discernment steps

1. take your time

 There is no rush in finding your vocation. It is best to be patient and allow yourself to enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord.

2. pray

In an interview, Pope Francis stated that “Discernment is always done in the presence of the Lord, looking at the signs, listening to the things that happen...” In this quote, we find a solid foundation for discernment.  You must take time in the presence of the Lord to listen.  Take time each day in prayer (preferably before the Blessed Sacrament), entering into silence with the Lord and His Word, allowing Him to guide the conversation.  If you find yourself talking too much, just be still and listen. Check out our guide to Lectio Divina (Divine Reading).

3. frequent the sacraments

Be sure to attend Mass on a regular basis, daily if possible.  Frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month.

4. seek spiritual direction

with a priest whom you look up to and trust.  Meet with him every few weeks to discuss how your prayer is going and what you think the Lord is whispering to your heart.

5. read

about the priesthood. It is a great way to hear the Lord’s call, as it will open your eyes to the wonder and beauty of this supernatural vocation. Reading the lives of the Saints can also be beneficial.  Take a few moments each day to devote to good spiritual reading.  Check  out our list of recommended books and documents to get you started.

6. get involved

with your parish.  Ask about the different ministries and volunteer programs they offer.  Some great ways to get involved include volunteering as a lector or Eucharistic Minister to help serve around the Lord’s altar; teaching RCIA or Religious Education to help share and pass on the faith to others; helping with visits to soup kitchens, prisons, and nursing homes.  All of these will help paint a picture of parish ministry.

7. contact your vocational director

The first contact should be your parish priest, as each priest is responsible for vocations within his parish. Tell him of your desire to become a priest and the previous steps you have been taking.  After doing that, he will point you to the Vocations Director. If, however, you do not feel comfortable speaking with your parish priest, you can contact the Vocations Office directly at 973-313-6190.

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