Talking with a Priest

I feel somewhat lost, and I really want to talk to a priest for spiritual guidance. I have this “idea” about a contemplative vocation.

The difficulty is it’s been 3 weeks now, and the priest hasn’t even called me back to schedule a future time. I feel like I’ve been patient. I’ve called twice so far and left messages, and I’ve emailed once. He gave me his business card during confession.

What’s going on? I suppose the priest is really busy, and I don’t doubt it. What should I do? Has anyone had the same experience?

Thanks for your comments.

I would perhaps go to your diocese and seek out the Vocations Director.

I’m in a similar experience with the Vocational Director for the Archdiocese of Boston. I just reccomend that you keep at it, and don’t let it fall in the cracks. But don’t let it get you frustrated or angry. Also, take time, don’t badger him constantly, put enough intervals of time between calls, e-mails, et cetera.

Keep up the good spirits! You might also want to contact some other people within your Parish. His secretary, another Priest, or a Vocational committee. Or try to corner him in Confession, he can’t escape there!

God bless you.

~ Pius :knight1:

It could be that the priest is on vacation. I know many priests who take 2, 3 even 4 weeks of vacation at one time. They deserve some time off. This month things will start picking up again and maybe you will hear from him.

Greetings Gruder18,

If I may I wish to ask a question that may seem to be obvious. Have you been by the parish church where this priest is? Does he have office hours? I would go and try to track him down in this manner.

If you do not hear from him, I would go and seek the Vocations Director of your diocese.

God bless.
Anathama Sit

I would follow everyone’s advice that has been posted so far. I would also consider contacting another priest and see what happens. Priests are incredibly busy so maybe you could even try contacting someone else as well. That way if the first one doesn’t work out at least you won’t be wasting your time.

This is actually a weird time of year for priests, for a lot of different reasons.

Give it a couple more weeks - I am sure you will have better luck in mid-September.

I am also discerning a vocation to the contemplative religious life. I woud recommend going straight to your diocese’s Vocations Director, as that is what the priest will tell you to do when you see him. Most parish priests do not know all that much about the various Orders so the help he would be able to give you is limited. The Vocations Director will be able to guide you in your discernment of your vocation and be able to suggest communities that would be likely places that God is calling you to.

A poster above suggested cornering the priest in Confession, I would recommend against this, as the priest will not have time to discuss the issue with you and you will use up time that others need to receive the Sacrament of Reconcilliation. It could mean someone not be able to confess something important. That would obviously be very selfish. I saw this happen in my parish once, someone used their time in the (only) confessional to begin a discussion with the priest which took 30 minutes. Confessions were for an hour with the vigil Mass straight after so they couldn’t be extended and the man would not leave the confessional, despite the priest asking him to so and offering an appointment instead. I noticed a few others who had been waiting to confess leave, including a woman who was crying, I watched out for her at the next few weeks confession (there is only one hour, once a week, for confession) but she never came back. I am haunted by the thought that that woman came to confession in an attempt to return to the Catholic faith (I’d never seen her in the church before but I’d seen her before so she was a local) and the selfish actions of one individual meant that she lost her nerve.

I’ll be praying for you in your vocations journey.

Greetings Jmcrae,

Yes I have observed that as well. I am not sure what it is about the month of September and trying to get ahold of priests. I wonder why this is. Do you think priests go on their vacations in September?

God bless.
Anathama Sit

What did you ask when you called the first time? It may not have been clear that you needed to talk further. Certainly call this priest or the parish again and simply ask to make an appointment. As others have said, you should also contact the vocations director. He is the person who will have information about the orders in your diocese and contacts for the national offices of others. God bless you in your discernment.

I think the priest must be busy… that happens sometimes. If he is still busy in a while, - use this time to pray and keep waiting.

Maybe during this time you could schedule a meeting with the vocations director of your diocese, and talk to him?

Thanks everyone for their responses.

I will seek out the vocations director of my diocese and not quit on this endeavor.

The reason why I’m seeking to speak to this particular priest is because he is a priest of a particular Order whose charism I am drawn to. If the contemplative orders that I am thinking and searching of don’t pan out (Carthusian, Camaldolese), I would at least be interested in the Third Order of this particular priest’s Order. I’ve already spoken to him briefly during confession to make a future appointment, and he gave me his business card.

The second priest that I will also try to contact is a diocesan. I’m just afraid, and maybe this fear is baseless, that a diocesan person might not be the right person to speak with and “push” me in a direction away from the contemplative orders.

Also, I don’t believe the priest is on vacation. I have no doubt that he is very busy though. The parish has a school, and I’m sure maybe September brings the added responsibility of these school kids.

There were plenty of times when I was ignored by vocations directors and priests. It happens and it is indicative to me that it is time to say NEXT and move on to someone that WILL write you back, Maybe God wants you to seek someone else. I have been through the mill know the deal. One told me in an email, “I won’t offer you any hope but I will still talk to you” My feelings were why on Earth would I want to deal with him!! I have had many un Catholic or uncharitable responses. but I finaly found a diocese that is wonderful and a great fit, so far:>) Let’s hope this priest calls you back. Scoob.


I truly feel for your situation. Yes, it is difficult to be patient and not feel rejected. What I suggest is that you make an appointment with this Priest in person. Go to Mass or to his office at the school, as you say, and ask for an appointment very simply and humbly. Go to Confession with him if you like but make an appointment with him for later of course since time is limited for Spiritual Direction and Counselling in the confessional. Don`t be afraid to speak to other Priests who are Diocesan. You learn each time by comparisom and contrast what your vocation is. Do not limit the Spirit of God and try to calculate and control your spiritual journey…God writes the script, not us.

I have the same challenge when seeking advice from Priests, or Confession, or trying to reach parishioners. My consolation is to know there is no Call Display feature in Heaven, Our Lord and Our Lady and the Saints take the calls as they come…I am praying for you.

Fr. Dominic

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit