Yes, God loves you personally and intimately through Jesus in the Holy Spirit. Each of us has a way in which we can best grow and serve the Lord in love.
In a Catholic context, there are primary vocations for how each of us are called to love. We receive our primary vocation to grow as priests, prophets and kings/queens of Jesus through our Baptism. Within this universal call to holiness most Catholics are called to the vocation of Marriage (and some as parents). Some are called to the Permanent Diaconate. Still others are called to love through Priesthood or Religious Life (for women and men).
Vocations are the fundamental ways we are asked to love, and some include lifelong commitments or promises. From this basic lifestyle we work different jobs/careers such as doctors, pastors, principals, etc.
First, ask God regularly what your vocation is and pray for guidance and insight. Secondly, ask Jesus to be part of major decisions that you make in your life to make sure what you desire is what God desires. Third, ask those you trust and respect who live different vocations (married, religious, priests) about the blessings and challenges their vocation. Ask them for guidance as to how they think God might be asking you to love.
The Vocations Office is here to help you discern your primary vocation and to specifically work with those interested in joining the Archdiocese of Seattle as a priest and reference others to religious life options in our area. The Vocations Office also provides ongoing formation and resources for our seminarians studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle. The primary person in charge of these activities is the Director of Vocations who works on behalf of the Archbishop.
Continue your life of prayer and stay close to Jesus through the Sacraments of the church. Contact your local pastor to discuss possibilities. Do research on the internet and ask priests familiar to you about what they enjoy about their life. Attend local discernment nights or vocation camps. If serious, ask to meet with a spiritual director through your local pastor.
To become a priest of the Archdiocese of Seattle we are looking for qualities of a man who could serve as a pastor of one of our local parishes. These qualities include faith, a desire to grow in prayer and lead others in prayer, leadership, compassion, a heart for service, ability to preach and teach the Sacred Scripture and the Catholic Tradition, and a healthy lifestyle towards exercise and positive relationships. The process of seminary formation takes anywhere from 5-9 years.
A qualified applicant has received all sacraments of initiation in the Catholic Church, has an active relationship with the Risen Christ and His Church, is single, has a generous spirit to serve the church, willingness to live a fruitful celibacy, have good health, intellectual ability to complete seminary education, go through a psychological evaluation, age 43 or younger, has legal immigration status, possesses ability to study and converse in English, has an annulment if previously married, has no more than $30,000 in debt and has lived in the Archdiocese of Seattle for at least 2 years.
The Program for Priestly Formation involves growth in four areas: spirituality, human/ community, intellectual, and pastoral. The seminary program involves many opportunities to grow in prayer, healthy relationships, academic study, and pastoral experiences. Seminary is more than “just going to school” as one is being formed for a lifestyle of loving as a priest living the promises of obedience, celibacy, and a life of simplicity.
No, seminary is an ongoing process of discernment for the individual candidate to choose the vocation and for the church to choose the individual candidate to holy orders. The process is intentionally lengthy to provide many opportunities to grow in discerning God’s will through evaluations and various experiences in the life of the church.
“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8
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