It takes a lot of humility, dedication, mental stimulation, devotion, biblical knowledge, and prayers to become a catholic priest. It is a severe and life-altering decision. You will have to lead a life of celibacy, devoid of interest in worldly pleasures. You will call to serve God by fulfilling His purpose through listening to people and taking them towards a better and blessed life.
How to Become a Priest
The process to become a catholic priest can be extended if you fail to dedicate and devote. The career requires reflection, education, prayer, and selfless service. You must be a Roman Catholic and willing to lead the rest of your life as a celibate.
If you have seriously considered this career and think you are up for it, read on to learn how to become a priest.
How Catholic Priests Serve God’s Purpose
Catholic priests conduct a variety of services that are administered by their regional bishops or local parishes. Your duties as a catholic priest will include:
- Attending and celebrating Sunday masses, Christmas, and New year masses
- Performing various rites, such as wedding, baptism, and funeral services
- Preaching bible or offering bible studies
- Educating individuals to fulfill their spiritual goals
- Counseling people who come to you with their confessions and sins, and guide them to walk on a righteous path
- Traveling locally to provide communion services
- Addressing the needs of people in hospitals, homecare, prison, shelters, and hospice
Although there is a spiritual reward, hearing through confessions day after day may cause stress and put you in a depressive state. It can also add pressure to your lifestyle. Therefore, meditation and determination are essential in pursuing this career.
Where Do Priests Live
Material comforts, worldly possessions, and luxury do not include concern priests. Therefore, they can easily adjust to small rooms with limited amenities. If you belong to a religious order, such as Jesuits, you will live in a spiritual community as a family. If you become a Diocesan priest, you will live in a church’s rectory.
How much do Priests Make
Catholic priests do not work for money. They lead a life of faith, service, and prayer. Money is the last thing they care about. And if you are reading this, you know that you aren’t here for the money. Catholic priests earn far lesser than those with similar educational backgrounds. However, since they remain single for the rest of their lives, they can easily make both ends meet with their modest income.
According to a study published by the Georgetown University, catholic priest salary was at USD 45,593 average per year in 2018. It is a taxable income, and therefore, 20% of your earning shall go in paying taxes.
How to Become a Catholic Priest
You must attain three degrees to become a priest, namely a bachelor’s degree, a seminary program, and an optional master’s degree.How Long Does It Take to Become a Priest
[Also Read: Steps to Become a Nun]
Basic Requirements to Becoming a Catholic Priest
- You must be a male.
- It would be best if you were unmarried. However, particular European Catholic Churches allow married men as well.
- You must be a Roman Catholic.
- You must be at least 25 years old. This is usually not a problem because, by the time you finish your seminary and candidacy, you will be around the age.
[Also Read: How to Become a Pastor]
Step 1: Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree
You can earn a graduate degree in any field. However, having a background in religious studies and services, such as religion, philosophy, communication, history, and English, shall prove advantageous. You can also study in seminaries that educate candidates in biblical studies and prepare them for religious life. However, you must have a primary degree in religious studies and philosophy to gain admittance in seminaries.
To enhance your knowledge and gain additional information, obtain guidance from your region’s Catholic Church Leadership through priests holding leadership positions. You must involve in church activities proactively. Furthermore, volunteer in the Catholic community by participating in church services, providing religious information and education, and engaging in choir singing.
Step 2: Become a Formal Candidate for Priesthood
While this is not a mandatory requirement, candidacy will give you the time for reflection and discernment for the priesthood. In your candidacy period, you will get an opportunity to evaluate your choices and reflect upon your spiritual calling. You will attend services and become involved in serving the community. The period will help you decide whether the lifestyle is right for you or not.
Step 3: Complete Your Seminary Education
Before your ordination, you can attend a seminary, as mentioned above, to fulfill the requirements of a catholic priest. Many Churches, especially the Roman Catholic ones, require candidates to complete 4 years of seminary before ordination.
A seminary program is usually like an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree program exclusively designed for religious studies. The courses cover Biblical studies(1), pastoral studies, ethics, liturgy, church history, preaching, summoning, performing rites, and many other community services priests do. You will gain both theoretical and practical knowledge.
On the other hand, particular churches emphasize more on a bachelor’s degree in religious studies or theology than on seminary study. You must check with the church that you want to be associated with before you decide your career pathway.
You can also obtain a Master’s Degree in Divinity or Religious Study if you wish to boost your competency level.
Step 4: Get Consecrated as a Priest
Your final process step in the priesthood is to become ordained, which is, in general, receiving the sacrament of thy divine commands. It is similar to becoming baptized. Depending upon the church and the Catholic denomination, a bishop will ordain you into the ministry through grand ceremony or via a simple Mass celebration. You will perform as a deacon for the first six to eight months and then begin serving for the parish.