If I become a priest can I decide where I go and what I do?
It is normally a negotiation or a discernment (a prayed decision), though diocesan priests often have less freedom in this regard than a religious order priest. A priest at ordination promises ‘obedience to his Ordinary’, i.e. his bishop or religious superior. If you became a priest, then, it would mean that you would remain open to taking on various works of service agreed upon in consultation with your superiors.
Of course, in order to help your superiors to make good decisions in your regard, it would be important to let them know your thoughts and feelings about possible assignments. Superiors should listen to their priests as they try to discern the best fit for them. In the end though a priest should see God’s will in what he is asked to do by his superiors. Sometimes, it takes a lot of faith to accept this process.
Most popular questions
- Can a gay man become a priest?
- 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 organisations?
- What does discernment mean when we’re talking about vocation?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- I have a girlfriend but I feel called to religious life. If I go into training for the priesthood can I still keep my girlfriend in case it becomes clear that I don’t actually have a vocation?
- What is a deacon and how is it different than a priest?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- Can I leave the priesthood if I want, and is there any support if I do?