What is a priest?

A true disciple of Jesus

Anyone who is going to be a pastoral leader of the disciples of Jesus must be someone who is already a true disciple himself, a committed Christian. There are certain signs your bishop and others will look for as they try to help you discern your calling. Do not be too worried about these, or overwhelmed by them. Like the rest of us, you are someone who fails and falls: we are all sinners (1 John 1: 8-10). What matters is that you have already steadfastly set out on your pilgrim journey, the path to holiness, with your fellow disciples. They will expect to see someone who is taking seriously his faith in Jesus Christ. These are the key things they will look for:

  • a real love for God, a living relationship with Jesus Christ
  • an established and developing life of prayer: you are still learning, stumbling, perhaps even struggling, but a man of prayer all the same
  • a love for the Eucharist as something really central to your life
  • a living commitment to Jesus shown by your way of life, your keeping of the commandments as a sign of your love, living a life worthy of your Christian vocation
  • an eagerness to serve Jesus in his Church, a deep and settled zeal for bringing the Good News of Jesus to others
  • some experience of sharing your faith with others
  • some active involvement in the worship, life and mission of your local Catholic community (parish or chaplaincy)
  • a reasonable understanding of your Catholic faith, and of what it means to be a priest
  • a real love for the Catholic Church: whatever criticisms you may have of it, as we all do, you should be someone who feels at home in the Church as it is, ready to serve from within
  • a real personal desire to be a priest, truly free, settled and tested by time
  • a readiness to offer your whole life in God’s service, holding nothing back: not worrying too much about your natural worries and hesitations
  • a willingness to let Jesus work through you and use you as he chooses

This is not meant to be a check-list! However, going through it will give you some idea of the kind of living faith expected to be in someone offering himself for service as a priest. Do not be concerned if your response to some of these things is ‘Yes, but …’ If your response is ‘No’, this does not mean you are not being called to the priesthood, but it may mean you are not yet ready to begin formation in a seminary.

“Heralds of the Gospel are needed who are experts in humanity, 
who have penetrated the depths of the heart of people of today, 
who share in their joys and hopes, their anguishes and sorrows, 
and who at the same time are contemplatives in love with God”.

(Pope John Paul 11) 48

  For more information contact one of the team:  Vocations Director: Fr Darren Carden St Clare's Presbytery Sharoe Green Lane North Fulwood Preston PR2 9HH Telephone: (01772) 719604 Mobile:  07552 795060 E-mail: priest@lancastervocations.org Assistant Vocations Director: Fr John Millar The Rectory Warwick Square Carlisle CA1 1LB Tel: (01228) 521509 Email: jwmillar1@gmail.com

 

For more information contact one of the team: 

Vocations Director:

Fr Darren Carden

St Clare's Presbytery

Sharoe Green Lane North

Fulwood

Preston

PR2 9HH

Telephone: (01772) 719604

Mobile:  07552 795060

E-mail: priest@lancastervocations.org

Assistant Vocations Director:

Fr John Millar

The Rectory

Warwick Square

Carlisle

CA1 1LB

Tel: (01228) 521509

Email: jwmillar1@gmail.com