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Simple Steps on How to Become a Priest

Updated on March 15, 2012

If you belong to the Catholic Church you may have considered becoming a priest at some point in your life. Some are called to marriage, (yes marriage IS a vocation to Roman Catholics) others to be monks and it is possible that you're called to the priesthood. 

The process is not short, but this article may give you an idea of ​​what you need to be ordained priest.


Be sure that you are Catholic or thinking about becoming a Catholic. 

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2. Pray about your vocation.

This is possibly the most important step.  You need to know, in some manner, what God wants of you and the only way to do that is to pray to Him for direction.  Consider any feelings or advice (especially that from others in the church)  that have guided you to consider the priesthood and then give these feelings and ideas to God,  waiting patiently and openly for  His response. Remember:  everyone has a vocation and if a person is fully open to theirs, God will bring to light what that vocation is to be. 

Talk to your parish priest

Talk to your local parish priest, or the diocese's vocations director, if you can.

You can make contact with the vocations director by way of your parish or by simply having a look in your local telephone directory. A brief Google search of the term ¨Catholic Religious Orders¨ will provide you with lists of a number of communities of priests such as the Jesuits, Dominicans, or Oblates. You may wish to consider Missionary Priesthood. These tend to focus on cross-cultural missions which are highly challenging but equally rewarding as you live among the poor and disadvantaged.

Application Process

Examine and understand  the application process for the seminary by way of your diocese or  religious order you may be called to. This process often includes a number of  questions about yourself and particularly your desire to take up the priesthood.

The Seminary

Once you have been accepted, proceed  to the seminary. Generally speaking  you should expect to spend around  6-8 years in training, depending on how much college you have taken prior to the seminary. Typically religious orders have a somewhat different formation process than diocesan priests based on their particular, specialized needs. Check with them concerning the  steps they take which lead to ordination in their Order. 

Continue Seeking out the Will of God

While you are a seminarian, continue to pray and listen for God's will. It is also essential that you  do in holy obedience, what your rector, bishop, vocation  director, or other superiors may ask you to do.

The Call of the Bishop

The ultimate test of whether or not you have truly been given a  vocation to the priesthood occurs by the call of the  Bishop. Should the Bishop not call  you to Holy Orders, you must accept that you  not have a vocation to the priesthood. In other words, the bishop's call is definitive and final. 

Should You be Called by the Bishop

You should now be ordained a transitional deacon, forming your vows of celibacy and promises of obedience.

A Priest

Next step is to be ordained a Priest, an ordination which you should consider as "Forever". 

Grow in Holiness

Now you go forth to grow spiritually in holiness and spread the Word of God everyday of your life.


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