School was never something I really liked. Is the study part of formation very hard?

You do have to study philosophy and theology if you want to become a priest. It can certainly be demanding, but if you have the will, the basic capacity, and a determination to do your very best, it can be done. Seminaries and religious institutions vary in their requirements.

What is of most importance in priestly formation is that one is finally equipped to face the pastoral challenges of being a priest today. Part of this preparation is a good academic grounding in the sacred sciences, which is necessary if a priest is to effectively teach people the truths of the gospel. Having ‘the same mind in you as Christ Jesus’ requires not only knowledge of Scripture and Tradition, of course, but also a contemplative appreciation of God’s Word. This, in fact, is more important than academic knowledge, as the example of the Curé of Ars, Jean-Marie Vianney, the patron saint of diocesan priests, attests. He struggled academically, but achieved the heights of sanctity and thus won many over to Christ.

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