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?
- 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?
- 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 orders?
- I do not consider myself to be exceptionally holy, I try to pray every day and follow the commandments. I have always been very interested in the priesthood but I have never felt a burning passion for it. Could I still be called to the priesthood?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- As a priest, will I get to see and talk with family and friends regularly?
- Why do some priests wear religious clothes while others don’t?
- Is a brother the same as a priest?
- If I take a vow of celibacy, will I get very lonely?