Discerning as a Young Adult & Beyond

Just as Peter and Andrew were called away from their nets, Christ continues to call men in the middle of their careers to come and learn to be “fishers of men.”

A New Direction for Your Life

If you’re a young man reading this page, then congratulations! Chances are, you already have the first quality needed for discernment – an openness to God’s plan for your life.

Frequently, God calls men to the priesthood after they have finished college and have had the chance to live in the working world for several years. As a young adult, discerning and pursuing a vocation to the priesthood can come with its own unique challenges, but the process is basically the same as at any other age.

Cultivate a Healthy Prayer Life

Regardless of what vocation God has planned for you, the most important part of discerning His will is developing and maintaining a consistent, healthy relationship with Him through prayer and the sacraments. As a young adult, this means making the time to get involved in your parish, and taking advantage of the prayer life of your community. In particular, attending daily Mass, going to Confession regularly, and incorporating devotions like the Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration into your daily routine will help you build a solid life of prayer.

Make sure, as well, to find time to sit with God in silence. Scripture tells us that God speaks to us in a “still, small voice,” and in the busyness of the working world, it can be easy for that voice to be drowned out. Finding time for silent prayer will allow you the opportunity to hear His call with greater clarity.

Connecting with Fellow Young Catholics

Building healthy relationships is a key part of life as a Catholic, and especially so in times of discernment. Be sure to check out any young adult groups or Theology on Tap events in your area – these will help you connect with peers and friends who will be able to support and encourage you in seeking the Lord.

There are also events in the diocese throughout the year to help you connect with other discerners and learn more about the priesthood. One of the best ways to meet other young adults and current seminarians pursuing vocations to the diocesan priesthood is to attend one of these events, especially our annual “Duc in Altum” vocations retreat.

Don’t Try Discerning Alone!

Finally, no vocation is discerned alone! An essential part of serious discernment is seeking the guidance of the Church, and your diocese has dedicated resources and directors to help you in this process.

Most men will benefit from talking to their pastors, a spiritual director, or other trusted priests in their life about their discernment. They can point you to additional resources and give you practical advice about your situation and life of prayer – after all, they went through a similar experience.

Most importantly, get in touch with your diocesan vocation director! His role is to help guide you at every stage of your discernment with the diocese, to give you clear, honest advice and support, and ultimately to help you determine with certainty if God is calling you to be a priest of Jesus Christ.


Duc in Altum: Men's Discernment Retreat

Grow in your relationship with the Lord, and carve out time to hear His voice.

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