About Catholic Priesthood
- An ordained priest shares in the mission of Jesus as a Priest, a Prophet and a King. As priest, he prays and celebrates divine worship. As prophet, he preaches and teaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And as king, he serves others.
- What does a priest do?
- The purpose of a priest is to bring people to Jesus, and Jesus to people.
- A priest does this primarily by preaching the Word and offering the Sacrifice of the Mass. His daily life involves administering the sacraments—Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance and Reconciliation, the Anointing of the Sick, and Matrimony (Holy Orders is reserved for bishops to administer)—and caring for the people in their daily needs.
- Is it easy to become a priest?
- No, it is definitely not easy! A man who wants to become a priest must go to college for four years, with at least two years of philosophy. After graduating from college, he must go to a seminary for another four years to earn a master’s degree in divinity. Most men go to school eight to ten years after high school, before they are ordained a priest! But do not let this discourage you. God always gives us the grace to do what He asks us to do.
- Are most priests happy in their vocations—in their lives and in their work for Christ?
- Most priests are extremely happy in their vocations! The life of a priest is a very rewarding life, both in this world and in the next. The media often gives an incorrect impression of priests… that they are largely unhappy, frustrated, and angry. This is simply not true.
- Will I be lonely if I become a priest?
- Loneliness is a part of every vocation, at one time or another. It is part of the human condition. Married people get very lonely at times, even though they are surrounded by their spouses and children. Priests are always surrounded by people. This is one of the joys of being a priest. We are involved with people at the most profound moments of their lives: birth, Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion, Marriage, and death. We don’t have enough time to experience loneliness often! But when we do experience loneliness, Jesus can fill that void, as He does for people in every vocation.
- Can priests do anything they want for recreation and fun?
- A priest can do anything he wants for recreation, as long as it is consistent with the Christian life. Many priests play golf, basketball, softball, scuba dive, and engage in other sports. Others enjoy movies, plays, and reading. Some like to hunt, fish, and every other imaginable entertainment!
- Do priests get paid?
- Priests do not get paid in the sense that people in the business world are paid. Because a priest does not have a family and because he lives a simple life, he does not need a lot of money. However, priests do receive enough money to buy their necessities, to buy and maintain an automobile, to take a vacation, and to do normal recreational activities. Also, priests are given free room and board by the church for which they work, so their expenses are minimal.
- Is the daily life of the priest interesting?
- There is never a dull moment in the priesthood! It is a great challenge but it is also extremely rewarding. When a priest goes to bed each night, he can say, "Lord, today I spent myself for You." What a wonderful thought with which to end one’s day! The priesthood is both interesting and fulfilling because people are so interesting. But these people need more priests very badly.
Will you become a priest if Jesus is calling you?