If you have ever thought about being a priest, these qualities may be clues to a future priestly vocation:
1. God has placed in your heart a desire to be a priest. Surveys of recently ordained priests have found an interesting trend: most priests say they first started thinking about the priesthood at eleven years old or in eleventh grade. It has become known as the 11-11 rule. If Jesus has placed a desire in your heart for priesthood, no matter what your age, don’t ignore it. Talk to a priest you admire about how you feel.
2. You have a deep love for Christ and His Church. A priest functions in persona Christi capitas—in the person of Christ, head of the Church. Thus a man who wants to be a priest must love Jesus Christ above all else. And like Jesus, he should have a deep love for the Church, the Bride of Christ. In general, a man who wants to be a priest will find himself drawn to Church teachings and “all things Catholic.”
3. Other people have mentioned that you would be a good priest.Often other people will notice a “priest’s heart” in a young man and say to him, “Have you ever thought about being a priest? I think you’d make a good one.” In fact, many men report that they grew tired of people making such comments—but that the encouragement eventually led them to seminary!
4. You desire to live a life of virtue and prayer. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI spoke about what people expect of their priests. To paraphrase, he said that people do not expect priests to be experts in anything but the spiritual life. Thus, a good candidate for priesthood attends Mass, prays frequently, receives the sacrament of Confession, serves others, and strives to grow spiritually.
5. You want to help others grow closer to Christ. A priest brings Jesus to people and people to Jesus. For this reason, a man who wants to be a priest must have a deep concern for the people of God. He wants to help them grow in holiness; he wants to teach them the truths of the faith; he wants to minster to them during the trials of life. The vocation of priesthood is about leading others to heaven.
If you think God might be calling you to the permanent diaconate, also explore these feelings and thoughts, pray about them, talk to any of the priests and deacon of the parish.
Signs of a Priestly Vocation
“The faithful expect only one thing from priests: that they be specialists in promoting the encounter between man and God. The priest is not asked to be an expert in economics, construction or politics. He is expected to be an expert in the spiritual life.”
– Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
If you think God might be calling you to the priesthood or religious life, explore these feelings and thoughts, pray about them, talk to any of the priests of the parish and you can also contact Father Jeffrey Gubbiotti, the Vocation Director of the Archdiocese of Hartford, (860) 761-7456 or firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can help you discern God’s true calling for you.
Christ The Bread of Life Parish