Discerning the Priesthood

Should you go to Seminary?

A great question to ask when considering the seminary: “What is the best next step I can take right now to draw closer to the vocation God has for me?”

The process of discernment in general and the priesthood specifically can be looked at as a process, like the ripening of a fruit tree. The tree needs to be nourished with water, sunlight, and good soil. In the same way, you need the right conditions to effectively discern your calling, such as a commitment to prayer, generosity, and living a holy, moral Catholic life. The fruit of this tree should not be picked too early or left too long. Therefore, you should act by moving forward prudently as you prayerfully determine God’s vocation for you. With proper reflection you can overcome any fear you may have and find your God given vocation.

What is Seminary?

As you walk your discernment journey faithfully, you may discover that seminary is the best place for you to test and affirm your lifelong commitment to God. Seminary is a place of serious study where you will apply to join other men like yourself. If accepted, you will be guided through your next steps by priests and formators. The Lord does not call just anyone to the priesthood. Only those chosen by Him who respond with generous hearts should become priests. Seminary is the place to learn about and solidify your vocation as you take the time needed to hear God’s answers.

Diocesan or Religious Order?

Maybe you’ve seen them your whole life, but did you know that there are actually two kinds of priests, diocesan priests and religious order priests? Both are ordained and can administer sacraments, celebrate Mass, and have an essential role in sharing the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Great High Priest. But they differ from each other not only in the way they live, but in the essence of their vocations.

Diocesan Priests

A diocesan priest is called to be a spiritual father of a local parish under a bishop in a geographical region called a diocese. His overall mission is to stand as ‘Christ the Head’ for the body of Christ in the local community. He provides for the spiritual needs of his flock in their everyday lives, especially through the sacraments, but also in his preaching and governing the ministry of the church. What most people experience rarely, a diocesan priest often experiences in just one day:

Baptism, Communion, Anointing the Sick and Dying, Marriages, and Funerals. He is there for his people at all stages of their lives and he becomes a father to that location. Those called to this vocation usually are attracted to serve the ordinary people of God locally in their everyday lives.

Religious Order Priests

A religious order priest (like Franciscans, Benedictines, etc.) is first and foremost called to be a Religious Brother in the Consecrated Life. He consecrates himself to God by taking vows of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. He thus first fulfills his calling by living the Christian life in a radical way, through the vows of a particular community where other brothers do the same.

In his ministry as a priest, he is ordained to serve the needs and mission of that religious community, wherever they may be and whatever they may do.

Learn more about the Priesthood

About the Seminary

Applying for seminary is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it is not something you decide on your own — it comes as an invitation from your vocation director.

Seminary Formation

Seminary formation is all about preparing you to serve Christ and His Church. The goal is for you to become a holy priest who can lead and pastor Christ’s flock as a parish in the diocese of Boston.

Meet Our Seminarians

These seminarians all started out right where you are now — exploring their calling and probably feeling the same anticipation you feel as well. You are in holy and blessed company.

Scivias Sign Up

We hope the videos and this discernment guidebook of part I of Scivias has been helpful to you in arriving at before pursuing your God-given vocation. Action leads to certainty, not the other way around.

We know the way.

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