Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula  

 

For the Restoration of Catholic Tradition

 

Vocations

Am I called to the priesthood or religious life?

The Need for Priests

The Second Vatican Council was a disaster.  Never before in the history of the Church has there been such a need for priests.  And yet the Church's seminaries stand half-empty.  How can it be that so many calls to the priesthood go unanswered?

The enemies of the Catholic Church found their dreams answered by Vatican II.  Their goal all along had been to replace the Catholic Faith with a dogma-free religion centered on Man rather than God.  They wanted to bring all faiths together into a one-world Church that would be without form and void, unrecognizable as the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church founded by the Son of God himself.  After centuries of attacking the Church head-on, the diabolical influences that sought her overthrow realized finally that it was better to attack from within.  They infiltrated the Church by means of what Pope Pius X called the "Synthesis of all Heresies," Modernism.

Since the modernist takeover of the Church at Vatican II, we have seen profound internal changes in all our Catholic institutions.  Though they kept some of the same external appearances, and the same names, we find today that these insitutions belong an entirely different religion than before the Council.  The same cathedrals, churches, seminaries, universities and religious congregations still exist for the most part, but their faith is totally different.

 

The Modernist Heresy

This new religion is the heresy of modernism, condemned in the strongest possible terms by Pope St. Pius X in 1907.  He warned us then that modernists had already intoduced their poison into the Church, and were even then bringing about changes in the way we approached the liturgy and other elements of the faith.  St. Pius X went so far as to caution us that if the modernists ever succeeded in their intention to change the Catholic faith according to their plans, they could indeed be the cause of its ultimate destruction, were such a thing ever possible.

That destruction was accomplished less than sixty years later by John XXIII.  As soon as he was elected, the modernists wasted no time in promoting destructive and heretical ideas within the Church, especially once the Second Vatican Council opened.  The destruction was continued by John's successor Paul VI, and the Church has been deteriorating ever since.  It is to the point where the Catholic Faith taught by all the Popes from Peter to Pius XII is now forbidden in the institutions created to promulgate it.

 

Restoring the Faith

God's usual modus operandi is to work through men, allowing them to act as his free-will instruments in the pursuit of his plan.  The Church must therefore defeat modernism with the help of both God's grace and man's cooperation.  In other words, the Church needs men to devote their lives to restoring her faith, men who can perform the necessary sacramental acts to prevent the total loss of faith in the world.  In short, the Church needs priests.

The priests of the Church have always been a vital force in repelling the attacks of her enemies.  Always ready to do battle in the service of the Church, the priesthood is God's first line of defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  Their weapons are Catholic doctrine, the Catholic sacraments, the Catholic Mass, and Catholic discipline.  Their strength lies in the truth received from God, a truth at once supernatural and infallible.

 

Dedicated Men

It is thanks to the sacrifice of such men as these that the Church managed to overcome the terrible persecutions of her early years.  The Church's response to the bloodthirsty edicts of pagan emperors was the blood of the martyrs testifying to the truth.  The Church fought for three centuries, even when the battle seemed lost, her priests inspiring and encouraging the faithful to embrace the faith of Christ, even at the peril of their lives.  Today's martyrs are those same Catholic priests, always willing to forego the pleasures of life and the opportunities the world offers them, in order to give themselves to God and his holy Church, that souls may be saved.

St. Anselm's Seminary has been founded to form such men for the holy priesthood.

 

 Signs of a Vocation

God calls many men to the Catholic priesthood.  Not all of them answer his call.  Many of those called don't even know they're being called.  It is very important, however, that you should know God's plans for you and your future life.  A vocation is usually not characterized by revelations or internal voices, but rather signs.  Not the kind of signs you might imagine, but signs of your character, devotion, conviction that the Holy Ghost is calling you to life of service.  Here are some of the normal signs of a vocation...

The constant desire to serve God as a priest

If you are attracted to the priestly life and church affairs, if you are interested in the liturgy, moral and doctrinal issues, canon law, church history, or missionary work, these are all signs of a calling to the priesthood.

The sincere desire for the promotion of God's glory and the salvation of souls

This is the actual work of a priest, and it requires great sacrifice.  It is the only true motive for becoming a priest.  Beware the many false motives for desiring the priesthood--the desire for human respect, for being the center of attention, for any false notions that it is an easy and carefree life.

A blameless moral life

This is a recognizable sign of a vocation.  The reverse is also true, and one of the almost infallible signs of a lack of vocation is the inability to live for long periods without falling into mortal sin.  This requirement, however, does not mean that you must be a saint to consider entering the path to the priesthood.  It does mean that you must treat your spiritual life seriously, that you frequent the sacraments, avoid the occasions of sin, and lead a righteous life.

Piety

The priest's life is a life of prayer.  Part of the vocation to the priesthood must always be a sound prayer life, whether liturgical or private.

Emotional stability

The priest must be a father to all, and must be able to bear the problems of all kinds of people.  Therefore, he cannot himself be burdened with emotional or psychological problems

At least average intelligence

The priest must faithfully convey the Catholic doctrine to the faithful and accurately diagnose their sins in the confessional.  The candidate for the priesthood must therefore have the appropriate intellectual skills to pass all the subjects taught in the seminary.

Good physical health

The priest must have good physical health in order to cope with the demands of his work.  The disabled or those suffering from chronic illness cannot be considered for the heavy strain of the priestly life.

 

Doubts about your vocation

If you cannot make up your mind whether or not you have a vocation, you should go to a priest who knows you and ask him for advice on this matter.  Ask him to be your constant confessor and spiritual director, and be honest with him concerning your weaknesses and temptations as well as your strengths and talents.  Trust his advice.  Above all, pray fervently and persistently that God would enlighten you on this matter.

 

Is a College Degree required?

Many young men wonder if they should complete their college studies before entering the seminary.  Again, listen to the advice of your confessor.  This advice will be based on the priest's knowledge of the candidate's circumstances and character.  Vocations are often lost through unnecessary delay, and many young men would do well to avoid the distractions and temptations of college life.  Others, on the other hand, may profit considerably from a thorough training in the classics, the liberal arts, modern or ancient languages, and so on.

 

Is admission to the seminary an infallible sign of a vocation?

No.  Entering the seminary is always an experiment.  The first purpose of the seminary is not to train priests but to discern which of its seminarians are truly called by God, and which are not.  The faculty of St. Anselm's have the experience and judgment necessary to determine if you have a vocation, and will let you know their findings before you commit to the celibate life of the priest at your admission to major orders.  Once you become a subdeacon, you may consider your calling confirmed, and that it is the will of God that you continue your studies for the priesthood.

St. Anselm's Seminary

The seminary of the Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula was tentatively established in the summer of 2016.  It was named after the great Benedictine Doctor of the Church St. Anselm, a fitting patron for those who are to make Divine Worship the chief instrument of their priestly duty to save souls.

The first steps are now being taken to make St. Anselm's a reality.  As young men begin to present themselves as candidates for the priesthood, we are putting together the complex machine that will make it all work.

Candidates are reminded that in these early days, they should not yet expect a fully formed seminary life.  But with God's help and the generous donations of our benefactors, time and effort will eventually provide us with a suitable house of training and experienced faculty.

Candidates

Anyone who feels he may have a calling to the priesthood should first contact the Superior General or the Dean of Chapter.

After an initial interview, the candidate will be sent a comprehensive application form, which will be evaluated before admission is approved.

The candidate shall not interpret his admission to St. Anselm's as a sign that his vocation is confirmed.  The candidate will continue the evaluation process throughout his path through tonsure and minor orders.  The final decision on admittance will be taken before the candidate's ordination to the subdiaconate.

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