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
- 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?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- 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?
- 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?
- What’s the difference between a sister and a nun?
- 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?