I think I might have a vocation to the priesthood but I cannot be sure, what do I do to find out?
The first step is to talk to the vocations director. Every diocese and every Religious Order or Congregation will have one. They will listen respectfully to your story and help you sift through your desires and your doubts, your fears, your worries and your concerns. By talking things through with them you should get a better sense of the rewards and the challenges of the way of life you are considering.
If the vocations director is also a good spiritual director, they will help you to become more aware of what it is in you that attracts you to this life of commitment and what it is that might draw you away from it. He will help you to listen to what’s happening for you at the level of the spirit – that is, where the Holy Spirit touches, inspires, encourages, enlightens, and leads you.
In other words, the director will help you discern whether your thoughts, feelings and desires come from God and are truly a sign that God is pointing you towards a vocation. These inner movements are sometimes subtle, so a good guide is necessary if we are to sort them effectively and so come to a good decision.
Most popular questions
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- Is a brother the same as a priest?
- I read stories of religious communities merging or closing down. Are religious organisations dying out?
- Why do we have priests? Can’t lay people do the work of priests?
- What does discernment mean when we’re talking about vocation?
- 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?
- Can I leave the priesthood if I want, and is there any support if I do?
- 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?
- At times, I find it very hard to pray. Is prayer easier when you become a priest?