What happens to my belongings if I join the priesthood? Can I keep my car?
Not all priests take a vow of poverty. Diocesan priests do not, for instance, and so the requirements regarding keeping or giving up one’s possessions will depend on the seminary and the diocese one joins. The vow of poverty, however, is part and parcel of joining a religious order. This means owning nothing of your own and receiving what you need from the community. If you join a religious congregation, then as a matter of course you’d have to give up your car and all that you own, in order to rely solely on the community.
All this in response to Christ who said: ‘None of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions’ (Luke 14:33). This does not mean that you would not have use of things, or ‘possessions’, such as cars, but their use would be in keeping with your calling as a priest or religious and not just for your personal benefit.
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?
- 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?
- Do religious communities offer a trial period?
- Can I leave the priesthood if I want, and is there any support if I do?