Advice for boys and men living in or having a connection with the Diocese of Lancaster:
Do you have a Vocation to the Catholic Priesthood?
Catholic men who are single, serious about their faith and searching for a challenge in
life and have a connection with the Diocese, are invited here to consider a vocation to the Priesthood in the Diocese of Lancaster and then to contact one of our vocations team below:
The Rev Canon Luiz Ruscillo, The Sacred Heart of Jesus, The presbytery, 75 Sealgate Road, Carlisle
Tel: 01228 525632
Assistant Vocations Director:
Father Daniel Etienne, St John Vianney Presbytery, 26 Glastonbury Avenue, Marton, Blackpool, FY1 6RD
Tel: 01253 762227
When St Maximilian Kolbe was asked by the Nazis commander of Auschwitz extermination camp in which he was imprisoned why he wished to take the place of a Polish father and husband who had been marked out for death in the starvation block, Maximilian Kolbe gave only one reason: ‘I am a Catholic priest’.
The Church needs heroes, the world needs heroes, is God calling you to be a Catholic priest?
- Do you feel called to follow Jesus single-mindedly?
- Do you want to help Jesus love and care for His people?
- Do you love the Catholic Church with all your heart?
- Do you desire to give your life to serve God and His people 24/7?
- Do you want to learn how to teach, explain, and defend the Catholic Faith?
- Do you long to serve God’s people through presiding at the celebration of the Mass?
- Do you seek to dispense the sacraments of healing to God’s suffering people?
Do you want to be able to give the heroic answer ‘I am a Catholic priest’ as a witness to the world? Are you willing to undergo the challenging and rigorous formation of a seminarian so that your heart will be trained to give itself out of love for God and His people, like St. Maximilian Kolbe and the other priest saints? Is God calling you to be a second Christ who is the redeeming Servant of mankind?
If your answer is yes to these questions have you considered the possibility that God is calling you to serve the Church as a priest?
What is a Catholic priest?
Jesus, the eternal Son of God, choose twelve men, the Apostles, to share in His authority and mission given Him by God the Father, which has been handed down, through the sacrament of Holy Orders and the Holy Spirit, to their successors, the Bishops, and those who are the bishops co-workers, the Priests.
‘When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” ‘ (John 20:19-23).
It is clear that Jesus saw the ‘sending’ of the apostles as being identified and a continuation of His ‘sending’ by the Father, so in this sense Catholic priests are identified with, and continue, in a unique way the incarnation, the embodiment, of the eternal Son of God among His people.
The fact that God calls men with all their weaknesses and limitations, through grace, to be second Christs, is proof of the audacious love of God. Pope Benedict said at the close of the Year of Priests:
‘The priesthood, then, is not simply “office” but sacrament: God makes use of us poor men in order to be, through us, present to all men and women, and to act on their behalf. This audacity of God who entrusts himself to human beings – who, conscious of our weaknesses, nonetheless considers men capable of acting and being present in his stead – this audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word “priesthood”. That God thinks that we are capable of this; that in this way he calls men to his service and thus from within binds himself to them.’
If you are wondering if God is calling you to be a priest, trust in the audacity of God who may think that you are capable, through His grace, of representing and acting in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
As such you are called, in co-operation with your bishop, to sanctify, teach and lead God’s people. The supreme expression of your calling to be a priest will be your service of the sacrifice of the Mass, and your dispensing of Christ’s healing to your suffering brothers and sisters through the sacrament of reconciliation and the sacrament of the sick.
The following personal and spiritual qualities point to a priestly vocation:
- A genuine love and respect for the Church.
- A spirit of self-sacrifice
- A natural inclination of service to all in need.
- Generosity, kindness and humility.
- A real desire to assist the bishop, and to serve the people.
- The capacity to put others first.
- Uninterested in status or prestige.
- Integrity of life.
- A capacity for dialogue, implying a sense of readiness to learn from others and an openness to others
- The ability to share the Faith.
- The ability to listen respectfully to other’s points of view.
- The capacity to listen carefully.
- The capacity to stand up for the truth and respectfully challenge others.
- Good communication skills.
- A sense of responsibility, including fulfilling one’s word and completing one’s work.
- Self-directed and collaborative accountability.
- Balanced and prudent judgement.
- The ability to lead, motivate, facilitate and animate others into appropriate action.
Spiritual & evangelical qualities
- A sound Catholic faith.
- Good Christian reputation.
- A deep spirituality and prayer life.
- Active involvement in the Church’s apostolate, including evidence of on going commitment.
- Holiness, expressed through seeking God’s will and seeking to live a virtuous life.
- Regular participation in the Church’s sacramental life.
- A desire to grow in faith, expressed through participating in retreats, on-going formation, etc.
- The mature ability to live a celibate and chaste life
- The capacity for obedience and fraternal communion, including obedience to the teaching office of the Church, embodied in the person of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him