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.
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?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- What if I change my mind about being a priest during training or things just don’t work out? How do I pick my life back up again?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- Why would anybody become a priest nowadays?
- 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?
- I read stories of religious communities merging or closing down. Are religious organisations dying out?
- Can I leave the priesthood if I want, and is there any support if I do?