I feel I have a specific charism to youth outreach. Can I live this charism out as a priest, or must I follow the charism of the order I join?
There are religious institutes whose specific mission is to youth – the Salesians, for instance, or the Irish Christian Brothers. If you feel you have a specific gift for youth-work, you should consider an institute whose charism is precisely this. On the other hand, many institutes have youth outreach programmes, even if this ministry doesn’t define them. In these cases you could talk to those in charge (Superiors) about your desires for youth work.
However, it is possible that they may judge that you would be more effective in another ministry or that there are other pressing needs that override your particular desires. This is all part of what obedience means in a religious institute. Still, each religious institute will take very seriously your deeper desires insofar as they point to a calling within a calling – to youthwork within religious life, for example.
Most popular questions
- I feel I have a specific charism to youth outreach. Can I live this charism out as a priest, or must I follow the charism of the order I join?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- Why are there so many different religious organisations?
- The idea of public speaking is very challenging to me and I avoid it if possible. How can I be a priest when I hate public speaking?
- Would entering a religious community mean that I would have to sever my relationships with family and friends?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- As a priest if I decide that I no longer want to do something, such as work in a specific parish, do I have any say or is it all out of my hands?
- I hear my local priest say in his homily that there’s a shortage of priests in Ireland, is there really a shortage of priests?
- I’m very attracted to women. Will this pass with time and training or will I always be tempted?
- Why do I have to be celibate to be a priest?