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.
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.
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 contact us to schedule a visit.
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.