learn more about God's call.
In a world in which job descriptions, credentials, and deadlines are often thought to define the individual, a priest stands out—not because his daily life is not routinely marked by all three of those things, but because the essence of his calling lies elsewhere.
Catholics believe that a true call to the Priesthood comes from God, and that the Sacrament of Holy Orders marks a man in a fundamental way, as a priest who will serve others, proclaim—and live out—the Gospel, offer daily the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and administer the sacraments.
It is not a life for the faint of heart—but for those who are called, the rewards are tremendous.
Priests of the Diocese of Pittsburgh serve Christ and His Church in six counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, working in parishes and schools across the region. For the men and women they serve, they are the face of the Church. By leading others to God, these men are participants in the greatest drama of all time, the Lord’s call to redemption.
For twenty centuries, God has called men to serve Him as priests.
For a handful, like St. Paul, the call is immediate and unmistakable.
A few are guided by a quiet certainty since childhood, that life as a priest is all that they can imagine.
For most, the call is more subtle—and in our hectic and relentlessly secular age, more likely to be drowned out.
For all candidates, regardless of the age at which they begin the process, seminary formation is ultimately a process of discernment, of seeking the answer to the question “what is God’s plan for me?”
Beyond the coursework and the changes in of lifestyle, this is a question that can only be answered through prayer. It is for this reason that the chapel is the heart of the seminary, for it is there that God’s will can be found and the groundwork laid for priests who will be men of prayer.
For the professors and spiritual directors, the obligation is the same: with God’s help and the benefit of their own experience, to guide candidates to properly discern the divine plan.
Contact Fr. Freedy
No one can discern their appropriate vocation without seeking advice and counsel. Fr. Joe strongly encourages you to fill out one of the forms on this site, or call or email him directly.
Prayer and Reflection
Above all, a potential candidate for the Priesthood must concentrate on his prayer life. The call to the Priesthood, and the strength to persevere in that call, depend on a deep and fruitful spiritual life, the seeds of which can only be nourished by prayer.
Mary, Mother of the Church, is also the Mother of Priests, and it is to her that every man who feels called to the Priesthood should entrust his vocation.
Formal Faith Formation
Strengthened by hope and prayer, the candidate must then test the call through the process established by the Church for the formation of priests.
The first year at the seminary is the “year of spirituality” called for by the Second Vatican Council. In addition to classroom work, there is an intense emphasis in forming the whole man so he can better discern God’s plan for him.
Click Play to watch Bishop Zubik tell his vocation story.
Bishop David Zubik – Diocese of Pittsburgh
Click Play to watch Bishop Zubik tell his vocation story.Fr. Joe Freedy – Director of Priestly Vocations
Click Play to watch Fr. Joe tell his vocation story.Fr. Tom Kunz – Vocation Story
Click Play to watch Fr. Tom tell his vocation story.Seminarian – Ryan Dunning
Click Play to watch Ryan tell his vocation story.
Fr. Jay Donahue – Ss. Simon and Jude Parish
Click Play to watch Fr. Jay tell his vocation story.
Quo Vadis ”Where are you going?” events are for guys in high school who desire to know Christ, His plan for their lives, and who are interested in learning more about the Priesthood.SEE EVENTS
Sequela Christi “To Follow Christ” events are for men in college who desire a deeper relationship with Christ, are seeking to know their vocation, and are interested in learning more about discerning a vocation to the Priesthood. Click on the link below to see what events are happening soon.SEE EVENTS
Vivere Christus “To Live is Christ” events are for men who are out of college and who desire a deeper relationship with Christ, are seeking to know their vocation, and are interested in learning more about discerning a vocation to the Priesthood.SEE EVENTS
What makes a good Priest?
Click Play for the answer.What is life at the seminary like?
Click play to listen to the answer.Am I worthy?
Click play to listen to the answer.What is life as a Priest like?
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What are the next steps?
Click Play to listen to the answer.Is becoming a Priest a sacrifice?
Click play to listen to the answer.
Use this form to submit your questions about the Priesthood and discernment process directly to Fr. Joe
Pittsburgh, PA 15205