“The priestly vocation is essentially a call to sanctity, in the form that derives from the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Sanctity is intimacy with God; it is the imitation of Christ, poor, chaste and humble; it is unreserved love for souls and self-giving to their true good; it is love for the church which is holy and wants us to be holy, because such is the mission that Christ has entrusted to it. Each one of you must be holy also in order to help your brothers pursue their vocation to sanctity.” – Bl. John Paul, II
A priest is a man…
- who loves God, loves the Church, and loves the people he has been sent to serve.
- who is rooted in prayer, especially the Mass and other daily liturgical prayers of the Church.
- who joyfully and sacrificially lives a life of simplicity, celibacy, and obedience to God; he embraces and extends the mission of Jesus Christ the eternal high priest.
How do I explore becoming a priest?
- Pray! Seek help with discernment, especially with a priest who knows you well.
- Spend time before the Blessed Sacrament. The closer you get to him, the more he will form your mind and heart like unto his and reveal his will for your life.
- Contact the diocesan Vocations Office for information on diocesan priesthood or on religious life at 337.261.5690.
- Participate in the life of your parish. Serve.
- Participate in diocesan vocation events such as Come and See and Life Awareness Retreats.
- Visit a seminary (St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, LA or Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans) or a Religious Order.
Whom does God call?
- aspire to serve God’s people.
- strive to imitate Christ daily through prayer and service.
- are willing to lay down their lives for God’s people.
- desire to spread the Gospel through teaching and preaching.
- embrace the New Evangelization.
- are drawn to Jesus in the Eucharist.
- love the Holy Catholic Church, her teachings and her sacraments.
- wish to bring God’s mercy to the physically and spiritually poor.
- teach people to live virtuously, by word and example.
What does a priest do all day?
- A priest spends time each day in prayer before God, becoming closer to Him and interceding for God’s people. He serves as a bridge between God and his people.
- A diocesan priest typically serves the people of parishes in the diocese for which he is ordained.
- Priests in a Religious Order serve people through a wide range of ministries, including teaching, direct service to the poor, retreats, and parish work.
- Priests celebrate the Mass and the other sacraments of the Church.
- They embrace the three offices of Christ: they continue his mission of preaching, sanctifying, and shepherding.
- Priests remain celibate (unmarried) to love and serve God and his people with an undivided heart.
- Live simply to demonstrate material detachment and focus on the life to come in heaven.
Applying for formation to the Diocese of Lafayette includes:
- An initial meeting with the Vocations Director. After one or two meetings, if he feels there are no major obstacles to one applying, the official process begins.
- Physical and psychological examinations are required.
- Applicants are asked to gather documents such as sacramental records and transcipts.
- Applicants supply the names of at least ten people for letters of recommendation.
- Applicants must write a detailed autobiography.
- Once all the requisite documents and examinations have been gathered and completed, the Vocations Director will recommend the candidate to the bishop for acceptance.
- This process takes a minimum of three months to complete.
- The Diocese requires residency in the diocese for a period of time before an application can be accepted. Exceptions are made for candidates originally from the diocese who are returning home. For more information, contact the Vocation Office at 337.261.5634
- (Expenses for applying are covered by the diocese).
Seminarians are responsible for their own debt. Applicants will need to be debt free, with the exception of a modest amount of student loans, when they enter the seminary. Those with other kinds of debt should be able to handle the debt for at least six years without an income (minimum period of formation).
To begin application process, download the DOL forms below and mail to:
Office of Vocations
1408 Carmel Drive
Lafayette, LA 70501
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