Catholic before they would accept her. This seems wise to me, to ensure that her vocational calling was not just due to her enthusiasm for Catholicism in general. She continued attending Mass with them and became involved in parish activities. After two years she entered the monastery and is currently a novice with them.
I would say that what you’re thinking about is definitely possible. Continue praying, seek out a spiritual director, explore the possibilities, get involved in your parish, and know that you have the prayers of many people as you consider this vocation.
That’s great! But F.Y.I. they require a lot of theology school and some Catholic seminaries teach their own version of the faith instead of the Catholic one. The usual problems to watch out for include teachers saying the Eucharist is not the body and blood of Christ but a symbol of unity, in the sacrament of confession the priest doesn’t have the power to absolve from sins, and the rosary is not to be prayed.
Those are some pretty big allegations, painted with a very wide brush.
Do you have any ***proof ***at all that what you are saying here is true? :shrug:
Thank you all. I realize that I will likely have to wait a few years. To be honest this desire to be a priest was present even before I began the conversion process. It’s been like a metaphorical “voice in the back of my head” for some time now and it really drew me to the church.
Don’t know where you live Aleksander, but here is a link to the Program of Priestly Formation that was developed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I encourage any one considering a vocation to the priesthood in the US to read it.
Peace be with you on your journey!
Thank you for your link and your well wishes.
This article might also be of interest: thetablet.co.uk/latest-news/3916
One of my seminary classmates is also a convert.
As far as seminary education goes, all Catholic seminaries are audited (by an external auditor) on a regular basis to ensure that their teaching complies with the requirements for priestly formation - as set out in Pastores Dabo Vobis (“I will give you shepherds”) - the document by JPII on priestly formation
Holy Orders (Priesthood or permanent Diaconate)
Singleness/lay life Third Order
Consecrated Life (monks and Nuns)
This is very good advice that has been given here. It is not strange for you to feel a call to the priesthood. Being in college right now is a good thing too.
I do know that one diocese in North America recommends that new converts (and even reverts - I’m a revert myself) wait at least 3 years before entering seminary or religious life. This time will give you a chance to settle in a little. After you are received in the Church, I agree that it is good to find some type of ministry. You could teach CCD, help with RCIA, or volunteer as an altar server. I was an altar server growing up, and it did give me a little more insights on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Fr. Donald Calloway’ covers part of his waiting period in his book No Turning Back. I highly recommend this book for boys over 14 and men under 45. I like how Fr. Calloway called the early part of his formation with the Marians of the Immaculate Conception “Spiritual Boot Camp.”
Hope this helps, and welcome to the Church. I returned in the 1990’s.