In baptism we receive a calling which enables and obliges us to seek holiness, worship God and serve others. Baptism incorporates us into the Church and makes us participants in its mission. Every baptised person shares in the one priesthood of Christ and in the common priesthood of all believers.
Among the baptised some are called to the ministerial priesthood as deacons, priests and bishops. Those called to the ministerial priesthood receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, and are consecrated for the service of all the baptised and the building up of the Church. Those who receive Holy Orders live a celibate life and have a special obligation to pray and seek holiness.
A priest presides at the celebration of the Eucharist (Mass) and other sacraments, proclaims the Gospel (Good News), teaches the Catholic Faith and works to build up the local faith community. A diocesan priest works within a particular geographical area called a diocese, usually in a parish, as the co-worker of the local bishop who leads the diocese.
The Archdiocese of Wellington comprises 47 parishes spanning the central New Zealand area from a line between Levin and Masterton in the north to the southern boundary from Kaikoura to Westport. Diocesan priests serve in the 47 parishes and also in schools, hospitals and other social agencies.
The Acceptance Process for the Diocesan Priesthood
Anyone wondering whether God is calling him to the priesthood should contact his parish priest or one of the Vocations Directors for the Archdiocese of Wellington. Our Vocation Directors are also available to meet with you to discuss your feelings and thoughts on the possibility of a priestly vocation. We will answer your questions about the seminary and priesthood so that you may begin to make an informed decision about priesthood.
In John’s Gospel, the call of the first disciples occurred when John the Baptist introduced them to Jesus. When Jesus saw them he invited them to “Come and see.” That is what happens when a man expresses an interest in priesthood. There are opportunities to pray, gather more information and reflect on where God may be leading you. You will be welcome to participate in discernment events and other diocesan events.
After a period of discernment, a man expressing an interest in diocesan priesthood in the Archdiocese of Wellington may be asked to begin the formal application process. This includes psychological testing, visiting the seminary, and meeting the Archbishop. The actual process of application is tailored to meet the needs of the individual.