A priest is a man...

-who loves God, loves the Church, and loves the people he serves.

-rooted in prayer, especially the Mass and other daily liturgical prayers of the Church.

-who joyfully and sacrificially lives a life of simplicity, celibacy, and obedience to God and the Church and among the people of God.

How do I explore becoming a priest?

-Pray! Seek help with discernment, especially with a priest who knows you well.

-Contact the archdiocesan Vocation Office for information on diocesan priesthood or Religious Orders at 651-962-6890 or stpaulvocations@10000vocations.org.

-Participate in the life of your parish.

-Participate in archdiocesan vocation events such as Andrew dinners, Team Vianney, and the archbishop’s annual discernment retreat.

-Visit a seminary (Saint John Vianney College Seminary for college students or the Saint Paul Seminary for those with a college degree) or a Religious Order.

Whom does God call?

Men who…

-aspire to serve God’s people.

-strive to imitate Christ daily through prayer and service.

-are willing to share their lives in leadership of God’s people.

-desire to spread the Gospel through teaching and preaching.

-are drawn to Jesus in the Eucharist.

-wish to bring God’s mercy to the physically and spiritually poor.

-teach people to live virtuously, by word and example.

What does a priest do all day?

-A priest spends time each day in prayer before God, becoming closer to Him and interceding for God’s people.

-A diocesan priest typically serves the people of parishes in the diocese for which he is ordained.

-Priests in a Religious Order serve people through a wide range of ministries, including teaching, direct service to the poor, retreats, and parish work.

-Priests celebrate the Mass, liturgical prayers and sacraments of the Church.

-Priests remain celibate (unmarried) to love and serve God and his people with an undivided heart.

-Live simply to demonstrate material detachment and focus on the life to come in heaven.


Applying for formation to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis includes:

•A formal, written, application to the archdiocese, including an autobiography

•Concurrent application to the seminary you will be attending (typically, Saint John Vianney College Seminary for undergraduate students and The Saint Paul Seminary for candidates with a college degree)

•Undergraduate candidates also must apply to the University of St. Thomas separately and be approved for admission through its procedures

•A formal interview with the Director of Vocations

•Psychological screening by a psychologist approved by the Director of Vocations

•This process takes a minimum of three months to complete

•Applications to the Archdiocese and to the seminaries are not available online, but only from the Director of Vocations

•The Archdiocese requires residency in the diocese for a period of time before an application can be accepted. Exceptions are made for candidates originally from the Archdiocese who are returning home. For more information, contact the Vocation Office at stpaulpriests@10000vocations.org or (651)962-6890.

Expenses for applying are covered by the Archdiocese, except for the physical exam, and the Miller Analogies Test or the Graduate Record Exam.


Seminarians are responsible for their own debt. Most applicants will need to be debt free, with the exception of a modest amount of student loans, when they enter the seminary. There are organizations that assist accepted candidates with some of their student loans if that is preventing them from entering formation. If debt is a concern, contact the vocation director at (651)962-6890 or stpaulvocations@10000vocations.org.


Frequently Asked Questions about Priesthood


For information about Saint John Vianney College Seminary

For information about Saint Paul Seminary


Office of Vocations - Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis - 2260 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105 - (651)962-6890
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