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
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- What if as a priest I need to take time out to care for a relative or family member?
- Can a gay man become a priest?
- What’s the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest in a religious order?
- School was never something I really liked. Is the study part of formation very hard?
- 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?
- What is a deacon and how is it different than a priest?
- Why are there so many different religious organisations?
- What does discernment mean when we’re talking about vocation?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?