Priesthood is considered by many as a calling. You must feel that you have been chosen and called by God to become one of His servants. This article should be considered as a starting point with helpful hints and not as a comprehensive guide to becoming a Catholic priest.
- Know if becoming a Catholic priest is right for you. Catholic priests should lead a life of simplicity, obedience and celibacy. The decision to become a Catholic priest should be guided by introspection to really discern if it is indeed your vocation. To aid you in this process, it would be very helpful to talk to your community's Catholic priest. He will surely be glad to answer your questions and hesitations about the vocation and guide you through the process of discernment.
- Know if you are eligible to enter the priesthood. Firstly, you must be an unmarried man, with no homosexual predispositions of any kind. Secondly, you need to be a practicing Catholic. If you are a member of another religion but want to pursue becoming a Catholic priest, then you should opt for conversion to the faith.
- Apply for the seminary. Getting into the seminary is the first step towards priesthood although not all seminarians end up becoming Catholic priests. You can enter the seminary through your diocese. Alternatively, getting into the seminary via a religious order of choice can also be done. If you have completed any bachelor's degree in college, then you should expect 4 years of life in the seminary. However, if you're fresh from secondary school and want to enter the seminary instead of a regular college, then you're looking at 8 years of instruction in the seminary.
- Finish your instruction in the seminary. Once you've successfully completed the required time of stay in seminary, then you'll be appointed as a deacon for at least 6 months.
- Take your vows to finally become a Catholic priest. After the appointment of deacon and you still feel really sure about becoming a Catholic priest, then you can now take your vows of celibacy and obedience. You will be put under extensive background check to rule out any sexual and criminal misconduct in the past. This effort has somewhat become mandatory within the Catholic Church to arrest sexual scandals that has marred the church of late.
Now that you have taken your vows of celibacy and obedience, all you need to do is to wait for the bishop's nod. Once you get this favorable feedback, you will then be ordained and become a full-fledged Catholic priest.