“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19-20)
The call to serve God in his people in Holy Orders is essential for the ongoing leadership and organisation of the Church. As an ordered community, the Church has three orders of priesthood, Deacon, Priest, and Bishop. Priests (and Bishops who are called from among the priests) are also required to remain celibate. Both single and married men may be called to be Deacon.
Like Marriage, priesthood it is a call from God, which respects and builds on the character, talents, generosity, and love of the person called. So it is a way of life that can never be entered into lightly, or through a personal choice of an individual.
After discernment by the candidate and by the church, there is a period of training and formation over several years, which may or may not end in ordination. Both the candidate and the church have to be satisfied this person is indeed called to be ordained.
How do I know if I have a vocation to priesthood?
If you feel God may be calling you to this service, after prayer you will need to talk to a priest or spiritual director. With their encouragement you may feel ready to approach the Diocesan Director of Priestly Vocations, Father Paul Millar, The Presbytery, 201 New Road, Porthcawl CF36 5BN, o1656 782789. He will then arrange for an interview, and from there may send you on to seminary for initial discernment and formation.
What age do I need to be?
Different people feel the call at different ages.
Some may hear it from an early age: you should talk to your priest and your parents about it, and seek help to grow in knowledge and love of God and the practice of the faith. When these guides feel you are ready, they will advise you to approach the vocations director.
Some hear the call at later stages in their life: there is no upper age limit, except that which our expected life-span and intellectual and physical ability imposes.
Applicants to the permanent Diaconate are expected to be in a stable state of life and over the age of 35.
How much does it Cost?
Candidates are encouraged to contribute to the cost of training, according to their means. If you have not previously been to university, you may get a student loan. But no-one is excluded by lack of financial means; If the Bishop accepts you as a candidate for service in his Diocese, all suitable arrangements will be made.