What different types of vocation are there?
Building upon our baptismal priesthood, we are then called by God to live out our Christian lives in more specific ways. There are several states of life officially recognised by the Church as being particular ways in which Christians are called to serve God and neighbour.
One of the states of life to which God calls men to is the ordained ministry. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, men become deacons, ministerial priests, and bishops.
Why become a Catholic diocesan priest?
Men of all different ages can be drawn to the diocesan priesthood for many different reasons. Some may have been altar servers when they were young and had a desire then that they hoped to become a priest one day. Others may have known a priest who had inspired them by their words, or through whom they had encountered Christ ministering God’s love and mercy to them or to their loved ones at key moments in their life. Some may have experienced God when receiving the Sacraments, and felt a desire to celebrate the Sacraments themselves so that others may experience God’s presence. Others may know the power of God’s Word in their lives, and have a desire to preach this to others. It could be that some do not know why exactly they feel drawn to the priesthood, but that somehow they have a sense that God may be calling them to this way of life, and that they are restless until they have at least explored the possibility. Others may have been drawn through a combination of these reasons, and some may have many other reasons too.
Key to a vocation to the priesthood is the faithful living out one’s personal relationship with God and putting that first above all else, a love for Jesus and for his people, an inner sense that God may be calling one to the priesthood, and a desire to lay one’s life down in order to serve others and allow the Risen Christ to minister to others through them.
Every Catholic man should ask the question, “Is God be calling me to be a priest?”
How can I become a Catholic diocesan priest?
As the diocesan priesthood mostly involves serving in parishes, a good start for a man considering the priesthood would be that he already lives his faith in a parish context within the diocese he is considering being a priest for. In this way, he will already be known by parishioners there and by his parish priest.
As all priesthood is a sharing in the one priesthood of Christ, it is important that a potential candidate for the priesthood is already living a faithful life of discipleship, and is seeking to nourish his personal relationship with God through prayer, through the reading of the Scriptures, and through other spiritual devotions that help him to grow in imitation of Jesus.
As a priest is called to lay down his life for Christ’s flock, a man considering the priesthood should seek ways to serve others.
As diocesan priests promise to live celibate lives, a man considering the priesthood should seek to also live as a celibate. The current requirement is that a man has lived as a celibate for at least two years before beginning priestly training.
If a man is considering being a priest, a first step may be to speak with his parish priest about this. As his pastor, his parish priest will hopefully be able to guide and advise him, and if he thinks appropriate, to encourage him to contact the diocesan vocations director.
Once contacted, the vocations director may advise the individual to meet further with a vocations guide more local to where the individual lives, or may decide to meet the person himself.
The vocations director runs vocations days several times a year, and if deemed appropriate by him and the local vocations guide, the man considering the priesthood will be invited to attend these.
After a period of discernment, the vocations director may invite the individual to make a formal application to the diocese to train as a priest.
Fr Pius Amoako – Diocesan Vocations Director
Fr Tony Brennan – Diocesan Director of the Permanent Diaconate
Deacon Mick O’Leary – Assistant Director of the Permanent Diaconate