What steps are involved in becoming a priest?

  1. Contact the Vocations Director of the diocese or religious congregation you’re interested in. They will outline for you the steps involved in the process.
  2. There is usually a period of discernment to give both you and the Vocations Director time to make sure that you’re suitable for the road ahead and compatible with the diocese or congregation.
  3. When it’s been decided that you are ready you can formally apply to join the diocese or congregation.
  4. After applying you will have several interviews to help assess that this vocation is really for you.
  5.  If it appears to be then a psychological assessment will follow. These days this is a requirement for anyone thinking of entering the priesthood or religious life.
  6. If you are accepted, you will usually begin with an introductory year or two, followed by studies in philosophy and theology (either separately or as a unit). This whole process takes on average about 6 years.
  7. During your period of study, you will be offered pastoral experience. This could be on an ongoing basis throughout the academic year, or during the summer, or a mixture of both. For some people it could even be for a year or two in-between studies.
  8. During your formation years you will be accompanied by experienced guides. They will help you to grow in your vocation and personal development.
  9. When you and those responsible for your training (formators/Superiors/Bishop) agree that you are ready for ordination, you can begin the formal process of applying.
  10. If your application has been accepted you will receive what are called the ‘minor orders’ of reader, acolyte and deacon before finally being ordained to the priesthood.
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