Perhaps you have come to this site discern whether Christ is calling you to the priesthood. Maybe you know someone who has expressed a desire to discern this call in their life. The call to the priesthood is a call to carry out Christ’s mission of preaching, teaching and sanctifying.

Developing a sense of mission is essential in any vocation, especially for those considering seriously a vocation to ordained priesthood. Your visit to this site is a good first step in exploring the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood. I pray the information on this site will help clarify the qualities of spirit, mind, and character that ordained ministry demands. Welcome.

Fr. John Moneypenny
Vocations Director

His calling is a declaration of love. Your response is commitment, friendship, and love manifested in the gift of your own life

- St. John Paul II

What is Priesthood?

All priests are ordained to preach the Gospel and serve God’s people in the person of Christ. Most importantly, they administer the sacraments of the Church and help people get to heaven. There are two ways a man may be called to serve as a priest. He may be called serve as a Diocesan Priest or a Religious priest. What is the difference? Let me explain.

A diocesan priest lives and works in a certain geographical area – A diocese.

A diocesan priest is assigned to a parish by the bishop, and he lives and works in that area. Usually, a priest remains in the same diocese his entire life. His main work is preaching the Gospel, offering Mass, anointing the sick and dying, baptizing, celebrating marriages, burying the dead, and consoling those who need his help. He is focused on the needs of those in his parish. He does not make a promise of poverty, and usually owns a car and other possessions in order to do his work and live in a similar manner as his parishioners.

The religious priest chooses to become a member of a religious community based on its lifestyle and mission. Some communities live very private lives of prayer while others have very public charisms. Some serve as teachers in schools or evangelists in other countries. Others might be driven to serve the Lord in the same fashion as the one who established the community. Most often they live in community with each other instead of among people in a parish.


The differences are most easily seen by contrasting the vows made by religious priests and the promises made by diocesan priests.

A diocesan priest makes three promises at ordination:

  • To pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily
  • To obey his bishop
  • To live a celibate life

In contrast, a religious priest will have made three solemn vows, before he is ordained, to live:

  • Poverty
  • Chastity
  • Obedience

Is one “better” or “holier” than another? Absolutely not. A vocation director is familiar with both types of priesthood and can be very helpful in guiding a man as he discerns what life God is calling him to. Learn more about the call to the priesthood by viewing the film “Fishers of Men” below.

Great Books on the Priesthood

Looking for additional reading on the priesthood? Check out these great books. Click on a cover to purchase and for more information.

On Priesthood:

“Evangelization is done on one’s knees, as one of you said to me the other day. Always be men and women of prayer!”

Pope Francis


Contact Information

Vocations Office
Diocese of Orange Pastoral Center
13280 Chapman Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92840
(714) 282-3033 | Email