So you are thinking about priesthood. Is this life for you?
As you discern you will need some time and space. You will need a journal or something where you can record your thoughts and feelings as we move through a short process that may be a help to you.
I am often asked, especially by young people, why I became a Priest. Maybe some of you would like to ask the same question. Let me try briefly to reply. I must begin by saying that it is impossible to explain entirely. For it remains a mystery, even to myself. How does one explain the ways of God? Yet, I know that, at a certain point in my life, I became convinced that Christ was saying to me what he has said to thousands before me: "Come, follow me!" There was a clear sense that what I heard in my heart was no human voice, nor was it just an idea of my own. Christ was calling me to serve him as a Priest.
And you can probably tell that I am deeply grateful to God for my vocation to the Priesthood. Nothing means more to me or gives me greater joy than to celebrate Mass each day and to serve God's people in the Church. That has been true since the day of my ordination as a Priest. Nothing has ever changed, not even becoming Pope. Pope John Paul II.
To be a Priest is to be a man of God. It is to lead people in the vision of transforming the world according to the mind of Jesus Christ. There is no more challenging or satisfying leadership role in the world today than Priesthood. After forty years of Priesthood I would be prepared to do it all again, each and every moment of it. Archbishop John Bathersby DD Archbishop of Brisbane.
The priesthood is central to our Catholic way of life, and it provides a unique presence of Jesus within the Catholic community. Jesus is present in many ways, each of them important. His presence in the ordained minister is one of leadership, which finds expression in proclaiming the Word and celebrating the sacraments. Bishop David Walker.
When you pray the following prayer you might like to use your own name and from then on use the personal pronoun eg "Bless me, make me, my service, my prayer"
A suitable candidate for Diocesan Priesthood will have Jesus Christ central to his life.
What part does the Eucharist play in my life at the moment?
How, and for how long do I pray?
A suitable canditate for the Diocesan Priesthood will not only want to serve others but will be involved in some kind of ministry in his parish.
How involved are you in my parish?
What leadership role do I have now?
A suitable candidate for the Diocesan Priesthood will be capable of tertiary studies as the studies involved include Theology and Philosophy.
Have I satisfactorily completed my secondary schooling?
Do I have a desire for further learning?
What evidence do I have that indicates that I am capable of tertiary study?
A suitable candidate for the Diocesan Priesthood will be a good communicator, ready to listen deeply to another, ready to initiate conversation where necessry, ready to put himself out to be of service.
In what ways do I listen to others? Am I willing to take the first step towards another, even if I feel shy or even a bit embarrassed?
Am I willing to let go of what I am doing to help another if needed?
A suitable candidate for the Diocesan Priesthood will already be mixing with priests.
Am I on friendly terms with my Parish Priest? Other priests?
How familiar am I with what is asked of a Diocesan Priest?
A suitable candidate for the Diocesan Priesthood will be capable of living as a celibate. In the Catholic Tradition, celibacy for Diocesan Priests is required.
Have I been in a sexual relationship with another? For how long have I been living as a celibate person?
How do I deal with loneliness?
At this stage of my life, what do I consider difficult about life-long celibacy?
What qualities do I have that I believe will make me a good priest?
What areas of life do I need to work at so that I can be a good priest?
If you think and feel that God may be calling you to dedicate yourself to God's service through leadership and service of God's people then NOW is the time for ACTION. Contact you Parish Priest, or your Diocesan Vocations Director and have a chat with them about your desire.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them
because they were harassed and dejected like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
"The harvest is rich but the labourers are few;
so ask the Lord of the Harvest to send labourers to his harvest." Mt 9:36-37
Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd, protect, we pray, the flock of God's people,
comfort it and revive its spirit, lead it to fresh pastures and restful waters.
Call from our midst young men to be our pastors,
bold in spirit, generous in heart, and clear in vision.
(I especially pray for ...)
Bless them with the gifts to become
forthright messengers of hope, strong community leaders,
and wise spiritual guides for your people.
Show them the gifts you have given them,
inspire them with the needs of the Church, and make them brave enough to offer
their service for leadership in the Church.
Hear our prayer, Lord of the Harvest,
and send labourers into the fields which you have sown,
so that the rich harvest may be gathered
and made ready for the banquet of heaven
where you live and reign for ever and ever.