Anyone wondering whether God is calling him to the priesthood should contact his parish priest or the Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Wellington. Our Vocation Director, Fr David Dowling is also available to meet with you to discuss your feelings and thoughts on the possibility of a priestly vocation. He will answer your questions about the seminary and priesthood so that you may begin to make an informed decision about priesthood. Please feel free to contact Fr David.
In John’s Gospel, the call of the first disciples occurred when John the Baptist introduced them to Jesus. When Jesus saw them he invited them to “Come and see.” That is what happens when a man expresses an interest in priesthood. There are opportunities to pray, gather more information and reflect on where God may be leading you. You will be welcome to participate in discernment events and other diocesan events.
After a period of discernment, a man expressing an interest in diocesan priesthood in the Archdiocese of Wellington may be asked to begin the formal application process. This includes psychological testing, visiting the seminary, and meeting the Archbishop. The actual process of application is tailored to meet the needs of the individual.
How does a man become a priest?
Becoming a priest involves several stages. While these vary slightly depending on your life experience and previous study, the following stages generally apply:
Contact: A man who is interested in the priesthood, but still searching for the answer to the question “What does God want of me?” contacts his parish priest, or vocations director.
Accompaniment: After some initial chats and reflection about priesthood, a period of accompaniment occurs as the aspirant is guided by a priest in discerning the call to priesthood. This period usually takes at least one year. During this time he begins the process of interviews and meetings with the members of the diocesan vocations team.
Seminarian: Priestly formation is undertaken at Holy Cross Seminary in Auckland.
Transitional Diaconate: About 6 months to a year before ordination to the priesthood, the seminarian is ordained to the Transitional Diaconate (so named because the seminarian is in transition to the priesthood, and to differentiate from the Permanent Diaconate). The man makes promises of celibacy and obedience to his bishop.
Priesthood: After much study, reflection and prayer, the man is ordained to the priesthood by receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders.
What vows do diocesan priests make?
Diocesan priests do not make vows like religious order priests do. Diocesan priests freely make solemn promises of celibacy and obedience to their bishop.