Discerning Vocations to Priesthood

Priest 22Loving God, your son Jesus sent his disciples into the world to be a light to the nations.

May each of us have a strong personal sense of the call to live the Christian vocation.

We pray today, especially for vocations to priesthood and religious life.

May we encourage men and women to respond wholeheartedly to the call

to be ministers of Word and Sacrament and servants of the church.

May we be inspired by Bishop Pompallier and the many men and women who,

by their heroic lives, laid the foundations of the Catholic faith in this land.

Our Lady of the Assumption, patroness of Aotearoa New Zealand pray for us.


A man who is serious about discerning his true vocation needs to begin with prayer. Prayer is the only way to discover what God has planned for us. It is impossible to know God’s plan without prayer.

Ask others to pray for you as the power of prayer cannot be over-estimated.

Seek Advice

When the time comes that one needs to seek some advice, contact the Vocations Director Fr Sherwin Lapaan. Email him to make arrangements to have a chat. aucklandpriests@gmail.com No one can discern ones vocation without the assistance of other people. The Vocations Director is here to offer support, answer questions and assist in discerning God’s call.

Meet with a Spiritual Director regularly. If you need assistance finding a Spiritual Director, contact the diocesan Vocations Director who can help you find one. Your Spiritual Director will assist you in discerning what vocation God is calling you to.

Meet with your parish priest. Let him know what your hopes and dreams are. Ask him questions about the priesthood. Take the opportunity to meet other priests in the Diocese and get to know them. Ask them to tell you about their call to the priesthood. Each  priest has a unique call from God.

Become actively involved in your parish. Offer your assistance to your parish priest, to help out in some kind of ministry. For example assist with the Youth Group or caring and liturgical activities in the parish. It is said that a man called to diocesan priesthood normally finds himself attracted to parish life.

God often speaks through others. People, parishioners, friends, family members, the parish priest may have encouraging words. God often speaks through others, to encourage and reinforce a vocation. Hearing others talk about their calling to the priesthood or religious life may provide the inspiration to explore the possibility for oneself.


Learn about the diocesan priesthood by reading good and accurate information, so you become well informed. Discover what the Church and the saints have to say about the priesthood. One suggested book to read for men discerning a call to the diocesan priesthood is  “To Save a Thousand Souls” by Fr Brett A. Brannen.

An event

A TV show, a movie, an interesting book, the lives of the saints, joy and or tragedy may open a pathway to begin discerning a vocation to the priesthood. The death of a loved one or an event in your life which has changed or moved you, may highlight a change in your thinking, that perhaps you are being called to do something extra ordinary, a vocation to the Priesthood.


A call may happen over a period of time. One may become aware of God’s call to something which may or may not seem comfortable. This may not be part of one’s plan for the future.

A calling may start off as a feeling or a desire which over time may get stronger and stronger and continue to persist.

Against huge odds

Some men have been called to the priesthood against huge odds and opposition. A calling does need to be tested in order to discern that this is a genuine call from God.

Call to holiness

A desire to be holy and striving to live a life of virtue are healthy signs for a man discerning a call to the priesthood.

Initiative and risk

A man discerning his vocation needs to be driven, he can’t be luke warm. He needs to be motivated and determined, and willing to take the initiative to test his calling. A motivated man who is willing, keen and determined are healthy signs of a call to the priesthood.

God calls men of different ages, abilities and talents to the priesthood. It takes courage to respond to God’s invitation. It is about taking a risk and trusting in the Lord to believe in his call. God can’t drive your car, send an email or call you up on the phone. It is up to you to respond, discover, search, question and particularly pray that you may learn what your vocation for life will be.