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 Discernment Opportunities

A vocation to the priesthood is a response made by an individual who has been called by God. This call is always experienced as an invitation. The invitation is freely given and freely responded to because God never pushes our demands. The invitation does require time for reflection. 

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When the invitation by God is entered into seriously it is referred to as
discernment. Discernment is better known as the period of time when an individual makes a serious examination of their personal invitation. The period contains varying elements, including questions, doubts, prayer, research and personal growth. Discernment is different for everyone, yet carries similar experiences. When the discernment process has concluded, a decision has been made by the individual to give a personal response. Opportunities for individuals to further discern their possible call to priesthood can participate in the following opportunities.

One-On-One & Group Discussions
These sessions occur during most vocation awareness opportunities with the vocation director, seminarians and/or clergy. This gives potential candidates the opportunity to ask questions, interact with and get to know a variety of the diocesan clergy and seminarians.  

​Seminary Visitations
Potential seminarian candidates are invited to participate in special guest visits to a variety of different seminaries. Seminaries usually host these events during the fall and spring semesters. These opportunities are usually held over a weekend, however, depending on a candidate's schedule, they can also be individually arranged through the diocesan director for the Office for Clergy Vocations and a particular seminary.  Please conta​ct us​ to schedule a visit.  

Melchizedek Project
A vocation discernment group that meets weekly using the book To Save a Thousand Souls​These small group settings allow men over the age of 18 to support each other as they discern God's calling in their life. Topics discussed include what a priest does in ministry; what is a vocation; celibacy, chastity and cheerfulness; characteristics of a good candidate; how to discern a vocation and many others.  This group is facilitated by a parish priest and the diocesan vocations recruiter or diocesan vocations director. 

 Way of the Cross

The Office for Clergy Vocations has put together a revised Way of the Cross for Religious Vocations, which allows for an opportunity to pray the Stations of the Cross for the intention of church vocations.

The prayers of this timeless devotion focus our thoughts more keenly on God’s call in each of our lives and in the lives of potential future priests, deacons and religious.

The station books are available in printable booklet and document formats. There are no copyright restrictions on this resource as long as it is used for parish and personal use within the Diocese of Greensburg. Those wishing to reproduce this information outside of the diocese should contact the Office for Clergy Vocations for permission.

Document Format
Way of the Cross for Religious Vocations

Booklet Format
Printable booket format​ for priests and parish staff

 Vocations Prayer

Heavenly Father

Your loving providence accompanies us on our life's journey.
Thank you for the many gifts you have given us.
We ask that you continue to call sons and daughters
from our families and parishes
to serve as priests, deacons
and consecrated men and women
in the Diocese of Greensburg.
Send your Spirit upon us
so that many will respond with great love
to your call to service and leadership in your Church.
Give to those you have chosen
the faith of the apostle,
the vision of the prophet,
and the courage of the martyr.
Through the intercession of our Diocesan patroness,
Our Lady of the Assumption,
help us to be faithful disciples of your Son
by following the example of Mary.
Make us generous in sharing
ourselves and our talents
for the sake of your Kingdom on Earth.
We ask this through Christ the Risen Lord.

Imprimatur The Most Reverend Lawrence E. Brandt, JCD, Phd
Bishop of Greensburg
August 15, 2004

 Request a Visit

The diocesan vocation recruiter, Father Tyler Bandura, is available to speak during a diocesan, parish or community event. Parishes and schools can also schedule to have seminarians speak to youth and adults as well. The topic of discussion can vary and it is important to request a talk at least one month prior to the event date.  If you are interested in scheduling a talk or obtaining more information, please contact our offices at the Pastoral Center at 724-837-0901 or contact us​ by email.  

 Common Concerns of Parents

Surveys completed over the past decade reveal that over half of newly ordained priests report that their families opposed the idea of priesthood when they first expressed their desire to enter seminary.  Undoubtedly, parents want the best for their children, most especially happiness.  The Catholic Church has the same desire for your son. Often parents may think that if their son becomes a priest he will not be happy.  Below are some common concern​s that parents express when they think about their son entering the seminary. The Office for Clergy Vocations is available to aid parents with helpful tips and suggestions regarding the priesthood.  If you have a particular question not listed below, please don't hesitate to contact us​ for further information.

 
Response
expand Question : How can I best support my son as he is making his decision?   ‎(1)
expand Question : I feel like I’m losing my son. ‎(1)
expand Question : I just found out my son has been meeting with a priest and is well along in his decision to enter the seminary. Why didn’t he talk with me?  ‎(1)
expand Question : I’m sad because this means I’ll never be a grandparent. ‎(1)
expand Question : I’m worried that my son will be lonely living a celibate lifestyle. ‎(1)
expand Question : We are not a very religious family and I’m shocked that my son has expressed a desire to be a priest. Where did this come from?  ‎(1)
expand Question : What if I feel that my son is not worthy of this calling? ‎(1)
expand Question : What if my son enters the seminary and it’s a mistake? ‎(1)
expand Question : Will I be able to see him while he attends the seminary? ‎(1)