by on May 5th, 2019

Via Vianney Vocations, here's a wonderful worksheet to help children pray for (and think about!) their vocation in life.

You'll find more resources like this here:

by on May 4th, 2019

by on April 28th, 2019

Bartek, one of our seminarians, reflects on if he's throwing his life away by becoming a priest.

by on April 23rd, 2019

My dear brothers and sisters, the traditional greeting to a priest on his ordination day or on a special anniversary is “Ad multos annos” - “To many years” of priestly service.  Allow me to wish “Ad multos annos” to all our priests who have gathered to renew their priestly promises and to consecrate with me the Oil of Chrism. We do so on (the eve of) Holy Thursday - the day which marks the gift of the priesthood and the institution of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Those of you who have marked special anniversaries of priesthood, religious profession or marriage, know and understand what such a commitment means; you have given great witness to the values of fidelity, self-sacrifice and of course, love - because love is at the heart of it all. In a few moments I will ask the priests:
“Are you resolved to be more united with the Lord Jesus and more closely conformed to Him... confirming those promises (...) which, prompted by love of Him, you willingly pledged on the day of your priestly ordination?”
“Prompted by love of Him” - Saint John Vianney described priesthood as “the love of the heart of Jesus”. It is love of Jesus that sustains our priestly commitment - our priestly life is a “love affair with the Lord Jesus”! And the same is true of the commitment to marriage - the love of husband and wife is a “mirror” of the love of Christ for His Church.
Last year, not long before he came to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis met with couples celebrating significant wedding anniversaries.  He told them about how he once asked a couple celebrating their diamond anniversary, “Are you happy?”.  To his surprise they replied with great emotion, “We are in love!”.
And the Holy Father said to all those gathered: “See, love is possible! You can live your whole life “in love”, ... despite the problems that come your way...This is beautiful.”
My dear brother priests, we chose our vocation because we too were ‘prompted by love’. Imagine if someone was to ask: are you happy in the priesthood? Might you answer: “Of course I’m happy - I’m in love with Christ! That is what sustains me as a priest, I celebrate it every day in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I dispense His merciful love in the confessional; I anoint the sick and the dying with the healing love of Christ; what marks me out as a priest is the love I have for the people I serve”?

The love of Christ is at the heart of every Christian vocation. On Holy Thursday evening at the “washing of the feet”, we remember the parting words of Jesus to his disciples, “I give you a new commandment; love one another as I have loved you; this is how people will know that you are my disciples - the love you have for one another”.

To live our vocation every day prompted and inspired by the love of Christ brings us back to the joy and happiness of our ordination day. It “rejuvenates” us. It keeps us young! And it attracts others. No young person will want to consider a vocation to priesthood or to the religious life or, indeed, to marriage unless they see priests or sisters or married couples who are living happy lives in the Lord - in love with the heart of Jesus!
In his recent message to young people, Christus Vivit, “Christ is alive”, Pope Francis encourages adults, as they grow older, not to lose the joy of their youthful enthusiasm and openness to an ever greater reality” (CV160).  Pope Francis described how, when he began his ministry as Pope, the Lord broadened his horizons and granted him renewed youth.  It was as if he got renewed joy in his heart, a new spring in his step! He said the same thing can happen to a couple married for many years, or to a monk in the monastery - “growth in maturity can coexist with a fire constantly rekindled, with a heart ever young”.
The Holy Father would want the golden and diamond “jubilarians” among today’s priests to pass on their priestly joy and wisdom to those in the seminary and to the newly ordained.  He would encourage those who have been happily married for thirty, forty, fifty years to communicate their happiness and shared love to young people today - many of whom are fearful of making any kind of long term commitment.  Pope Francis asks:
“What can we elderly persons give to the young? “We can remind today’s young people, who have their own blend of heroic ambitions and insecurities, that a life without love is an arid life”. What can we tell them? “We can tell fearful young people that anxiety about the future can be overcome”. What can we teach them? “We can teach those young people, sometimes so focused on themselves, that there is more joy in giving than in receiving, and that love is not only shown in words, but also in actions” (CV197).
He also cautions us about reducing the Gospel to something dry, joyless, distant and separate from the reality of the lives of young people today. He says:
“Let us ask the Lord to free the Church from those who would make her grow old, encase her in the past, hold her back or keep her at a standstill. But let us also ask him to free her from another temptation: that of thinking she is young because she accepts everything the world offers her, thinking that she is renewed because she sets her message aside and acts like everybody else. No! The Church is young when she is herself, when she receives ever anew the strength born of God’s word, the Eucharist, and the daily presence of Christ and the power of his Spirit in our lives. The Church is young when she shows herself capable of constantly returning to her source” (CV35).
Dear brothers and sisters, these days of Holy Week and Easter give us an opportunity to “return to the source” - to God who is love; to Jesus Christ our Saviour who died on the cross out of love and mercy for us, sinners; to our Risen Lord who is alive and who is the answer to the confusion and shallowness that bombards all of us nowadays - and especially our young people.
In an Ireland where vocations to the priesthood and religious life are dwindling, where by 2030 the rate of marriage is expected to have declined by almost sixty percent over fifty years, we are challenged to present the vocation to priesthood, to consecrated life and to marriage, as fulfilling vocations to love God who loved us first!
Only a committed witness to the joy of love will attract young people to faithful, lifelong commitment and service of any kind.  As Pope Francis says to young adults in the opening words of his new message:
“Christ is alive! He is our hope ... and he wants you to be alive! ” (CV1)
Ad multos annos!                  

by on March 31st, 2019

7th April: Fifth Sunday of Lent
That priests, deacons, sisters and brothers who, for the sake of Christ, have suffered the loss of all things, will be strengthened in their vocations to bring many souls to the knowledge of salvation…

14th April: Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
For all those being called to share in the passion of Christ as priests, deacons and in the consecrated life, that they will echo His Eternal Word of mercy in their own faithfulness to the Father’s will…

21st April: Easter Day of the Lord’s Resurrection
That the Risen Lord, made known to us through apostolic witness, will bestow upon us more men and women who will answer the call to proclaim His life, death and resurrection as priests, deacons, sisters and brothers…

28th April: Second Sunday of Easter
That we may be blessed with many priests and consecrated religious to serve as messengers of God’s divine mercy…

by on March 30th, 2019

By John Waters

On the Feast of the Annunciation, Pope Francis signed his Apostolic Exhortation for the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.

“Christus vivit – Christ lives” is a letter to the world’s young people that represents the fruit of the October Synod. The Vatican will release the full text in the near future.

The Basilica of the Holy House in Loreto contains the walls of what tradition holds to be the house in which the Virgin Mary lived when the Angel Gabriel announced that she was to give birth to Jesus.

During his visit to Loreto, Pope Francis spoke about the Exhortation and explained that there are 3 sections to the document, which mirror 3 phases of the Synod process. To explain this further, he outlined this process whilst referencing the story of the Annunciation.

“The first moment, that of listening, is manifested by the words of the angel: ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.’ It is always God who takes the initiative in calling people to follow Him”, said the Pope.

He went on to explain that young people need to find moments of quiet and stillness to listen to God’s call and that God’s voice will not be heard amongst noise and agitation.

Instead, quiet and stillness will help young people discover that “His plan for our personal and social life is not perceived by remaining on the surface, but by descending to a deeper level, where moral and spiritual forces act. It is there that Mary invites young people to come down and tune in to God’s action.”

Then comes the phase of discernment, which is “expressed in Mary’s words: ‘How will this happen?’ Mary does not doubt; her question is not a lack of faith; on the contrary, she expresses her own desire to discover God’s ‘surprises’. In her there is attention to grasping all the demands of God’s plan for her life, to knowing it in its facets, to make one’s collaboration more responsible and complete.”

Pope Francis said this is the proper attitude with which to follow God’s call in our lives, since this attitude allows people to discover not only what God’s plan is for their lives, but also how God’s grace will help them to develop the skills and abilities needed to live out his call for them.

“Decision is the third step that characterizes every Christian vocation, and it is made explicit by Mary’s response to the angel: ‘Let it be done to me according to your word.’ Her ‘yes’ to God’s plan of salvation, implemented by means of the Incarnation, is the handing over to Him of her whole life. It is the ‘yes’ of full trust and total openness to God’s will,” said the Pope.

He highlighted the Virgin Mary as the model Christian disciple and suggested that today’s young people try to imitate her example as they search for God’s plan for their lives.

The Pope pointed out that Mary had lived a multitude of family relationships.

She was a daughter, a fiancée, a bride and a mother, so all young people, no matter what their role in life and calling from God, can find an example and inspiration in her.

(Originally posted here:

by on March 25th, 2019

Gabriel, one of our seminarians, speaks about some of those who inspired him to consider the call to priesthood.

by on March 20th, 2019


Recently, I was asked about priestly celibacy by a person interested in becoming Catholic. The practice of priestly celibacy is viewed with suspicion, he explained, because Protestants are unfamiliar with it and it seems unnatural. Besides that, his is a timely question given that some people have pointed to celibacy as having a direct causal link to the abuse crisis in the Church.

Celibacy, or chastity, seems like a stumbling block for people. What is celibacy, exactly? According to the glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, celibacy is “the state or condition of those who have chosen to remain unmarried.”

But why would a man choose that life, or why is this the standard discipline for priests in the Roman (Latin-rite) Catholic Church?

First, the nature of the priesthood has to be understood. Simply put, each man who becomes a priest becomes a minister of Jesus Christ’s own priesthood. Jesus’ priesthood is made visible and present through these ordained ministers. They participate in Jesus’ life and priesthood in a specific way. Therefore, a look at Scripture and how Jesus himself lived is helpful to see the foundations on which priest’s life is modeled.

Jesus did not marry. He also spoke positively about those who remain celibate “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:12). Indeed, Jesus chose, from among his followers, certain men to be with him and become “fishers of men” (Mt 4:19; Mk 1:17). His invitation to them was to leave everything behind for the sake of the kingdom of God. Therefore, this practice of total dedication to God in and through Christ goes back to the very beginning of discipleship. Today as well, men are chosen by God to “to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord” (CCC, No. 1579).

Jesus is not the only person in the Bible, however, to have lived a single life with the intention of being consecrated for God’s purposes. The prophet Jeremiah, for example, appears to have remained celibate. He was called from his youth (see Jer 1:6-7) and never mentions a wife or family like some of the other prophets. Another example, closer to the time of Jesus, is John the Baptist. The last in the long line of biblical prophets, John’s entire life was lived as a sign that pointed to Jesus, even from his time in the womb (Lk 1:41-44). Everything about him pointed to the transcendent realm, including his choice to forego a wife and children. While it is true that celibacy was not a common practice at the time of Christ, it was not unheard of. In fact, there are examples from Qumran, a desert community in existence around the time of Jesus, of a type of celibacy lived in community.

Additionally, priests are not the only celibates in the Catholic Church. The consecrated life in its various forms entails some type of commitment to chastity, either a promise, private vow, public vow or some other sacred bond.

Getting back to the definition of celibacy mentioned above, it related only to the state of being unmarried. Any discussion on celibacy must relate back to chastity, which is the virtue by which a person integrates his or her sexuality in a healthy way appropriate to his or her state in life. The goal of chastity is the wholeness and integrity of the person in his bodily and spiritual being. This is true for married persons as well as celibate persons. However, chastity in the context of consecrated life entails refraining from any behaviors in the realm of sexuality that belong properly to marriage, as well as avoiding any offenses against chastity such as masturbation, pornography or fornication. Religious chastity is also a gift to those called by God to lead a life totally dedicated to him.

Is it “unnatural” to lead a celibate life and, therefore, practice continence within chastity? In one sense, yes, and in another, no. The proper path of sexual expression for most people is that of marriage, in which two persons give each other their bodies as “a sign and pledge of spiritual communion” (CCC, No. 2360). This is a great good, and marriage, while not easy, is the natural path that most people take to live the vocation to love God and neighbor to which we are all called.

There are some, however, as Jesus points out in the Gospels, who renounce marriage and the goods of marriage (holiness together as husband and wife, welcoming and educating children) for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Not only that, the fact that some people do this is a very good thing.

Living out chastity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven means to live one’s life as a sign that points to God all the time. The married state is good and beautiful, and at the same time God is more beautiful and better. He is so good, in fact, that it is legitimate to offer everything to him and live for him alone. A consecrated person, whether priest or religious, witnesses to that by the very way he or she lives. The highest form of love is not the love between husband and love, it is the love of God, charity. This charity can and should inform all other relationships of love. This means that they are rooted in a person’s relationship with God and lead to a further and deeper love of God.

In addition, Jesus tells us that there will be no marriage in heaven. Rather, he says, in “the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven” (Mt 22:30). For this reason, the consecrated life or the celibate life is an eschatological signpost that points to heaven. Essentially, the message is: Remember where you ultimately want to be headed. Remember your end. Do what it takes to get there.

Returning to an earlier question, living chastity for the kingdom of heaven is not “unnatural” — it is supernatural. It is to live as God’s messenger, all day, every day. Like all vocations, that takes faith, hope and charity. It also takes prayer, asceticism, more prayer and fidelity to the age-old practices that help form the interior spiritual life. Good, holy friendships are also a wonderful aid to chastity, no matter what a person’s vocation is.

The goal in each vocation is to love God with all one’s heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love one’s neighbor like one’s self. To each person, God will give the graces necessary to grow in holiness if and when we cooperate with him.

Sister Anna Marie McGuan, R.S.M., is Director of Christian Formation in the Diocese of Knoxville.

(Originally posted here:

by on March 12th, 2019

For all men and women being called by Christ to follow Him as priests, deacons, sisters and brothers, that they will persevere in the face of temptations against faithfulness to their call…

17th March: Second Sunday of Lent; St. Patrick, bishop
That our priests, who bring us to the mountain of Christ at every Mass and feed us with His transforming love in the Holy Eucharist, will be strengthened in their life and vocation…

24th March: Third Sunday of Lent
That like Moses, young people will enter more deeply into conversation with the Lord in prayer as they seek to discover their vocations in Christ…

25th March: The Annunciation of the Lord
That through the intercession of our Heavenly Mother, we will be blessed with abundant vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life…

31st March: Fourth Sunday of Lent

For the faithful response of all persons now being called to seek out those who are lost and bring them back to life in Christ by serving Him and His Church as priests, deacons, sisters and brothers…

by on February 12th, 2019

Bartek, one of our seminarians, speaks about how his family & friends reacted when he told them he was being called to priesthood.

by on February 8th, 2019

Gabriel, one of our seminarians, speaks about the doubt of not being good enough to be a priest.

by on February 7th, 2019

This morning I’m sitting in an airport in Italy on my way to Brussels trying to figure out if I ought to go to the Netherlands in three days since my plans in Germany were canceled.

This is no grand European vacation. It’s just my life. For nearly seven years I’ve been a hobo missionary, living out of my car in the States and out of a carry-on suitcase abroad, traveling the world to tell people about the fierce, tender, unceasing, life-changing love of our God. Sometimes I have events scheduled six months in advance; other times I wake up in the morning not knowing what state I’ll spend the night in.

It’s a life of near-constant discernment, trying to figure out where to go and when, how long to stay and what to speak on. But I don’t spend a lot of time sitting in prayer waiting for angels to descend and hand me an itinerary. In fact, I discern in just the same way I tell others to discern: I’ve largely quit seeking God’s will.

Given that discernment is a prayerful attempt to figure out God’s will, this sure seems counter-intuitive. But hear me out on this one. We spend a lot of our lives discerning—not just figuring out whether we’re being called to marriage or consecrated life, but trying to determine God’s will for our families, our careers, our diets, our reading lists. Desiring to be in God’s will is essential to the Christian life.

But those of us who are concerned with doing God’s will can easily fall into a dangerous trap: We seek God’s will above all things. Even above God. We use him as a Magic 8-Ball, going to prayer only to figure things out and not to come to know him better. We treat his will like a scavenger hunt set up by a mischievous (or sadistic) higher power who sends us signs and then laughs (or rages) when we don’t notice them. We obsess over ourselves and our skills and our desires and our future and call it prayer.

Healthier discernment, I think, requires us to stop seeking God’s will and start seeking God, to stop using him as a fortune-teller and start looking to him as Lord and lover of souls. If we run after the Lord, we will find ourselves in his will.

Ultimately, while I take my plans to prayer, I speak to the Lord about them and then leave them at his feet. I try not to insist on working out every detail there in the chapel, on interrupting my prayer to double check flight times and degree prerequisites. Instead, I spend serious time in silent prayer every day and I trust.

I trust that if I’m in a state of grace and running after Jesus, he’s either going to form my heart to desire what he desires, or he’s going to stop me before I do something stupid, or he’s going to fix it afterward. I sit before him every day trying to love him more and more and then I live my life. And I try not to lose peace over confusion or uncertainty, because I know that God delights in me. I know that if I’m earnestly trying to live in his will, he’s not going to punish me (here or hereafter) for getting it wrong.

It’s entirely possible that I’m going to go to my judgment and find the triune God standing baffled before me, wondering why on earth I thought I ought to be homeless and unemployed for the sake of the kingdom. There’s a reason people don’t live this way, and perhaps I’ve gotten it totally wrong and I was really supposed to be an accountant in Idaho or something.

Still, I expect to see pleasure mixed in with the bafflement. “Oh, but honey, well done. It was a weird life you chose, but you tried so hard. You got it wrong, but you sure were seeking me.”

I think he delights in my efforts, however ridiculous they might be, and I find great peace in that. I can’t mess up discernment so badly that I ruin his plan for me, because ultimately his plan is for my holiness. If I’m seeking him, he’ll accomplish that, whatever odd paths it might take.

So if you find yourself stressing out about figuring out God’s will, here’s my advice: Stop seeking God’s will and start seeking God. Make time for silent prayer every day, not to figure out your future but to learn to love him. Then make what seems like the best choice. Don’t wait for a sign. If priesthood doesn’t seem like a terrible idea, just enter the seminary. If you might want to be a missionary, just apply. Don’t sit paralyzed by lack of certainty; pray and then act and trust that God will bring good out of your good intentions.

By Meg Hunter-Kilmer

(Article sourced here on 07/02/2019:

by on February 7th, 2019

Prayer of the Faithful – February 2019 (Year C)

3rd February: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
For those being called to the way of celibacy for the sake of the kingdom as priests, sisters and brothers, that they will be encouraged to follow the Lord, faithful to His choice of them…

10th February: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
For all men and women being called by Jesus to teach the Gospel as priests, deacons, sisters and brothers, that the joy of the Lord will remain their strength during their discernment, formation and mission…

17th February: Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
That all those being called to follow Jesus in the priesthood or consecrated life will allow the Holy Spirit to strengthen them each day in answering this call…

24th February: Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
For perseverance in sincere prayer on the part of the faithful, asking the Lord for holy vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life…

3rd March: Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
That the Lord will bless us with vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life to serve as teachers to his flock…

by on January 28th, 2019

In our latest video, here's Bartek, one of our seminarians, with some advice for anyone considering the call to #priesthood!

by on January 20th, 2019

Gabriel, one of our seminarians here in Armagh, speaks about how he discovered God was calling him to priesthood.

by on January 11th, 2019

With thanks to James and @detroitpriest

by on January 10th, 2019

(Article by Alanna Burg, originally posted at

Knowing that we are called to follow the Will of God and being able to discern His Will are two very different things. Do you ever feel like asking God for a neon sign to guide you in your next step in life? Usually, God does not send neon “go here, do that” signs.

So how do we hear God’s voice in our lives?

Mostly we think about this in the large decisions in life but it first starts with hearing God in the small daily choices we make when we pay attention to the movements of the Spirit.

This infographic was based on an article from You may find the original version, written by Fr. Henry Vargos Holguin, here:

by on January 4th, 2019

By Tom Hoopes

J​ust like his father before him, my oldest son entered seminary — and just like me, he didn’t stay. I hope my other sons will give seminary a try also — and I pray that one is called to be a priest.

Here are the reasons I think they should want to receive that call.

Be a priest because the world needs heroes.

I noticed something at this year’s commencement at Benedictine College in Kansas, where I work. The loudest, longest applause of the morning was for those serving the country in the military and those entering religious life.

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” Jesus says. Soldiers do this by putting themselves in danger of a violent death for us. Priests and religious do it when they offer their lives in the slow martyrdom of a life of service.

It is right to call them heroes.

Be a priest because without priests, we have no access to Christ.

Before ascending into heaven, Christ said, “Behold, I am with you until the end of time.” He kept that promise in an astonishing way: the Eucharist. The Eucharistic host is no longer bread; it is Christ himself, truly present.

This is what we have priests for: To bring us the Eucharist — and to prepare us for it in Baptism and Confirmation, bring its healing power to us in the sacrament of the Sick, create strong marriages for more souls to receive it, and provide confession to cleanse us to receive it.

Be a priest to forgive sins.

The importance of confession is hard to exaggerate. It was the only sacrament Jesus instituted after the Resurrection, when he breathed on the Apostles and said, “Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven.”

Confession was the constant subject of urgent appeals from St. John Paul II, and Pope Francis has taken up the same call early and often.

In 2013, he said, “I go to confession every two weeks.”
In 2014, he confessed in view of cameras to make a point, saying, “Do not be afraid of Confession!”
By 2018, his 24-hour confession initiative had become a “worldwide hit.”
Jesus said, “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” In confession, a priest gives the greatest gift possible, worth more than the whole world: He restores penitents’ souls.

Be a priest to be a living icon of Christ.

Jesus’s real presence in the Eucharist is crucial, but Jesus Christ did not come just as a Presence. He came as a man. That is how the incarnation works. “The whole of Christ’s life was a continual teaching,” St. John Paul II said, “his silences, his miracles, his gestures, his prayer, his love for people, his special affection for the little and the poor.”

Jesus Christ was a man with a face. The human heart still needs to see a man behaving in a Christlike way to fully understand Christ’s message. We need someone who “acts in the person of Christ.”  We need priests.

Be a priest because the world needs fathers.

In his new book on the Our Father, Pope Francis talks about our “fatherless society” saying that “particularly in Western culture, the figure of the father is seen as being symbolically absent, vanished, removed.”

“Things go from one extreme to the other,” he says. “The problem in our day no longer seems to be that of the intrusive presence of fathers, but rather … their desertion. Fathers are sometimes so focused on themselves and their work, and occasionally on their individual fulfillment, that they forget their families.”

Without fathers, though, young people are “instead filled with idols, their hearts stolen away; they are driven to dream up amusements and pleasures but are given no jobs, they are duped by the god of money and denied true wealth.”

A priest can’t take the place of a father in the home. A priest isn’t a dad. But priests are true fathers. They preside over the most important moments of our lives. They are male figures to model ourselves after. They huddle with us in the corner, listen to our problems, and advise and absolve us.

Be a priest to expand your family.

Last, Jesus gives the apostles an extraordinary reason to leave their families and follow him.

“There is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands,” he says.

Priests say that one of the most difficult aspects of being a priest is transferring from one parish to another. It feels like being uprooted from your family.

But the bonds you make in Christ last forever.

(Article from ​

by on January 4th, 2019

Prayer of the Faithful – January 2019 (Year C)

6th January: The Epiphany of the Lord
That all those called to share the promise of the Gospel of Christ Jesus through their vocations as priests, deacons, sisters and brothers, will do so with humble confidence in the commission of God’s grace which has been given to them…
13th January: The Baptism of the Lord
That all members of our parish will deepen their baptismal responsibility to foster vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life among our young people through prayer and by inviting them to consider that call…
20th January: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
That all those discerning God’s call to them to follow the unique paths of holiness as priests, deacons or in the consecrated life, will heed our Blessed Mother’s counsel to do whatever He tells them in loving obedience…
27th January: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
For all men and women being called by Jesus to teach the Gospel as priests, deacons, sisters and brothers, that the joy of the Lord will remain their strength during their discernment…
3rd February: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

For those being called to the way of celibacy for the sake of the kingdom as priests, sisters and brothers, that they will be encouraged to follow the Lord, faithful to His choice of them…

by on December 20th, 2018

​4 Things Every Man Discerning the Priesthood Should Know

(by Garrett Johnson)

1. Let’s cut the nonsense, consecrated life is for real men. With this, the idea isn’t to propose some type of feminine exclusion. What I want to say is that the Church needs people that are courageous, generous and willing to sacrifice. The renunciation of a family, the total dedication to a religious/apostolic mission, the different vows or promises that are assumed, the responsibility taken on before God and the Church, are very serious realities. In order for them to flower and grow in consecrated life, two things are necessary. In the first place, the Grace of God. In the second, a virile commitment, one that doesn’t give up at the first sight of difficulties but rather hangs on to the Lord’s hand with obdurate humility.  Before assuming a commitment of this caliber, according to the Gospel, it is better to measure one’s own forces.

2. If it isn’t be a saint, why have you come? Consecrated life, like any other vocation, is a path towards holiness and nothing else. When this horizon is lost, one’s life becomes insipid and loses its joy. Allowing God to make us saints is nothing more than being docile and letting ourselves be molded by His love. We can squabble and argue over our plans all we want… but in the end, our holiness and our happiness consist in being conquered by Him. If you have arrived at the door of consecrated life while still stubbornly grasping on to own plans, why have you come?

3. Consecrated life is a life of joy. No one denies the fact that there will be difficulties on the path, just like every other vocation. But to have the opportunity – and the call – to dedicate your life to knowing and serving God cannot be anything but a source of great joy. A joy that transcends the difficulties. Jesus came to share His own joy so that our own might be fulfilled. With their humor, the young guys in the video transmit the wonderful happiness that we discover in a life lived in and for Christ. Pain and joy are so clearly distinguished and anxiously separated in the secular world, In the Christian life, however, they are not only compatible but many times, if understood correctly, the pain maximizes the joy.

On the other hand, this joy is a beautiful sign of authenticity and naturalness. Discovering ourselves to be loved by God frees us from the overly negative judgments that we so often make against ourselves. We see here a joy that is close, natural, fresh,  and authentic.

4. If you don’t need friends, this is not your place. The kryptonite of consecrated life is individualism, while the spinach – Popeye style – is good friends. The sketch presented in the video is full of friendship and camaraderie, of that sense of belonging and of communion that allows us to take on challenges with a willing and positive attitude. The cross that we are called to carry, is carried together, as brothers. Consecrated men are no supermen, they too need a place to rest their hearts, to share difficulties, to regain strength. Friendship and communion, today, are, according to my humble opinion, some of the most precious treasures of consecrated life.

(Article first appeared at ​

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