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Home | Vocations | Diocesan Priesthood | Discernment Questions Email, Print, Bookmark and Share
 

Discernment Questions

Am I Called?Who Is Qualified?Is Celibacy for Me?What are the Signs of a Call?

Am I Called?

Am I Called? A call to priesthood in the Church is much more than just an individual, personal desire to serve and lead. While the call comes from God, it is mediated through the People of God, the Church. With input from the whole Church and assistance from professionals in the areas of discernment and formation, bishops are the ones who are entrusted with the responsibility of determining whether or not any candidate’s sense of being called is genuine. That determination is largely based on three factors:

  • Does the candidate believe that God wants him to become a priest? Is this belief rooted in a solid, fruitful prayer life? Has it been tested in conversations with a spiritual director?
  • Does the candidate have some or all of the gifts and talents that other members of the community of faith can recognize as the sort of gifts that could make him effective as a priest? Have any others in the Church pointed this out?
  • Has the candidate demonstrated the ability to complete a course of studies in preparation for the priesthood? Are his skills for ministry strengthening and deepening with experience? Is he growing in love for the Church, that is, for the people he may be called to serve, and those with whom he will share leadership?
Of course, these factors are usually not fully developed in any candidate when he first applies to the seminary, but there should at least be evidence in him of the potential to develop them. The unfolding of these gifts, talents and attitudes continues throughout the time of formation, and the discernment of a call to ordination also matures and deepens over the years. In fact, this discernment is not really complete until the very day of ordination itself.

 
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