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Path to Priesthood

Where do I start?

Where do I start?

Exploration Stage

So you’ve noticed that God is doing something in your heart, there is a love for the Eucharist or serving at Mass. Maybe a thought, “Oh I could do that, or I could be a priest” has come up here or there. This means that you are in the right place and there is a need to begin exploring what God is doing in your life.

During this stage, we want to encourage you to do three things.

1. Learn about the priesthood

Please fill out the form and we’ll send you the book "To Save 1000 Souls" by Fr. Brett Brannon to help you on your journey.

Visit the resource page for other great books, podcasts, and videos.

2. Reach out to a priest that you trust or know

Share with them that you are thinking about the priesthood and that you want to learn how to pray. It’s through prayer that we grow in awareness.

3. Participate in as many of the upcoming Vocation Events as you are able to

Discernment Stage

So you have been exploring the priesthood and something about it continues to grow. At this point, you want to reach out to the Director of Vocations, Fr. Steven Borello (email link?) for the Diocese of Joliet. He has a lot of experience walking with men and helping them to grow in their awareness of God and God’s call in your life.

He’ll help connect you with a spiritual director whose responsibility it is to teach you how to pray and notice how God is moving in your life. You’ll also be invited to meet with him regularly. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure to attend the different discernment events from visits to the seminary, the Ordination Masses and other outings to get to know the seminarians.

Application Stage

Together with the Director of Vocations, you’ve discerned that you’re ready to take the next step and ask for an application. Upon its completion and acceptance by the diocese, you’d attend one of three different seminaries.

Seminaries we use

Seminaries we use [Accordion]

St. John Vianney College Seminary (St. Paul, Minnesota) – This seminary is used for men entering seminary after high school, or who are transferring into the seminary while in college. Here, seminarians attend the University of St. Thomas to receive a B.A. in Philosophy, while living in a community at the seminary on campus.

Learn more about St. John Vianney College Seminary

Pontifical College Josephinum (Columbus, Ohio) – This seminary is used for men who have already completed a bachelor’s degree prior to entering the seminary. Here, seminarians do a 2-year program of philosophy studies and formation (often referred to as ‘pre-theology’).

Learn more about Pontifical College Josephinum

Mundelein Seminary (Mundelein, Illinois) – This seminary is used for men who have completed either a college seminary program or a pre-theology program. Here, seminarians enter into the later stages of seminary formation and are now more focused on direct preparation for the priesthood in their prayer, studies, and pastoral ministry.

Learn more about Mundelein Seminary