What is the difficulty / acceptance rate of priests?


#1

Ever since I was a kid I have felt a strong calling to priesthood. I remember the first time I felt a calling to the priesthood was when I was about 4 or 5. I always would visit my grandma on the weekends and she would take me to her catholic church, even though I was not catholic. I always wanted to be catholic, but parents were protestant so I was protestant. I was a catholic wannabe as a kid you could say. I always felt I was catholic even though I was protestant. As an adult I always wanted to convert, but figured I would convert when the time felt right and I was ready to give up everything for the church. The time feels like it is approaching. I am getting euphoric feelings, dreams, over-whelming feelings to give up everything for the church. Some people go to church and just recite songs but never feel anything spiritual happen to them during the service, I always have felt a strong spiritual presence at church. My body actually feels different inside a church, I sometimes uncontrollable cry when I pray or sing at church. This always happens without my control at church and I always get an overwhelming feeling of joy that it makes me cry. The best way to describe it is some spiritual presence is completely taking over.

Sorry a little over emotional tonight. Anyway I was wondering about the acceptance rate and how difficult it is to become a priest? Although I have a masters degree in teaching and have plenty of education I sometimes wonder if I could make it as a priest. The priests I have met seem very bright and I would consider above average intellectually. In mass they have incredible communication skills and are able to articulate their words flawlessly, something many people would have trouble with. I also worry about the difficulty of learning Latin and if I would be able to learn. I have taken introduction Latin courses via audio cassettes, but I have only learned the basics of the language.

I have been employed in various occupations. Right now I am a licensed teacher and have my masters degree in teaching. I am not married and don't plan on becoming married. It would be a big move for a guy in his 30's, but I feel such a strong calling. I realize I would first officially convert to the Catholic faith and be a practicing catholic a few years before I could even consider the priesthood.

I also had concerns about the acceptance rates and how many are unable to make it as a catholic priest.


#2

As you said, once you convert, you’ll have a 2 year waiting period before entering into a community’s formation. I was in a similar situation as an adult convert wishing to become a sister.

First, become a member of the church. As you do that, you will find out more about becoming a priest. Remember, also that there are priests from orders and communities as well as from your diocese. You will have to decide which you would like to be. Get a spiritual advisor and, if this is what you’re called to do, then, at the very least, start with becoming a member of the Church.


#3

Many priest's today enter the seminary around age 30 or older, so you won't stand out in that regard. My current priest entered after having a long secular career, and he is a very pragmatic and holy man.

The first step would be to schedule an appointment with the vocations director at your local dioceses. Not being Catholic, it will be odd, but I am sure director would be happy to meet with you. He would be in the best position to guide you through the conversion process and what waiting periods exist for before entering the seminary and applying for ordination.

Most adult converts enter the church through the RCIA program, however other options exist that may be more appropriate, such as classes for converts offered at a nearby seminary. The vocation's director would be able to point to a solid program for you. He would also be able to provide information regarding the various vocations, such as diocesan priesthood, or entering religious life (becoming a monk). The vocations director for my diocese was also one the chaplains of at my college, and I thought very highly of him.


#4

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.