Do the brothers become priests?

The heart of our vocation is our consecration to the Lord through religious profession in the footsteps of St John. The priesthood, which the majority of brothers receive, is therefore received within that consecration. A brother who is also a priest seeks, like St John, to be a friend and apostle of the Lord at the service of the Church.

If a brother in formation discerns a call to the priesthood, and if he meets the required conditions, then he will be ordained a priest for the service of God and his Church. A brother who is not a priest is nevertheless fully a brother through his religious profession. He has a ‘voice in chapter’ just like the others and participates in the apostolic mission of the community.

The Ordinations at Vezelay – watch again!

Delve a little deeper

How is the call to the priesthood discerned?

Discernment for the priesthood is undertaken by two parties. First, the brother himself discerns whether he is being called to become a priest. His spiritual director can help him to ask the right sort of questions to make that discernment, being careful not to influence the brother’s decision one way or another.

The second party to discern is the Community and the Church, and presupposes the brother’s own discernment. The brothers of the community, those involved in the brother’s formation and the superiors of the community will assess whether the brother has the required competencies for the priesthood (pastoral prudence, level of required study, holiness, etc.). If the community judges the brother to be sufficiently competent for the priesthood then the brother in question is presented to the bishop of the principal episcopal see, who will make the final decision whether to call him to ordination.

What percentage of brothers in the community are priests?

Status of the Brothers of Saint John 2016