So you’ve decided that you are actually considering the priesthood or the diaconate.
The next step, of course, is to talk to your priest.
But what do you say?
I’d recommend starting by asking him to lunch or to sit down in a relaxing environment for an hour or so. Tell him, briefly, about your spiritual journey if he is not already familiar with it, and how you have begun to consider this calling.
Let him know why you are discerning a call and what has led you to this understanding of your life.
Describe what is going with you, but alsodo yourself and him a favor though, don’t go into excruciating detail on the part of your life which is vague and requires little description. It does not take ten minutes to describe not knowing something. Tell him what you do know about yourself and about your calling.
You can then ask the following questions
- When and how did you know you were called?
- How shall I pray?
- What can I do here in the parish to prepare?
- How can I make sure I’m prepared?
As a priest who has gone through a similar process (they never seem to be identical), he will be able to give you insight into your own vocation, the process leading to theological education, spiritual formation and the long road to ordination. He’ll help you pare down the options also.
Most importantly, do not try to discern a vocation yourself. If you are going to truly answer a call to the priesthood it is within the Church – not separate from it – that you will be answering your vocation and working out your salvation.
Go to your priest. Now.
Get things started.