By and large, most men go through a prayerful process of gathering information and consulting trustworthy priests. Very often, men even wish God were not calling them to the priesthood. So chances are, if your son announces that he wants to be a priest, the call could be genuine. If God is calling your son, he will give him the grace to live his priesthood with happiness and joy—even while sacrificing those things that the world so often equates with fulfillment.
No one should think this invitation is not meant for him or her, since no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord. Your son has had a personal encounter with this Jesus and he has fallen in love with Him! Jesus is irresistible, for those who have come to know Him, and his call is powerful for those who love Him. There are approximately four hundred thousand Catholic priests in the world today who follow Jesus joyfully, making all of the required sacrifices!
How to become a priest
How do they do this? Because they have fallen in love with the Master and He gives them the grace to do what they have been called to do. And they do it with joy! If he had not had this experience, he would not be thinking of priesthood.
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Many studies about happiness have been conducted over the years. One profession consistently ranks number one for personal happiness: clergy. Contrary to what many in secular society would assume, Catholic priests overwhelmingly report that they are happy and fulfilled. Others discover this call only later in life for some, much later. A good portion of internal discernment involves reflection, prayer, and listening to God.
Being involved in one's parish, going to Mass regularly, receiving the sacraments, attempting some type of Christian or community service, and trying to live a good Christian moral life are just some of the ways that often help to bring one's call into focus. The Buffalo diocese offers various programs to help the individual discern his call from God. Some of these include St. Joseph Club and Response Group meetings.
How do I Know God Wants Me to be a Priest?
If the person, after prayer and thought, decides that he wants to proceed, he can then begin the application process. For an individual to apply, he must first meet several criteria. The applicant must be a baptized and confirmed Catholic male. He must have at least completed high school or be within a year of completing high school e. High School Senior. The person must be in good health and not bound by marital obligations.
The candidate would then fill out the appropriate application forms, submit sacramental certificates and academic transcripts, and provide references.
The candidate would also have several interviews with the Director of Vocations and other Board members as well as undergo the necessary psychological testing and screening. After the completion of the above, the Bishop and the Diocesan Seminarian Board will meet, evaluate the candidate's application, and then decide to accept the candidate, reject the application, or defer it until some point in the future.
Once accepted, the seminarian will begin preparation for the priesthood at the seminary the diocese sends him to. In the Roman Catholic Church, a priest must be male and unmarried. Many Eastern Catholic Churches will ordain married men.
Why Would Anyone Want to Be a Priest?
You must be at least 25 years old to become a priest, but this is rarely an issue unless you complete your studies unusually early. Get involved at your parish. Before you even think about going to college or to the seminary, it's a good idea to get started helping out at your parish. The longer your history as a practicing Catholic in good standing, the easier it will be to enter the priesthood. Get to know your favorite priest. Tell him your interests in joining the seminary and see if you can assist him during services or when he goes to visit sick members of the church or participates in area activities.
In addition to altar services, help out with singing and reading. Getting thorough knowledge of the books and hymnal will make everything much easier down the road. Assess your beliefs. Becoming a priest is not a decision to take lightly -- it is a path that takes years to complete and is not for the faint of heart or belief. If you at all see yourself doing anything else, priesthood may not be for you. These sources of insight may help you make your decision: Pray for God's assistance in discerning your situation. Participate in mass regularly, developing a relationship with your parish's clergy.
Ask for advice from a vocational director or any trusted mentor within the church.
Attend college recommended. A bachelor degree typically makes it easier to enter seminary, and reduces the length of seminary studies by a couple years. While in college, get involved in your campus' ministry. Use this time to attend retreats, help other students, and connect with your new parish or diocese. Enter a seminary.
Apply to seminaries through your diocese or through the religious order. If at all possible, enter a seminary that awards a Master of Divinity, and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools if you are in the US or Canada. Every school has a different application process.
How do I Know God Wants Me to be a Priest? - The Diocese of Shrewsbury - The Diocese of Shrewsbury
You may need reference letters, proof of church involvement, a certain GPA, and a statement of interest, to name the basics. The questions may cover physical health, emotional well being, conformity of behavior with Catholic tradition, and broad knowledge of Church doctrine. Excel in seminary school. In seminary, you'll spend your years studying philosophy, Latin, Greek, Gregorian chants, dogmatic and moral theology, exegesis, canon law, and church history, just to get you started.
You'll be guided on meditation and solitude and be given adequate time to hone your public speaking skills. Become ordained as deacon.
Priesthood in the Catholic Church
After completing seminary, a bishop may call you to Holy Orders and ordain you to the ministry. You will now serve as a deacon for at least six months. If there are issues that could prevent your ordination, you will likely discover them during seminary. If you are not chosen to be a priest or you leave seminary early, you may be able to request a refund of the tuition.
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The response depends on seminary policy and your financial situation. Enter the priesthood. Depending on your country's tradition, you may enter the priesthood after a relatively short term, or choose to remain as a deacon permanently. This includes parish priests, chaplains, and religious teachers, among others. They promise celibacy and obedience. Religious priests join the global community of a religious order or congregation, such as the Benedictines or Franciscans. These priests make formal vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, with some variation among different orders.