You still have a couple years ahead of you, but at your age I started discerning. I set up a meeting with my vocations director that following summer, and he helped settle some of my questions and such. I don’t think it’s ever too early to start discerning, but don’t let it take over your whole life. You still have a couple of years before you can act on your vocation.
Nothing wrong with starting to think about the priesthood at your age. Probably your parish has some kind of events aimed at high school students. My suggestion is to call the vocation director of your diocese and ask for information.Right you what you have to do is too understand your spirituality and to mature in it, the person in charge with vocations could help you finding a spiritual director.
Thank you… There are programs at my parish which I am looking to get involved with… Also, I have been in contact with a few priests and religious brothers… I have one question though. Can my vocational director be a lay person?
The vocation director is a priest chosen by the bishop to make sure that the diocese has a functional vocation program, usually it is a young priest. A spiritual director is an individual that helps you grow in your faith, the first ones are the parents then a sponsor and finally someone that you feel comfortable with. A spiritual director can be a lay person but a priest has the advantage to be also your confessor, something that a lot of people underestimate. Choosing a spiritual director is like choosing a pair of shoes, you need to find one that fits you, the director of vocations could help you choosing one.
I’m slightly older than you (Junior in HS) and I would first like to commend you for wanting to explore God’s path in your life. This is a giant leap for you, I’m sure.
I’ll be brief with my discernment process.
I was baptized, confirmed, and received Holy First Communion when I was eight. After this, I began to really look up to priests and, though I never met one on a personal level, I always watched from afar and admired them. It wasn’t until I was around 12 or so that I began to research the Faith. When I was 13, I entered into the Service of the Altar and assisted the Priests at Mass. When I entered high school, I was convinced that my vocation was to the Priesthood.
It was in the end of my freshman year that I discovered the Traditional Latin Mass. I was awe struck. I mean WOW. I made use of weekly confession, first saturday devotions, and of course, the Rosary.
Fast forward to today. I have visited the Seminary four times in last few months, I am a parishioner of one of the professors (and now Academic Dean) of the Seminary, and I am going to climb a mountain with a group of Seminarians and the Vocational Director. And upon that, I have gotten permission from the Vocational Director to assit him in creating a “youth group” (though neither of us likes that name for it) dedicated to fostering vocations.
It inspires me that young men are considering God’s path for them. Surrendering their own will for the Father’s, so that His will may be done.
I think you’ve probably hit what he was thinking of. A spiritual director can help you with vocation discernment, but a Vocation director is a specific priest who has been assigned by the bishop to focus on helping people (mostly) with discerning a call to the priesthood in that diocese (they help people navigate application processes or answer general questions).
At 15, you don’t really have to rush. Sure, you can start thinking about it (it’s never really too early for that. I decided I wanted to be an engineer in grade 6, although, that later changed.), but you don’t really need to be worried till at least, well, halfway though grade 11 (the same as looking at universities really). The earliest you’d be able to apply is probably grade 12.
Getting attached to something too far into the future can lead to some anxiety, and sometimes to wishing that you could be there instead of here. It’s not a good attitude to get used to, especially when you’ve built the “next thing” up so much that it’s become impossible to satisfy. Think about it and keep open to God, but don’t think too much; focus on your high school work for now.