The life of a priest is unique and challenging. Becoming a Catholic priest is not for everyone. The job of priest requires someone committed to the Catholic faith. A priest must know all about the Catholic religion, and he must serve as a model for the Catholic faith, leading by example. Doing so requires a significant amount of time and sacrifice.
Catholic priests must be committed to the Catholic faith and feel called into the priesthood. If you feel called to the priesthood, you will go through extensive counseling, prayer and training to be sure you are hearing God’s call. As priests” progress through seminary and other training, they are expected to become even stronger in the demonstration of their faith, knowing the rituals, routines and prayers that are common to the faith. They must also take a vow of celibacy as a sign of their commitment to God.
Education and Training
To become a Catholic priest, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a field such as religious studies or philosophy and pursue a graduate degree from a Catholic seminary. During seminary many prospective priests complete a pastoral year where they are assigned to a seminary and learn what it is like to become a Catholic priest. As part of seminary, priests take courses in biblical theology, philosophy, liturgy, prayer and counseling. Before becoming fully ordained into the priesthood, prospective priests must perform practice masses and other Catholic ceremonies to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities.
Priests are expected to dedicate their lives to God and the Catholic faith. This means leading mass, performing other religious ceremonies and spending time counseling members of the parish. A priest’s personal life is under constant scrutiny by the diocese and members of the parish. In some cases, every word and action are analyzed with regard to the Catholic faith. Priests must be aware of their actions and avoid visiting people and places who could cause controversy or expressing opinions that might not be in line with the Catholic faith.
To be a Catholic priest, you must be a male, although a few denominations allow women to become priests. Prospective priests must also have been practicing Catholics for at least five years and have been active participants in a local parish for at least two years. Your local parish and diocese play a significant role in determining whether you will even attend seminary. Prospective priests can be rejected for a criminal past, speech impediments, physical deformities and disagreements with bishops and other heads in the church.