A priest is a man who through the Sacrament of Holy Orders has been configured to Jesus Christ the great High Priest and Good Shepherd. His life is set apart to preach the Gospel and celebrate the sacraments for the up building of the people of God. A priest stands in the world as an Ambassador of Christ bringing God's message of reconciliation and peace.
what does a priest do?
The priest assists the local bishop in the threefold office of teaching, sanctifying, and governing.
The priest teaches through the proclamation of the Gospel, explanation of the divine mysteries particularly in the homily at Mass, and engaging in catechesis and evangelization in the midst of the world.
The priest sanctifies through celebration of the sacraments and prayer. - In Baptism he brings new lives into the family of God. - In the Holy Mass he stands in the person of Christ changing bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Himself, which nourishes God's people unto eternal life. - In Confession he restores to grace those who had lost it through sin, being the vehicle in that moment of the mercy of God. - In the Anointing of the Sick he spiritually strengthens those who are afflicted with serious illness, healing them in whatever traces of sin still remain. - Further, the priest sanctifies the Church through his daily prayer for and with the people of God.
The priest governs through attending to the material needs of the local church to which he is assigned. He cares for all the temporal aspects of maintaining a parish in order to facilitate the encounter Christ wants to have with His people.
how do i know if god is calling me?
The call of Jesus Christ to the Priesthood is as unique as each man called, yet at the root of it is the voice of the Son of God saying, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." A call to the priesthood usually begins with some attraction to priestly life and ministry, a call to give oneself to God in a deeper more radical way. From there through prayer and participation in the Church's sacramental life, one usually is led to greater trust in beginning to take the first steps of answering God's call.
what should my first step be if i think that god is calling me?
The first step is to go to the One who calls. Spending time in prayer, particularly in Eucharistic Adoration and participation in the Sacraments is the way to come to know Christ better. Also it would be helpful to reach out and speak to a priest who you know and trust, to see what his thoughts are.
and after that?
After that, if you believe God may be calling you, t he next best step would be to contact the Vocation Office, and ask to speak with the Vocation Director, Fr. Anthony Federico. From there the process would be a series of meetings leading to the possibility of applying to enter seminary formation and start the path of answering God's call, confident that His Grace will provide in every situation.