Think I have a calling, but don't know what to do at my age

I posted something similar to this awhile back. But honestly I do not know what to do. I am in high school, and am 16 years old. In two years I will be an adult, and by that time I will be thinking about my future. I am really attracted by the Priesthood, I believe it is something God wants me to do. I really want to talk to another Priest, or some sort of spiritual director about this. But I do not know who to go to, and if it is too early for me to even say anything. Some people know as young as 5 years old sure, and I have had my signs, but I do not know who to go to or what to do. I do weekly confessions, but I do not think the confessional is the right place to bring this up. Much help appreciated!

Just call the office at your parish and make an appointment with a priest (the director of vocations if possible). You can ask the office which priest you should talk to but that might not know.

Well, it’s something you don’t just want to sit on. College (seminary) decisions are around the corner.

In order to properly discern a religious vocation, a spiritual director is needed.

The confessional is really not the place for this. You’ll want to make an appointment with a priest.

Hi Tyler,

I think that it’s great that you feel called to the priesthood. :slight_smile:

I would start by calling the parish office too and would make an appointment to talk to your pastor/parish priest.

Maybe during confession I can ask the priest if he might have some time afterwards, or if maybe sometime I would be able to talk privately with him.


You could there would be nothing wrong with it.

Do I have to tell the priest of my parish? See there is this other priest at another parish who I really like, and I feel a bit more close to.

The priest does not have to be at your parish. Talk to the priest you like more.

Hi Tyler

It’s great that you feel you have calling and also great that you’re keen and enthusiastic about it. At the same time, you also need to be patient because our time is not the Lord’s time and fulfillment of a vocation happens only on His time not ours. Don’t forget that you are still young with lot of time still ahead of you - I know that that’s easier to say than to hear and that it probably doesn’t feel like that for you. I can also appreciate from my own experience that you’re probably feeling kind of impatient and wanting to get on with living your vocation and not just thinking about it. That said, you need to take the process of discernment slowly and carefully - it doesn’t matter how long it takes, what really matters is that you’re ready which is something which you and your Spiritual director / vocations director will ultimately decide together. Until then, just spend time with the Lord in silent contemplation of the words which He speaks to you in your heart. Spend 10-15 minutes each day in silence to start with listening to what he has to say to you, His servant.

Yes, this is exactly what I needed to hear thank you! And you are right I do have a lot of time ahead of me. Really at this point I think the best thing I can do, is as you said take things slowly and just discern. I do think however this is something I should mention to a priest, just so they know, and can better guide me if I have any questions. If I could become a priest tomorrow I probably would haha, but no you are right. Things like this (or anything for that matter) will only happen when God wants them to. There is one thing I think I would like to add to that though, and that is that at the same time I need to trust, and not doubt. At first I feared the cost of seminary school, if I would be able to do it, if I am fit for it. All these sorts of things. With that being said I need to be able to trust God, and leave my worries to him. I need to trust him and the direction he is taking me. It might be a bumpy road, even one I don’t like, but if the grass is greener on the other side as God knows it is, then it is well worth it.

Thanks for the awesome response!
God bless!

You’re most welcome. As you’ve recognised, trusting in God is an important part of discerning (and for that matter, living) a vocation. Of course, knowing this is much easier than actually doing it! Doubts, worries and even fear are all very natural and very human responses - as is questioning your own worthiness (the “why me” question). If anything, not experiencing such things would actually be more concerning! You’re also right in realising the bumpiness (not to mention the detours, and hurdles) that will almost certainly be waiting ahead of you - like trusting in God, being patient is important far from easy!

Definitely talk to a priest about it and, if there’s a discernment group happening in your diocese / area which you can join then that would also be good idea. From experience, I’ve found that meeting and talking with others who are going through similar experiences to you (and so can relate to how you feel) is tremendously supportive - there’s comfort which comes from knowing you’re not alone.

Well for me it is more so I don’t feel worthy enough rather than anything else. I look at my struggles and think “How can I possibly be a priest.” But like you said this is perfectly normal.

I think that there have been good suggestions already posted. In terms of age, the average age that most recently-ordained priests first began to consider the possibility was 17 years old, so you are basically right there. There are always those people who “have known” since they were in the womb, but those are the exceptions.

Why not just get involved in the parish? That’s the first place they’re going to look if you’re talking about priesthood. The best way to do it is get involved and have the pastor bring up the subject to you, “Ever thought of being a priest?”

College – try general studies. Priests have to know something about just about everything.


I already am sort of involved with the Parish. I help out at the fair we have every year and I am helping out with the CCD kids this year. It is just I never really see the priest so I never really know where or when to ask. I guess I could call or email the church and request a meeting.

I already am sort of involved with the Parish. I help out at the fair we have every year and I am helping out with the CCD kids this year. It is just I never really see the priest so I never really know where or when to ask. I guess I could call or email the church and request a meeting.

Good to see you’re getting involved, especially with CCD - answering kids’ questions really makes you want to know more about your faith and challenges you to come up with decent answers to unexpected questions! As far as contacting your priest goes, priests can be hard to pin down at times (some more than others), so the direct approach may well be the best one. Sometimes you just have to keep at it!

Yeah Priest sure do live busy lives don’t they? Haha. I mean after all they do more than what we probably think on an average day. But yeah I will try the direct approach, it is important that I meet with one as soon as possible. Actually the lady in charge of CCD is my religious sponsor. I suppose that I should probably bring this up with them as well. They will probably be able to find a time where I can meet up with a Priest since they are in contact with them a lot.

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