Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
has a definite plan and purpose for all of our lives and some men
receive a unique call to be a Catholic priest or deacon. Their
purpose to is to bring people to God and God to his people and to share
the peace, forgiveness and love of Jesus with all. This is not just a
calling to serve, but also a personal beckoning from God to evolve into the person that he has always
intended you to be, with
all your unique skills, gifts, interests and characteristics.
Priests forgo a relationship with one person in order to be a spiritual
father to many and through Mass, the sacraments, preaching and prayer,
they become living witnesses to Jesus and bring His light into the
world for all people.
Deacons are called to have
particular care for the poor and for social justice, often leading on
parish initiatives to serve those in need. They may preach at Mass,
baptise and officiate at weddings. In addition they may also distribute
Communion, visit the sick and lead in the catechetical and
pastoral life of the parish, for example by supporting prayer or gospel
Gentle Path of Discernment
can sometimes be challenging to know God's plan for your life and in
particular, whether you are being called to be a priest or perhaps a
deacon. Although some men receive a dramatic calling, for most it
involves a period of discerment, which allows time to listen to the
prompting of God's
voice, to notice
events, circumstances and perceive deep inner guidance what
are being called to and where you belong.
the idea of giving your life to the priesthood fills you with
inspiration and hope for the future, it is good to share your
feelings with others who
can help you determine your path.
A few signs that you are being called to serve may be as folllows:
a sense of
personal calling from God
Jesus and a longing to bring others closer to him
others and an ability to listen to people
inward desire to be a priest or deacon
resonance with the Church and her teachings
to lead a life of prayer and reflection
internallly orientated towards the divine and outwardly towards
expression and action
inspired by the lives of the saints and other moral figures
people have said 'you
would make a good priest'
is not an exhaustive list: if you would like to talk to someone about
discerning your vocation within Southwark, please speak to our
Director, Fr John Diver, or the Vocations Promoters listed below: they
will take time to listen and offer guidance.
As part of the discernment process you may be
directed to a Galilee
Group. These monthly meetings of prayer and fraternity are
considering what God is calling them to do with their lives. The
take place in Balham (South West London), Lewisham
East London) and Canterbury (for those who live
Father John Diver Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 020
you have been accepted by the Archbishop as a candidate for the
priesthood or diaconate, a significant period of study is required:
generally five or six years.
Although some seminarians may study at the
English College and those entering into a vocation in later life may
attend the Beda College (both in Rome) the majority of men in Southwark
attend St John's Seminary, which is based at
Wonersh near Guildford.
The video above offers some insight to the
shape of the daily lives of seminarians and shows how they are prepared
priesthood and diaconate, not just through study, but also by
participating in the wider life of St John's.