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“Ask a Priest: What If I’m in My Late 20s and Feel Drawn to the Priesthood?”
Q: I’m single and in my late 20s, and I’ve been contemplating buying a house and leveling up into my career … normal desires of this world. But there is pushback on me because I’m considering priesthood and thinking all of that worldly stuff shouldn’t really matter. I keep going back and forth about wanting to make a plan, set goals, and creating some form of vision board. But in the back of my mind, I tell myself to just live each day, surrender to Jesus, and let God pave the way. If the priesthood is truly his will, wouldn’t that guide me in setting goals for myself? I have been praying for my discernment and for God to give me super clear signs about what he wants from me, but I’m in choice paralysis. Help! – A.G.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: If you feel a call to the priesthood, it would be good to take positive steps to see if you really do have a vocation.
A good first step would be to contact your diocese’s vocations director or a religious congregation that you might feel drawn to.
Try to visit the seminary or religious house and spend some time there. If possible, do a retreat with the diocese or the congregation.
The idea here is to get feedback. You won’t be able to figure things out on your own. That’s not how discernment works. The Church is also part of the process.
I’d encourage you to take steps now, rather than later when you have a house and get bogged down with things of the world.
It would also help to take steps now since otherwise this question of the priesthood will hang over you like a cloud. You might never quite be at peace if you don’t investigate the possibility of a vocation.
In the meantime, it would be good to get to daily Mass if possible. Intensify your prayer life, and try to find a solid, regular confessor who can help you. For further reading, see To Save a Thousand Souls.
You might also want to take a morning to do a personal retreat with our do-it-yourself Retreat Guide on vocational discernment, “Called and Chosen.”
And stay close to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a special protector of priests.
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