Do you feel called?

By Father Scott Jabo, vocations director of the Diocese of Erie and rector of St. Mark Seminary

While all vocations are important and meaningful and are undoubtedly callings from God, some young men are personally called by God to a special religious vocation, such as the priesthood. It is these young men that I specifically address. If you are one of those who loves Jesus Christ and is attracted to the priesthood and the sacraments, or if you feel particular nagging in your heart about priesthood that just won’t go away, or perhaps you long for something deeply spiritual and others have asked if you have ever considered the priesthood, be open to the fact that God may be calling you to be a priest. In such a case, I urge you to pray that you might know your vocation and have the faith and trust necessary to say “Yes!” to God’s calling — your vocation — whatever your vocation may be.

It is important to note that the process of discerning one’s vocation should not be done in a vacuum. Instead, I encourage any young man who is discerning his vocation to work with a spiritual director, or a priest, or trustworthy, Catholic adult who is willing to walk with him as he seeks to know God’s call in his life. Along with daily prayer, frequent Mass attendance, participating in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and reconciliation, and good spiritual reading, the young man who incorporates all of these into his life can more clearly hear God’s call.

In my role as vocation director, my main responsibility is to help young men on their journey of discernment. Thus, I encourage any young man who has questions about priesthood, discernment, seminary formation, or vocations in general, to feel free to contact me via email at or by phone at 814.824.1198. I am most willing to help any young man discern his vocation, walking with him on the special journey of discernment. God calls each of us to a special vocation and he is calling you!

Remember, God does not force his will on us, but he does invite us and encourages us to discover and embrace his will for us. God wants us to know true happiness and true happiness is found when we embrace God’s will. Doing God’s will does not mean an easy life, but it is a most meaningful and fulfilling life unlike anything that the world can offer us.

Be aware that God speaks to us in our prayer, through Scriptures, in the quietness of our hearts, and even through people who may say to you: “Have you ever thought about becoming a priest?” or “I see in you the qualities that would make for a good priest.” Know that they may in fact be God’s voice speaking to you. Once you come to know your vocation and say “Yes” to your special calling, it is then that you experience true happiness, joy, and peace.

Consider how the Blessed Virgin Mary responded to God’s call to her. Imitate Mary! Say “Yes!” And in the words of Pope St. John Paul II and the Lord himself, “Do not be afraid!”