- Do priests get paid?
Yes, diocesan priests receive a modest salary. Priests are also provided with room and board and this, plus their salary (which is taxable), is sufficient for their personal expenses. Out of it they buy their clothes, automobile, pay for personal expenses, and contribute to charity. While diocesan priests do not take the vow of poverty that members of religious orders might take, they are encouraged to live a simple lifestyle and to be generous to the poor. The black clerical clothes typical of priests constitute an outward sign of this modest life.
- Do priests get time off and vacation time?
Yes, diocesan priests are allowed a day off and time off for vacation. Priests will use this time to visit family and friends, travel, attend sporting events or concerts, or develop their hobbies. Priests also make a yearly weeklong retreat and participate in workshops to further their pastoral and theological knowledge.
- Are priests lonely because they are not married?
Just like everyone, priests can sometimes experience loneliness. Loneliness, however, does not result from not having a wife and family; it comes because of a lack of relationships. Priests must cultivate their friendships with God, brother priests, their parishioners, and others.
- Do I need to be an ‘A’ student to become a priest?
Every priest does not need to be a great scholar who speaks multiple languages or writes books. The Roman Catholic Church, however, places a great deal of importance on the education of her clergy. For one, there are 2000 years of people writing and reflecting on the Christian faith and it is important to have a solid foundation in our philosophical and theological traditions. Second, parishioners look to their priest to answer questions of faith, and priests should be prepared to give them sound answers. As St. Peter writes, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” (1 Pt 3:15)
- Do priests pray all day?
Priests do not literally pray all day but they do pray a lot. After all, praying for others is primarily what a priest does. First, the center of the day for priests is the celebration of Mass. In the Mass, the priest himself is fed by hearing God’s Word and receiving his Body and Blood. Priests also promise to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (LOH) whether by themselves or with others throughout their lives. The LOH is a prayer of the Church that consists of five parts spread throughout the day. If a priest is able to spread the prayer throughout the day, then he really does pray all day. Priests will also spend time in private prayer, making a Holy Hour or praying the Rosary.
- Can I become a priest if I have some sexual experiences or done other things I am not very proud of in my life?
Yes, you can. Many great saints such as: St. Augustine, St. Ignatius Loyola, and others lived wild lives before they became priests. God used their early lives to draw them to himself and he does the same today. All men sin and therefore no man is worthy of the priesthood, yet God still calls him. God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.
- Can a priest have a pet?
Priests can have pets. Dogs are probably the most popular priest pet. Nevertheless, priests need to be flexible with pets since sometimes, they will have to live with other priests who may be allergic to animals.
Is a priest able to see his family?
Priests and men studying for the priesthood are able to visit with their families during their time off. Priests know that when they are ordained, their first family becomes the Church. On celebrations like Christmas and Easter, many priests will go to celebrate with their families after celebrating with their parish family.