7. How long does it take to become a priest?
It usually takes about eight years after high school, four years of college and four years studying theology. Today, many men enter the seminary at the college level. A priest needs to have a good, solid Catholic education, with a special emphasis on philosophy and theology. However, you are not required to be a great scholar in order to be a good priest. After four years at a college seminary, there are four more years of study at a theological seminary. Because of the time spent in study, prayer, spiritual direction, and formation, most men who enter the seminary after high school are ordained a priest around the age of twenty-six. During this time it is very important that you give very serious consideration to what it means to live a life of obedience to the Church, a life of total service, freely forgoing the joy and companionship of a wife and children of your own.
Of course, some men go to a regular college and enter the seminary after they graduate. Others come to the seminary later in life after they have worked as a teacher, an engineer, a social worker, or some other career. During the years in the seminary you should continue to pray and discern God's call in your life, faithfully following the guidance of the seminary rector and your vocation director. Ultimately, the Bishop of the Diocese will call you to the priesthood. It is not possible to become a Catholic priest unless you are called by the Bishop. If you ever see the Bishop (He visits parishes often.), introduce yourself to him.