Question about diocesan priests

Hello everyone,

I am just wondering, are there many men out there that think God may be calling them to the priesthood, that realize they are a pretty quiet person and not exactly a people person, and still end out being good diocesan priests? I realize that diocesan priests have to be, or at least SHOULD be, pretty good with people and comfortable with talking to “everyone.” I think I have such a problem - I am pretty quiet and it takes me awhile to feel comfortable around most people. I am pretty sure that if God is calling me to the priesthood, this would be somewhat of a large obstacle to overcome.

It is kind of bugging me, and I kind of need some encouragement.

I visited my diocesan vocations director, and he discussed the possibility that this fact could mean that I am called to some type of religious life other than a diocesan priest. I realize this may be a possibility, but still, I would like to find out if many current diocesan priests and/or current seminarians have had to overcome this. Any advice?

How old are you? When I was a freshman in high school I was very quiet except with my closest friends and family. When I was a senior grew up a little bit and became more open. Now I really don’t care who I’m with and will talk to anyone. I know many quiet priests that are great priests but they will speak when they need to. Pray to God for help with any social anxiety you may have and ask Mary to help you along your discernment path. Pax Christi!!!

If God is calling you to be a Catholic Priest, he will form you into being a Catholic Priest. Just trust God and always seek to do his will.

the way I like to look at it you are a key and you only fit one specific door, that door is your vocation. God created you as this key to perfectly fit this door. So if the door your “key” opens is priesthood you will fit that vocation perfectly.

We have a priest in our church who is “the quiet one”. He doesn’t talk much, but has the most beautiful Masses and any advice he gives is super. He is gentle and kind. And he also will spend time without acting like he is in a hurry. I consider him the most holy and humble of our 4 priests.

So follow God’s calling. He will lead you on the right path. If you are meant to be a diocesan priest, you will be. Then you will be most happy. Keep praying for your vocation, he will answer you. :gopray:

I too was kind of shy and quiet, but now, not so much. So much changes when you get older.

I agree with everything that’s been said above. If you do feel called to the diocesan priesthood, you will also find the motivation learn to approach people more easily and ‘grow into the role’.

On the other hand, still do also check out some of the religious orders. Your personality description sounds to me like it could fit in well with the Carmelites, for example. (The Passionists and Franciscans could be other possibilities.) Their life would give you a larger place for contemplative prayer, while still potentially involving parish and pastoral work.

What you will ideally find, though, is that if you do visit the Carmelites (for example), you will hopefully react in one of two ways, one being 'this is it, I feel truly at home here, this is *exactly *the life I want to live–this fits me way better than diocesan priesthood!". Or, “hm, this really isn’t for me–I do want to be a secular priest and I’m going to work on my people skills so that I can”.

Another possibility is just that you’re worrying too much, and you will grow out of your discomfort. Almost **all **priests are introverts at heart, it takes a lot of interior depth and strength to endure the long path of seminary and the many trials that accompany the road to ordination. But even if that’s your core, you can still learn people skills and gradually even become comfortable ‘working a crowded room’ or what have you.

Finally I just want to say that, although vocation is often talked about as being ‘irresistible’ and something that will fit you like a glove, well, those things are true, but it doesn’t mean that it will be easy or without a whole lot of challenges to respond to God’s call. This is why it’s called taking up your cross to follow Him. So do expect challenges, but trust in prayer to help guide you on what is the right path for you.

have you thought that maybe the positive things about being a quiet person or an introvert would mean that you would be more inclined to listen?? and you would be a great counseler?? I have met so many priests that I have met them all . The quiet ones the nasty ones the ones that have agendas ones that are too outgoing. I am learning that balance is KEY to being a great priest. Not too much of this or that. I think being too outgoing is as bad if you call it that as being too quiet. I am very extroverted I can go up to anyone and strke up a conversation without bringing up the weather. But I feel I need to temper that somewhat. You are probably fresh out of highschool and that is normal to be quiet. I noticed my firend that works for my Dad and I met his son about 5 years ago 14 years old quiet as a church mouse, and now I saw him a month ago as we hried him as well and he is one heck of a talker. Young people seem more quiet and personalities change. If God is calling you and calling you to the diocesan priesthood than fear not you will be called.
I know that I am called to diocessan preisthood. As I want to tak to people and I see myself in a parish much more than a monestary. I want to be in one place so a mission order is not my calling. We need so many more priests ALTHOUGH I think it is getting better in the US,but we still need more priests in the south and midwest. You may like living in a monestary or a hermetage. But something in you must feel inclined to the diocesesan preisthood. I will pray that you find your way. God Bless Scoob.

Thanks for the responses everyone. Two of you wondered about my age; I am 19 and entering my sophomore year of college. You’d think that after a year of being far away from home at college I’d branch out a bit, but that didn’t really happen much. Oh well, we shall see. I shall continue to pray and discern.

I hope this comes across as encouragement. Sometimes what I write doesn’t say what I mean for it to say. Remember this is one persons opinion.

If you feel called you owe it to yourself to fully explore that calling. You see yourself as quiet, shy. I remember a professor telling me after his first observation of my student teaching, “After the meeting to decide your placement I was worried how you’d handle a class because you came across as quiet.”(paraphrased quote) His fears were put to rest upon stepping into that classroom. I share that because roughly 30 years ago I could have written the post that you have.

If God is calling you, your positive attributes will shine through, and you’ll learn to handle what you have convinced yourself are weaknesses.

Biggest piece of advice I have after reading parts of “To Save a Thousand Souls” by Father Brett A. Brannen is to find a priest that your vocation director recommends or that you feel comfortable with and have them be your spiritual director. You’ll need someone to listen and guide you through the discernment process. I had a somewhat active discernment time of three and a half years while in high school and college. Today I look back and think if I would have had a spiritual director (as recommended by the vocation director at the time) that I would have opened up to back when I was in high school I wouldn’t be on wondering where I went wrong and am I doing what God called me to do.

Don’t make this walk on your own. If you do it on your own you’ll always be looking back wondering what you should have done differently (unfortunately I speak from experience.)

If you end up where you are feeling called you will eventually have a spiritual director so make it easier on yourself and take that step now.
My prayers are with you.

Many priests are introverts. One of them once told me he was an big introvert and I questioned him since he appeared outgoing. He told me he was what he called an “occupational extrovert.” That is, he has learned that when engaged in ministry he takes on an extrovert personality but then after he has to be alone and decompress so to speak. I notice that I am that way too. I am not that good in many social situations but people think I am outgoing and extroverted when I am really very introverted.

Just some general observations.

  1. Many people who excel at speaking and acting in public before crowds (famous actors, politicians, speechmakers, and clergymen) are in fact naturally quite shy when it comes to talking one on one or in a small group.

  2. Many men (including me) were very shy when young but naturally become more gregarious and easygoing with people as they get older.

  3. The Bible tells us that if we choose to stand up for Christ, the Holy Spirit will give us the words we need to say.

  4. If you become a priest, people will come to you with questions, problems, requests etc. You won’t have to initiate the conversations with them very often.

I find these true with my life as well, Number 2 and 3 mostly though I am not much of a public speaker and if there is stuff to talk about in a small group that I am well informed on I talk alot in small group settings, but If I don’t know much I sit in the corner and say nothing lol

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