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?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- What if I change my mind about being a priest during training or things just don’t work out? How do I pick my life back up again?
- As a priest, will I get to see and talk with family and friends regularly?
- I read stories of religious communities merging or closing down. Are religious organisations dying out?
- Do religious communities offer a trial period?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- Why would anybody become a priest nowadays?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?