Vocation Blog

Matthew Kelly reminds us that Jesus is real.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)

If you have ever thought about being a priest, this sign 5 of 5 may be clues to a future priestly vocation.


5. You want to help others grow closer to Christ.

A priest brings Jesus to people and people to Jesus. For this reason, a man who wants to be a priest must have a deep concern for the people of God. He wants to help them grow in holiness; he wants to teach them the truths of the faith; he wants to minister to them during the trials of life. The vocation of priesthood is about leading others to heaven.

If you’ve thought about the possibility of priesthood, but don’t yet have all these signs and qualities, don’t despair!  All people must strive for holiness.  And future priests go through a long and intensive formation period, precisely to help them grow in virtue and be effective in their ministry.

Have fun and help support the St. Joseph seminarians. It is an excellent feeder seminary for Mundelein Seminary.

If you have ever thought about being a priest, this sign 4 of 5 may be clues to a future priestly vocation.


4. You desire to live a life of virtue and prayer.

Pope Benedict spoke about what people expect of their priests. To paraphrase, he said that people do not expect priests to be experts in anything but the spiritual life. Thus, a good candidate for priesthood attends Mass, prays frequently, receives the Sacrament of Confession, serves others, and strives to grow spiritually.

A Presumption for Perseverance and Permanence

Fr. John Kartje

by Fr. John Kartje | January 19, 2016

Some years ago, Fr. George Aschenbrenner, S.J., coined that phrase to refer to the expectation that, as a man progresses through his seminary formation program, he should increasingly grow in his level of commitment to the priestly vocation. At some point before ordination, he ought to have prayerfully reached a decision where he basically presumes that he will permanently commit to the priestly vocation, and that he will persevere through doubts or struggles as if he were certain that such a permanent priestly identity would be reached. It is impossible to define a sharp milestone for when such a presumption should take root (e.g., one year before ordination), but unless that threshold is crossed, a man can never fully turn himself over to being formed by Christ, as opposed to constantly remaining in a state of weighing one decision or another. The purpose of healthy prayer, sound spiritual direction, and an overall effective formation program is to help a man know when he can make such a presumption in good faith.

At Mundelein, the second semester of the academic year is often a time when the “presumption for permanence” is either reached or else significantly approached. Third-year theologians will be heading off for a 10-week pilgrimage in the Holy Land, returning to Mundelein shortly before their diaconate ordinations. Second-year men will depart to spend the remainder of the year on their parish internships. Fourth-year deacons are counting the months until their priesthood ordinations in the spring or summer. As for the pre-theologians and first theology students, they are moving more deeply into the heart of the intellectual and spiritual pursuits of the Catholic priestly vocation — they are letting go of preconceived notions of priesthood and are beginning to allow the truth of Christ’s Spirit to transform their human spirit.

Through all of these threshold experiences, each man in his own way is challenged to grow in self-knowledge and in his desire for holiness. Such knowledge and desire can only truly grow through the gift of God’s grace, but that grace is often received and cooperated with through a seminarian’s interaction with the people, experiences, and ideas he encounters. Our men will deepen their presumption for permanence in myriad places and ways: at the border between Israel and Palestine; at the parish Reconciliation service during Lent; in the quiet of their study carrels with Aquinas and Ambrose; amidst the joys and struggles of their seminary field education sites; and through the prayers and conversations they are privileged to exchange with you.

Together with you in Christ, we are Mundelein. We form parish priests.

If you have ever thought about being a priest, this sign 3 of 5 may be clues to a future priestly vocation.


3. Other people have mentioned that you would be a good priest.

Often other people will notice a “priest’s heart” in a young man and say to him, “Have you ever thought about being a priest?  I think you’d make a good one.”  In fact, many men report that they grew tired of people making such comments—but that the encouragement eventually led them to seminary!

If you have ever thought about being a priest, this sign 2 of 5 may be clues to a future priestly vocation.


2. You have a deep love for Christ and His Church.

A priest functions in persona Christi capitas—in the person of Christ, head of the Church.  Thus a man who wants to be a priest must love Jesus Christ above all else.  And like Jesus, he should have a deep love for the Church, the Bride of Christ.  In general, a man who wants to be a priest will find himself drawn to Church teachings and “all things Catholic.”

Don’t give up chocolate this Lent!
Are you searching for a deeper sense of purpose?  Are you looking for a  clearer understanding of God’s plan for your life? What matters most and what matters least? Then it’s time to rediscover Jesus.

Based on Matthew Kelly’s new bestseller Rediscover Jesus, Dynamic Catholic’s free Best Lent Ever email program will take you on a 40-day spiritual journey to encounter Jesus—and yourself—in a deeply personal way, and begin (or nourish) a habit of daily prayer.    


Sunday’s readings included Jeremiah, Paul and Luke.   Jerimiah heard the Lord’s Word reminding Jerimiah that God chose him before he was born to be a prophet and he must trust that God will protect him.  Paul encouraged the Corinthians to strive for the greater spiritual gifts and told them about a better way. In the Gospel, Luke recounts the poor reception Jesus received in his native place.

Msgr. Dan Mayall, Pastor of Holy Name Cathedral, concentrated on Paul’s instruction to seek the greater gifts.  Many of the brides and grooms pick this reading (1 Cor 12:31-13:13). It has examples of what love is and what love isn’t.  Msgr. Mayall illustrated the importance of doing all with love by blocking out an imaginary “Carpet of Love” in the Sanctuary.   He gave many examples of doing thing without love and how different it is when we do it with love. 

Later, a group of the participants, going through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, notices the differences in areas of their lives, when they were patient and kind in comparison to when they were impatient and unkind with others.  The “Carpet of Love” is a simple image of love, and in the end the greatest gift is love.

If you have ever thought about being a priest, this sign 1 of  5 may be clues to a future priestly vocation.

1. God has placed in your heart a desire to be a priest.

If Jesus has placed a desire in your heart for priesthood, no matter what your age, don’t ignore it.  Talk to a priest you admire about how you feel.

Take some time each day to notice how God is working in your life. You will discover God’s amazing love for you.

I enjoyed celebrating Mass with the Illinois Institute of Technology community.  It gave me a chance to talk about   vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life and parish work. Some of their graduates have become priests.

Ask God to let the light of Jesus be in you and flow through you into those around you.  Be that light in the world.

Don't get discouraged. It is only once you decide to get healthy that you realize how unfit you are. The same is true of the spiritual life. It is only once you decide to live a life of virtue that you realize how many vices fill your days.

Lent would be a good time to be more disciplined.

Sign up for Matthew Kelly's "Best Lent Ever"


Exploring Priesthood Weekend

A retreat designed to help men who are, college age and older, discern God’s call to priesthood. Throughout a weekend of prayer, discussion, and group interaction, men begin to understand God’s movement in their life.


Please prayer this weekend for the all the men who will be at the free retreat. They will hear about:

  • Values of priesthood
  • Vocational journeys of priests and seminarians and how they came to understand God’s call
  • Seminary life, academics, and formation

The next retreat will be April 8-10, 2016


You can obtain further information or make a reservation by contacting Fr. Francis Bitterman at 312-534-8298, fbitterman@archchicago.org.

The St. Joseph College Seminary has a great welcoming photo of the seminarians, Fr. Mike Scherschel and Rector, Fr. Peter Snieg.

There's Still Time to Register!
Come and Check out Saint Joseph College Seminary

Now that you’ve seen Mundelein Seminary during "Who Will Fill These Shoes", take the next step and visit Saint Joseph College Seminary on January 18 (MLK Day) from 10am-2pm.

Saint Joe's is a good fit for those who are interested in the priesthood while they pursue an undergraduate college degree at Loyola University.  This day is a no-pressure opportunity to come and learn about the program from those who are experiencing it right now.








Exploring Priesthood Weekend 
Read more... 

Oct. 27-29, 2017
Jan 12-14, 2018
Apr 16-18, 2018