Am I being called?
To be precise, a man only “knows” he is called when he is ordained! However, there are many positive signs that can point to a vocation, and which can help a man make the decision to enter the seminary and continue along the path towards the priesthood.
Quick Discernment Tool
Now that you are here and no one is watching or listening, read these statements to yourself, take them to prayer, then act on what you know is right. God knows, you may be called to the priesthood!
- A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is important to me.
- People have told me I would make a good priest.
- I’ve hidden vocation material under my bed and in my desk.
- Going to Mass and Adoration is a very important part of my faith life.
- The thought of becoming a priest keeps coming back over and over again.
- I’m afraid to tell my friends and family that I’ve been thinking about the priesthood.
- I feel called to give more of myself to others.
- After hearing the readings at Mass I think about how I would preach.
- I have a burning desire to help people get closer to Christ and to know the Truth.
- I have a strong sense that what I have planned for the future is not what God has planned for me.
If some of these statements reflect how you feel, if your heart is pounding even harder, if you sense a greater desire to find out if God is calling you to live in black and white, get in touch with the Vocation Director. Have no fear, the Lord wants only what is best for you – and so do we.
After spending time in prayer and reflection, asking the Lord what His will is for you, it can sometimes be helpful to “gauge” where you are in regards to your readiness for the seminary. While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, nor meant to be the final word on the matter, perhaps these questions might help you in that “gauging” process.
On each of the twenty questions below, rate yourself on a scale from 0-5. A rating of 0 means you do not posses the stated sign at all. A 5 indicates that this sign is very evident in your life. The highest possible score is 100, so the closer you are to that number, the more prepared you may be for the seminary. Be completely honest with your answers. If you would like to follow up this discernment exercise by having a discussion with your Vocation Director, please visit the Who Do I Talk To page to find his contact information. He would be more than happy to help you discern the meaning of your answers.
______ 1. I love Jesus Christ and I have a thirst to bring Jesus and His teaching to the world.
______ 2. I am endeavoring to be a believing, practicing Catholic.
______ 3. I am trying to live a life of prayer and I desire a life of prayer.
______ 4. I am trying to serve others and I desire a life of service to others.
______ 5. I feel a desire to be a priest, though it is sometimes stronger than at other times.
______ 6. Others tell me that I should be a priest or that I would make a good priest.
______ 7. Prayerful reading of Scripture leads me to believe I might be called to be a priest.
______ 8. I am endeavoring to live virtuously.
______ 9. I like to be around people and I have sufficient social skills to engage others.
______ 10. I have enough intelligence to complete graduate-level coursework.
______ 11. I think I have the physical, emotional, & psychological stability to become a priest.
______ 12. I am joyful and I have a good sense of humor.
______ 13. I think that I have a “priest’s heart,” a heart with kindness and compassion for others.
______ 14. I believe that I have the self-mastery to be a man of prayer and leadership.
______ 15. Generally speaking, I have demonstrated stability in my life.
______ 16. People who know me would say I am a Christian gentleman.
______ 17. I have had events happen in my life that seem to be pointing towards the priesthood.
______ 18. I am usually able to accept both success and failure without losing hope.
______ 19. I believe that I have a healthy psycho-sexual development and orientation.
______ 20. I am trying to be truly open to the will of God for my life.
* This discernment instrument is drawn from To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood by Fr. Brett Brannen.