Personal LifeA priest is changed forever when he is ordained, but he does not completely abandon who he was before! He will still have interests, hobbies, favorite sports teams, talents, etc. (in short, a personality), and although he may have to put the needs of others first, he will almost always have some freedom to pursue these.

A negative stereotype of priests as busy, overworked, and unhappy has penetrated our society, yet it is far from the truth. A 1993 study concluded, “Priests in this study were more intimate, more satisfied with their vocations, and better adjusted than their male peers”. And in 2009 a survey of 2,482 priests yielded a similar result, with priests scoring “slightly psychologically healthier than their peers” (From Stephen Rossetti, Why Priests are Happy, 2011).

Priests have to take care of themselves–especially their own spiritual needs–if they are to be of help to others. Staying close to Jesus, and growing ever closer, gives a priest the balance and centering he needs to help draw others close to God, too. This is why a priest’s prayer life is so important, and why every priest promises to pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day.

From Church Documents

“Future priests should therefore cultivate a series of human qualities, not only out of proper and due growth and realization of self, but also with a view to the ministry. These qualities are needed for them to be balanced people, strong and free, capable of bearing the weight of pastoral responsibilities.” (Pastores dabo vobis, no. 43)
“Along with all the baptized who have been claimed for new life in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, priests are called with their brothers and sisters to live out their baptismal call as disciples of Jesus Christ and to grow in holiness.” (Program of Priestly Formation, no. 20)
“A priest stays tuned in to Jesus Christ so that he knows how to shepherd those he serves.”
Fr. John, St. Peter (Monticello)
“The priest  is a person called by God to lead the way in sacrificing for and with others in word and deed.”
Fr. Al, S.J., St. Elizabeth (Ravenna)
“This is the profound meaning of being a priest: to become a friend of Jesus Christ. We should commit ourselves again to this friendship every day…This means that we must know Jesus in an ever more personal way, listening to him, living together with him, spending time with him.”
Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus

Who a priest is

The priesthood changes a man, reconfiguring his very essence into something new.

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The ministry of a priest

A priest’s ministry in an extension of Christ’s own love for his people.

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A weekend in the life of a priest

It isn't a 9 to 5 job, and no two days are the same. Read about a randomly chosen day in the life of one priest.

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Celibacy is much more a way of saying "yes" to something than a way of saying "no".

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Human Formation

Becoming a well-rounded, well-adjusted man of God.

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Get answers to some of the most common questions about the priesthood and discernment.

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