JOURNEY TO PRIESTHOOD
Is God Calling You?
"WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A PRIEST?"
"WHAT DOES IT TAKE?"
"HOW DO I KNOW IF GOD IS CALLING ME?"
"WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM INTERESTED IN BECOMING A PRIEST?"
If you find yourself asking questions like these, perhaps God is calling you to COME FOLLOW in His Son's footsteps. Your consideration of becoming a priest is important and very personal. For this reason, we, the Bishop and Priests of the Diocese of Las Vegas, want to support you in your search. It is our hope that this information will help you as you discern your vocation. You are an important gift to us.
Discernment - Prayer - Sharing
Not everyone who thinks about becoming a priest actually does! There is a period of time called discernment during which each person comes to see if God is truly calling him to be a priest. The important element during this time is openness in prayer with God and in conversation with those assisting you.
The first step we suggest is to simply talk with your parish priest or any other priest with whom you can be open and comfortable. This priest may also become your Spiritual Director, and as such, would be able to assist you in your decision. It will be through him that you will make contact with the Vocation Director. Having such priests at your disposal will enable you to have your questions and concerns answered in a very personal way.
As you continue to discern, you may find yourself meeting more frequently with the Vocation Director. When your decision period enters into its final stages, you will be asked to join a discernment group. This group usually meets once a month in an informal setting for prayer, reflection, questions and answers. In such a group, you will share your calling with others who feel similarly. On occasion, the Bishop will meet with this group for an informal meeting. If all continues to progress positively, the Vocation Director will begin the formal application process with you.
Formal Application to the Diocese
When the time arrives for you to make a formal application to the Diocese, the Vocation Director will assist you in your personal meeting with the Bishop. Once the Bishop accepts you as a candidate for the seminary, you will begin to complete all the necessary forms and psychological evaluations that are required by the Diocese and Seminary. When all preparations have been completed, your application will be sent to the Seminary for processing. As part of this processing, you will be interviewed by the Seminary. Once accepted by the Seminary, the Bishop will welcome you as a seminarian for the Diocese.
The Bishop chooses the seminary for his seminarians. The Diocese of Las Vegas normally sends its college seminarians to Mt. Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon. Seminarians in Theology are sent to St. Patrick Seminary or St. John Seminary in Carmarillo, California. College graduates with little or no philosophy studies will partake in a pre-Theology program at the seminary. This special program helps prepare seminarians for their formal theological studies.
Seminarian Policy and Finances
The Bishop of Las Vegas has a Seminarian Policy and Financial Plan for its seminarians. This Policy states that all college seminarians studying for the Diocese are financially responsible for one-third of their college education expenses. It is for this reason that college seminarians are asked to seek summer employment to earn money to help with their tuition and for personal spending money.
Upon completion of their second year of Theology, seminarians begin a special assignment called a Pastoral Year. During this year, the Diocese works with the Seminary in assigning a seminarian to work in a parish on a very personal level. The purpose of this Pastoral Year is to give each seminarian a deeper and more intimate experience of parish life. An evaluation of the seminarian and his ministry will be completed by the pastor and sent to the Bishop and the Seminary.
During the final two years of Theology, a seminarian will return to school and begin preparing for his Ordination to the Diaconate and Priesthood.
As a Priest, you join the Bishop and Priests in spreading the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in a fast-growing Diocese. You also share the gift of your life as the Lord continues to build up His priesthood in the Diocese of Las Vegas. We need you -- please give the priesthood some serious thought and, if it be God's will, COME FOLLOW.