Vocations to the Priesthood


#1

Hello all,
I am currently in formation to becoming a Priest in the Episcopal Church, but I feel God is calling me to the Catholic Priesthood. Because I am already in formation, I sort of feel obligated to keep on through, hoping that my drawing to the Catholic Church will dissipate. On one hand, the Episcopal church has a unique tradition and has been my home for quite sometime. But I feel it is not the "true" Priesthood. Perhaps I can convert after I finish seminary? My heart is torn between the two churches, and I'm not quite sure what to do.
Will someone please give me some advice? I would really appreciate it. :)


#2

Be True to thyself, and truer to the Lord, after all you will have to answer to Him, personally I would advise you to talk to a Catholic Priest, who might make an appointment with you to talk to a Catholic Bishop - you need to get human guidance to point you towards spiritual guidance.

God Bless you on your journey.


#3

And he saith to them: Come ye after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men. And they immediately leaving their nets, followed him. --Matthew 4:19-20


#4

I was reading “To Save a Thousand Souls” and it mentioned that in order to be allowed to be a priest, you must be baptized by the Catholic Church, you must have received the sacrament of Confirmation, and if you recently joined the Catholic Church through either Baptism or profession of faith, you must prove to your Bishop that you’re firm in the faith.
Usually, the Bishop requires for you to be a practicing Catholic for two or three years.

If you’re interested and your diocese eligible, you can get “To Save a Thousand Souls” and “Is Jesus Christ Calling You to be a Catholic Priest?” for free.
gopriest.com

I finished “To Save a Thousand Souls” and it really informed me and also helped me realize what a priest really is.


#5

I’m not sure where you are Porkchowmein but have you considered the Ordinariate?


#6

[quote="Eduardo06sp, post:4, topic:340472"]
in order to be allowed to be a priest, you must be baptized by the Catholic Church

[/quote]

I'm pretty sure that's incorrect. If he was baptized with the right matter, form, and intentions (as mainstream Anglicanism has always done), his baptism will be presumed valid. Could you give a verbatim quote from the source?


#7

I think it would be somewhat dishonest to complete Episcopal seminary and ordination and then immediately try to switch to the Catholic priesthood. As others have advised, I suggest that you should get in touch with the Vocations Director or the bishop of your area and see what they suggest.

From your post, however, it seems like you are still embroiled in doubt about where Christ’s true church is. If that is the case I would continue to pray, educate yourself, and perhaps privately consult with a local Catholic parish priest.

Another factor is your marital state. If you are currently married you would probably have to be ordained into the Ordinary of St. Peter, but I am no expert in that area so again contact with Church officials would be useful. If you aren’t married then you could be ordained into a regular Catholic diocese.

God bless you and guide you.


#8

First thing to do, contact a Catholic priest. A priest can offer you better advice than those of us on a message board can. I'd suggest contacting the Anglican Ordinariate.


#9

I would definitely first contact a priest or the vocations office for your diocese. They can give you a good idea of what your options are. I know a few men who have converted to Catholicism after attending seminary for a different Christian Church for a few years. The have had to practice Catholicism for a few years before their acceptance to the seminary however they were given credit for the pre-theology philosophy courses. Remember that seminary is a continuing discernment of your call to the priesthood. You are not a priest until your nose hits the marble as they would say. You are never obliged to continue formation because you started it.

My suggestion would be to discern first if you are being called to the Catholic Church and then discern if you are being called to be a priest.


#10

You are correct. "Baptisms administered at a time prior to the ratification of the Common
Agreement may be subject to the ordinary canonical investigation."
This probably means that if porkchowmein wants to become a priest, he must have his baptism investigated.

This comes with the conditions (that are probably met by some reformed churches):
“for the purpose of celebrating a marriage within the Catholic
Church or of entering into full communion with the Catholic Church, it is to be presumed that the
individual has been baptized by immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his or her
head (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1239, 1278), and in accord with the biblical
and Trinitarian formula(e): “N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Spirit,” or “N is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Spirit.” (cf. Mt 28:19.)”
"The five ecclesial bodies also recognize that there is a single minister who performs the
rite of baptism, and that it must include a washing with true water by immersion or infusion, i.e.,
water poured on the head. (Directory, ft. 105.) When the Reformed rites speak of “sprinkling,”
they intend by this term a generous application of water over a single individual that flows over
his or her head."
There are a few more requirements as well: usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/ecumenical/reformed/upload/CA-Reception-Statement-Final1.pdf

One more thing to note: religionnews.com/2013/01/31/catholic-reformed-churches-agree-on-baptism/ has noted the following: "The agreement, which applies solely to churches in the U.S., is unusual elsewhere."
I couldn’t find information in the document: usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/ecumenical/reformed/upload/CA-Reception-Statement-Final1.pdf


#11

Hello porkchowmein,

The Anglican Ordinariate is a home for former Anglican within the Catholic Church. Ordinariate priests are former Anglican priests, some of them recently ordained, others who came into the Catholic church through the Pastoral Provision. It would be an ideal home for you in that you would be able to maintain some of the Anglican patrimony that you love and has been beneficial to your journey of faith and you would also be in full communion with the Catholic church. It is truly the best of both worlds.

If you are truly not ready to convert and decide to become an Anglican priest, you always have the option of coming home to the Ordinariate in time. The door is always open.

You can view the link here: usordinariate.org/

You can view the various parishes on the website and I would recommend contacting either Fr. Eric Bergman in Scranton, PA or Fr. “Doc” Holiday in Orlando, FL. They were both Anglican for many years and are now priests in the Ordinariate.

May God bless you as you discern his calling for your life.


#12

[quote="porkchowmein, post:1, topic:340472"]
Hello all,
I am currently in formation to becoming a Priest in the Episcopal Church, but I feel God is calling me to the Catholic Priesthood. Because I am already in formation, I sort of feel obligated to keep on through, hoping that my drawing to the Catholic Church will dissipate. On one hand, the Episcopal church has a unique tradition and has been my home for quite sometime. But I feel it is not the "true" Priesthood. Perhaps I can convert after I finish seminary? My heart is torn between the two churches, and I'm not quite sure what to do.
Will someone please give me some advice? I would really appreciate it. :)

[/quote]

Just as a practical matter, if you converted after coming into the Episcopalian priesthood you would likely be forced to undergo more training before you would be ordained a Catholic priest. So "staying the course" could mean another several years at a minimum before you could enter the Catholic priesthood which, I'm sure, would be a great annoyance. So prudentially speaking, it'd be much easier in the long run to convert now and transfer what credits you can to a Catholic seminary.


#13

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