Q: Is there a certain age you have to be to be a priest? — Cole Nelson, fifth grade, St. Paul the Apostle School, Davenport
A: Cole, thanks for your question. You prompted me to go to the Code of Canon Law (Church Law) to look up our diocesan policies/regulations. I had a general idea, but you helped me learn some new things.
Maybe before answering your question we need to ask ourselves another one: is it to a vocation or to a job or profession that God is calling me? I believe this question fits for all of us in ministry today.
There can be a distinct difference between priestly vocation and a profession, although they are not mutually restricted and do in fact overlap. Profession is a much more restricted term, which we use to indicate a career or a particular ability we develop, usually with the purpose of earning a livelihood and hopefully contributing in some way to the good of society. We need to always consider a horizontal dimension (can I move from one job to another?). You don’t need to believe in God to choose a profession and to exercise it in an outstanding way. You may be doing much good for others in the process. A person can pick, choose and switch professions freely since the principle point of references are that individual’s preferences, benefits and opportunities….
— Mary Wieser, director of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Davenport
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