A vocation is a call from God to share in his mission in the world. Everyone has a vocation. Sometimes this concept is referred to as “the universal call to holiness,” meaning that all people, everywhere, regardless of the vocation to which God calls them, are all called to be holy. It is in answering this call that we find joy.
There are a variety of paths to achieve this holiness. This section of the website is concerned specifically with the vocations of the priesthood , though many of the same tools of discernment will also apply to the discernment of other vocations including holy matrimony. It is important that all of us learn to listen to the voice of God and seek to follow his will.
The priest is an “alter Christus” which is Latin for another Christ. He is called to be a witness of Christ to the flock that has been entrusted to him as their shepherd. He is a minister of the sacraments, proclaimer of the word, teacher of the faith, and steward of the Church. The priest is meant to accompany and lead the flock entrusted to his care through this world in such a way as they are able to reach the eternal kingdom of heaven.
Deacons share in Christ’s mission and grace in a special way. The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an imprint (“character”) which cannot be removed and which configures them to Christ, who made himself the “deacon” or servant of all. Learn more about the permanent diaconate.
The Consecrated Life is a permanent state of life recognized by the Church of men and women called to live freely in response to the call of Christ to perfection as religious sisters and brothers or monks and nuns. Their life is characterized by the profession of evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience to be a witness of life of heaven living here on earth. They are to serve as a reminder and an encouragement to us to live our own lives with hearts and minds fixed on Christ. They live their lives in radical contrast to this world that is fading away.
Holy Matrimony is a sacrament uniting one man and one woman to each other and to God for the sake of salvation of their own souls and to help share in Christ’s mission in the world. Marriage is not merely a human commitment or a contrast between two parties, it is a God inspirted unity of self-sacrifice. Just like every sacrament, its goal is to get us to heaven. When a couple gets married they are promsing God and the other to do everything in their power to get their spouse to heaven. The Office of Family Life offers resources, talks, retreats and more to help prepare for and live out the vocation to holy matrimony.
Dedicated Single Life
The dedicated single life is a call from God to make a gift of your person to him and to his Church while still living in the world as a lay person, dedicating your life to service of others and to making the church and the world a better place.
- Pontifical North American College
- Notre Dame Seminary
- Holy Trinity Seminary
- Kenrick-Glennon Seminary
Papal Documents and Homilies on the Priesthood
- On Priestly Holiness: Pius X, Haerent Animo
- On the Catholic Priesthood: Pius XI, Ad Catholici Sacerdotii
- On St. John Vianney and the Priesthood: John XXIII, Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia
- On Priestly Celibacy: Paul VI, Sacerdotalis Caelibatus
- On Formation for the Priesthood: John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis