“At last I have found my vocation: my vocation is love.”
—St Thérèse of Lisieux

Everyone on earth is called to love. This is the primary vocation of each one of us; to love our neighbour as ourselves and to love God above all things.

God has ordained, however, that the manner in which we show this love is determined by our vocation. A vocation is a free gift from God, an invitation to pursue a way of life that, if lived well, will result in our sanctification and happiness. Everyone is called to some form of vocation. Some, in particular, are called by God to consider the priesthood and religious life, which are vocations that respond to Christ’s words in the Gospel passage:

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the labourers are few…’”
(Matt. 9: 35-37)

God calls many young men and women to be His labourers, to offer their lives in loving and self-giving service so that they may spread the love of Christ throughout the world. What a gift and joy it is to labour for the love of God! St Alphonsus says that a call to the religious or priestly state is a special grace indeed.

Have you ever wondered if God might be calling you to the priesthood or religious life, especially within the traditional orders of the Church? If so, you may find the following information helpful.

For Men

Discerning a Priestly Vocation

“When the priest celebrates Mass, he honours God, gladdens the angels, strengthens the Church, helps the living, brings rest to the departed, and wins for himself a share in all good things.”
—Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

St Alphonsus exhorts all young men to consider whether or not they have a vocation to the priesthood and to meditate upon the joys of such a vocation. It is an incredible honour to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and to command, by God’s own will, that mere bread and wine be changed into the very Body and Blood of Christ. It is a humbling privilege and joy to be the instrument by which sinners are reconciled to God and restored to the life of grace. Not even the angels possess this most high dignity, which is none other than a sharing in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ Himself. Although some would tremble at such a responsibility, it is one of which no one is worthy. God delights is using the weak to confound the strong, and His omnipotence is only made the more manifest, at times, when He works despite our imperfections. It is true that a candidate to the priesthood needs a certain level of health and mental ability, but what is most important is that he have a faithful heart, after that of Christ.

“The Priesthood is, indeed, one of the most sublime dignities and most excellent favours that God has ever conferred on a mere creature.”
—Fr John Croiset, The Devotion to the Sacred Heart
For those who feel called to the traditional priesthood, the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) has two overseas seminaries and a first year novitiate at Ezechiel House in Sydney, Australia. Priests of the FSSP offer daily the traditional Latin Mass and minister the Sacraments and pastoral care to the faithful according to the traditional liturgical books. For more information about vocations with the FSSP please visit the following websites: For those interested in pursuing a vocation as a diocesan priest within the Archdiocese of Adelaide, please visit here.

Discerning a Monastic or Religious Vocation

You may also wish to consider a monastic or religious vocation. Monks and religious brothers profess the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and live in monasteries or communities. The life of a monk, such as a Benedictine monk, is centred on prayer and work, and they participate daily in the singing of the Liturgy of the Hours. There is one traditional monastery in Australia: Notre Dame Priory in Tasmania. There are also multiple traditional monasteries overseas. For those drawn to a monastic or religious vocation, such as a monk or religious brother, please see the links below. Alternatively, information about the vocation of a religious brother can be obtained by contacting the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide here.

You may also like to read:

For Women
“Veni, Sponsa Christi, accipe coronam quam tibi Dominus præparavit in æternum.” “Come, Spouse of Christ, receive the crown which the Lord has prepared for you for all eternity.”
—Magnificat Antiphon at II Vespers from the Common of Virgins

There is no spouse more loving, more gentle, more admirable than the Divine Spouse of Souls, Jesus Christ. A young woman called to the religious state, in either a cloistered or active community, is called to be a Bride of Christ and has the honour of praying for and aiding the Church within the particular charism of her community. A religious sister is an eschatological sign, that is, a sign which calls to mind the fleetingness of this life and the everlasting nature of the next.

“Leave all and you shall find all.”
—Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

There is one traditional community of cloistered Carmelite nuns in Australia, located in Mathoura, NSW. These nuns live out a simple life of contemplative prayer and penance, following the ancient custom of monastic enclosure as a symbol of their complete gift of self to Christ.  For more information please see their website:  https://carmeljmj.org.au/

There are also a number of traditional communities located overseas:

There is also the option of joining one of the many established religious communities in Australia. For more information on these and other forms of religious or consecrated life for women, please contact the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide here.

You may also like to read:

If you have any questions about your own discernment or a potential vocation to the FSSP, feel free to contact Fr Michael McCaffrey or Fr Thomas Sofatzis here.
Prayer for the Choice of a State of Life

O my God, Thou who art the God of wisdom and of counsel, Thou who readest in my heart the sincere will to please Thee alone, and to govern myself with regard to my choice of a state of life, entirely in conformity with Thy most holy desire; grant me, by the intercession of the most blessed Virgin, my Mother, and of my holy patrons, especially of St Joseph and St Aloysius, the grace to know what state I ought to choose; and when to embrace it, so that in it I may be able to pursue and increase Thy glory, work out my salvation, and merit that heavenly reward which Thou hast promised to those who do Thy holy Will. Amen.