Signs of a Religious Vocation and Steps to Take

Salesian Sister taking her final vowsMany people wonder how one could tell if they are being called by God to serve as a priest, religious brother or sister. Here are a couple of things to consider as possible signs of a religious vocation:
  • Love of God that manifests itself in a desire to give one's life in service to God's People 
  • Love of the Church, and its rich tradition
  • Love of the Sacraments, and a desire to celebrate the sacraments with the community
  • Love of God's Word and a desire to proclaim the Gospel to God's people 
  • Desire to model holiness as Christ's representative among the People of God
  • A heart that can listen to others and reach out in healing 
  • Desire to deepen prayer and relationship with God
  • Willingness to live simply 
  • Ability to be happy without the intimate companionship of a wife and family
  • Ability to relate with a variety of people, to be happy alone or in a group
  • Desire to love expansively rather than needing an intimate relationship with one person
  • Joy in serving others in any outreach or parish involvement 
  • Generosity 
  • Ability to listen to others and accept direction when needed 
  • Desire to grow in union with God through prayer and service of the needy

Salesian Sister taking her final vowsSteps to Take

If you are thinking about priesthood or religious life, these are some of the things you should do:

Prayer - always pray, but not just with words, take the time to listen. Listen that God can make His will known. Know that you are not alone in this process, there are others who are contemplating a similar path.

Find a Spiritual Director, someone who can assist you in your prayer life and discernment. A spiritual director can be a priest or religious. Consider asking someone from your parish, or asking at a local retreat house. It is possible to interview the person before actually asking them to be your director. Be sure you are comfortable with this person first.

Be in contact with the Vocations Office. We are here to help you and to continue the dialogue or answer any questions you might have. It is also possible to approach any priest or religious you may know, just to ask questions or to become more familiar with their life.

Be active in your parish, your community, or some sort of service opportunity. This will help you to see if you are able to do the work of ministry and be comfortable in this life. It will also give you some sense of what the life of a priest or religious might be like.

Join a discernment group. Our Diocese has a group for men ages 16-45 who wish to discern the Lord's calling in a serious way with others.

Visit a seminary or Religious Community. A visit could be planned with the help of the Vocations Director.

Speak with the Vocations Director of a diocese of Religious Community. They can help you with the discernment process and answer any questions you may have regarding the life of a priest or religious, the formation program, the application process, etc.