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?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- Can I become a bishop or cardinal and not a priest?
- I read stories of religious communities merging or closing down. Are religious organisations dying out?
- 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?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- If I take a vow of celibacy, will I get very lonely?
- Can a gay man become a priest?
- What’s the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest in a religious order?
- Can I still join the priesthood if I have personal debts?