To age 40


In the church bulletin a paragraph mentioned men who are discerning a call to the priesthood would have evening prayer with seminarians one evening.
“Those who are high school to age 40” are welcome to attend.

Why is 40 years old the cut off age?


the plain simple truth is that it takes many years to become a priest (4 to 8 years, sometimes even more), considering the amount of resources (financial, etc.) to make that happen - dioceses would want to get some mileage out of you before you ‘retire’


It is purely a prudential decision that rests with the individual dioceses, the autonomous monasteries, or the institutes of consecrated life. There is no upper age limit beyond what is set by individual entities. I have worked with priests who were well beyond 40 when they began their studies.

That said, I find most people do not understand the many consequences of incardination. It is a two way bond between the man ordained and the entity which grants incardination according to the provision of canon law – be it a diocese, a monastery, or an institute of consecrated life.

The man owes obedience to the superior whence he is incardinated. And whence he is incardinated has jurisdiction over him until he dies or his incardination is transferred.

Thus, prudentially, one must appreciate that incardinating a man who is advancing in years means not only a more limited time of ministry on the one hand but a more imminent prospect of having a responsibility for his care and upkeep should he become incapacitated because of a crisis resulting from age or a health incident.

If a man otherwise eligible for Holy Order or Consecrated Life wishes to apply but there is an age limit where he first wishes to apply, he should prayerfully consider applying elsewhere and seeking counsel where later vocations are welcomed and encouraged.


You might be able to be a Brother. If you’re discerning a vocation have you Googled late life vocations? If you check the forums here you may find some info as well.


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