Signs of a calling to the priesthood

Most men called to the priesthood have experienced several (but not all) of the following.

Uncommon Passion for the Faith – Men who enter the seminary know they are different than their buddies….faith means more to them than their friends.

Sense of Responsibility – God doesn’t call many men to the priesthood.  If those who are called don’t respond, how will our faithful people receive the Eucharist in the future?  Men who respond to the call of priesthood do so partially because of a sense of responsibility to their Catholic brothers and sisters.

Can’t Shake the Possibility of Priesthood – No matter who they are dating, the job they have, the car they are driving or the house they own, the idea of priesthood keeps popping up in the minds of those called to priesthood.

Attracted to Serving God and Others – At their deepest level, men who enter the seminary will often say that serving God and his people are the things that bring them a deep sense of joy.

Scary but Thrilling at the Same Time – Fear often accompanies a calling to priesthood….initially, a man begins to think of all the reasons he could never become a priest.  But there’s also a thrill at the same time…the thrill that comes when we think, “Maybe I could be good at that” or “Maybe I could do something remarkable with my life.”

Envisioning Oneself Taking on Some Role of the Priesthood – Many of those who enter the seminary will speak about having envisioned themselves as being effective at some aspect of priesthood: preaching, visiting the sick, celebrating the Eucharist, working with youth, evangelizing, working with the poor etc.


Others Have Said, “You’d make a Good Priest.” – God often speaks to us through other people.  Men who have become seminarians, often have been told by friends, family members, co-workers or fellow parishioners that they have the qualities to make a fine priest.


Qualities of a priest

Men who enter the seminary have the following qualities (or an ability and willingness to learn them).

Spiritual – Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ?  Do you pray regularly and attend Mass regularly?  Are you active in your parish?  Do you have a respect for the Church and her teachings?

Generous Heart – Do you have a love for service to God and his people?  Are you willing to sacrifice for the good of others?

Love for the Poor – Do you see yourself working on behalf of the poor?  Can you see yourself speaking up for those being treated unjustly?

Intellectual – Do you have the ability to do college study?  How about an ability to articulate the faith to others? 

Openness – Can you work well with cultures different than your own?  Can you work well with men and women in a collaborative style?  Can you function in a Church that will change over the next 50 years?

Emotional – Do you have good emotional health and a healthy self-image?  Do you negotiate the ups and downs of life well?  Do you have good, healthy friendships and an ability to make new ones?

Social – Do you like being around people?  Do people like being around you?

Self - Discipline – Does your life reflect the ability to live the commandments?  Do you keep commitments you’ve made?

Physical – Do you have good physical health?  Do you have a healthy balance of work, recreation, exercise and rest in your life?  Do you have the stamina needed for priesthood?



Dealing with Fear

Fear kills many vocations to priesthood.  Some examples include:

-“I’m not ready.”

-“What if I make a mistake?”

-“I’m not good enough, smart enough, holy enough, etc.”

-“I could never sacrifice that much.”

-“How could I ever be happy without a woman in my life?”

-Fear of commitment

-Overly concerned with the opinion of others

-Not measuring up to society and family definition of “success.”

-Laziness – being a priest of Jesus Christ requires motivation and energy.


Some ideas to pray about and meditate on daily:

-Trust God with your life.  Giving your life to our Lord is the greatest gift you can give him. Let him make the decision on what he needs you to do with your short time on earth.

-Fear is one of the subtle ways that Satan works in our lives to keep us from a closer relationship with our Lord.  It’s easier to succumb to fear than it is to trust God.

-You were made for joy; God would never call you to a life of misery.  If Jesus Christ is calling you to priesthood, you’ll find joy, not misery.

-Accept the fact that every vocation has crosses…there is no life that doesn’t include the cross.  Marriage and single life have as many crosses as the priesthood.

-The most meaningful things in life involve sacrifice.  Don’t shy away from the priesthood because of the sacrifices; sacrifice is part of the reason it’s so special.

-Many say: “I’ll give marriage a shot; if it doesn’t work, I’ll try the priesthood.”  What message does that send God?  Why not give God the first shot?

-Commitments close certain doors in our life.  But commitment opens the doors to what we most desire: meaning and purpose in life, joy, peacefulness and contentment.

-If God is calling you to priesthood, our Lord will take all your fears & anxieties and give you the grace to deal with them.  This is the grace of Holy Orders.

-In the Our Father, we say, “Your will be done.”  In our society, we have become comfortable with, “my will be done.”

-How would God define “success?”

-If you met Jesus Christ today, what would he tell you he wants you to do with your life?

-A decision to enter the seminary is not a decision to become a priest.  Rather, it’s a time to “sift” and “sort” (that’s what discernment means).  If you ended up leaving the seminary because priesthood is not your vocation, you’re not a failure.  Rather, you were a generous person who willingly gave God a couple years of your life trying to figure out if he was calling you to priesthood.


Mass Schedule

Weekday Mass:
Tuesday-Thursday  9:00 AM

Friday-School Mass 8:15AM

Anticipation 5:30PM
7:30 AM, 9:30 AM, & 11:45 AM


Contact St. Mark

535 E Edgewood Ave.
Indianapolis, IN, 46227

Office: 317-787-8246

St. Mark writes the Gospel