Where to start


I currently feel that God is calling me to the priesthood, but I don’t know where to start. What has me confused is that I feel that I’m called to be a religious priest, not a diocesan priest. I know that when looking to become a diocesan priest one would talk to their pastor about entering the priesthood, but I’m not sure if it’s the same for looking into religious priesthood.

I’m just not sure exactly what to do, so I thought I’d come here for some advice.


You need a spiritual director. Feel free to call your priest (your confessor would be a good choice) and tell them you feel called to the priesthood and need help to discern that vocation. Some parish priests are too busy with parish duities and responssibilities to be a full time spiritual director but they should be able to refer you someone who can help. Your diocese should also have some kind of vocational outreach program that can assist you. If you are interested in religious life start checking out the various orders/monastaries/abbeys in your area and go there to see if that is the lifestyle for you; they will have their own spiritual director who can help you. Take it slow and follow all spiritual guidence, it is a long, long journey.

  1. Contact your Local Priest, and arrange a Spiritual / Vocations Director.

  2. Contact them and set up a meeting.

  3. In the mean time, pray and reflect on what particular order you have a calling too. If one is already pretty sure that a religious order is the case then you probably have an idea which one.

  4. Many religious orders do not guarentee Priesthood. To many orders, (for example OFM), being a Priest is second to being a Brother, and oftentimes those who are chosen to be Priests are selected by the particular order, and not nessecarily by their own desires.

  5. Be prepared to set up a few retreats in the future, particularily if an ordered vocation is what you are inclined towards.

  6. Have patience, and trust.


Thank you for your replies, they've helped make my path clearer.

@Catholic 1954, Thanks for the advice, I had forgotten to look for programs directed toward vocations. I know I've seen at least one before, so I'll look more into that. As for visiting a order's house, do you know if I would have to make an appointment to go, or would I be able to visit whenever?

@JohnDamian, Yes, I already have an idea of which order I feel called to, but I didn't think it was important to my question, so I didn't name it. While I say specifically that I feel called toward being a religious priest, I suppose what I mean is that I feel called to serve the Lord in a very direct way, and priesthood is just the main things that I happen to think of in that sense. I'm not dead set on becoming a priest, it's just what I thought of when I thought of where I felt called.

Again, thank you both very much, you've been most helpful


Hey Brandin, God Bless your calling!:slight_smile:

If your looking to become a religious, I’m not sure I would go to your diocese for help or your parish priest either. While they might be able to help you discern your calling, they probably don’t have the specific information your looking for. These days, nearly every religious order or congregation has a web-site and most of them are very thorough, well done and full of information that can get you started. Not only can you find out the specifics such as the orders charism, spirituallity, vocations, history, requirements etc. etc, but they will always provide you with a point of contact so you can get in touch with them.

There are differences between orders and congregations also. An order, such as the Benedictines, Dominicans or Franciscans, live according to the Rule of Life written for them by their founders. Congregations on the other hand exist to live a specific charism, such as the Passionists, who’s founder made their charism the preaching of the Passion of our Lord, or the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) whose original mission was set forth by St. Alphonsus was to strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ in preaching the Gospel to the poor. The vows one takes upon entering a congregation differs in that they are “simple vows” as opposed to the “public vows” one takes in an order. And as another poster already mentioned, in alot of orders or congregations, being a priest is secondary, being a religious brother is first.

Here’s a web-site with links to nearly every order and congregation there is (I think!) As you can see, there are alot of them out there! Enjoy your discernment! :slight_smile:



Thank you for your replies, it's helping me feel more certain of how to start. I'm leaving on vacation in just a few minutes, but when I get back, I now have an idea of where to start. Thank you to everybody who has helped me, I appreciate it.

God Bless


God Bless you. Sacramento has strong support for men considering the priesthood. Good luck on discerning.


[quote="Brandin, post:6, topic:204256"]
Thank you for your replies, it's helping me feel more certain of how to start. I'm leaving on vacation in just a few minutes, but when I get back, I now have an idea of where to start. Thank you to everybody who has helped me, I appreciate it.

God Bless


Something that I don't see mentioned yet, you said there is a specific order that you are attracted to? Contact them, go visit, meet with the vocations director! (This does not exclude getting an outside spiritual director even if they are local to you.)

Also an important note: there is a difference between spiritual and vocational direction. Vocation directors are there to help answer one question: Is this candidate called to this order / diocese? A spiritual director should be helping you develop your spiritual life in general and helping you sort out the inclinations to various vocations.


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.