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Q & A with Father Anthony

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I have lots of questions about the different orders? how many are there, what sort of lifestyle do you have?

Dan asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

What is the History behind the different religious "groups" (I don't know the correct term)? How many different religious groups are there (ex. Jesuits, Franciscans, Capuchins, Sisters of Charity, Legionaries of Christ...)? I've noticed that certain priests wear a different kind of clothing. Do priests have different "groups" that they belong to? What are the correct terms used to describe the clothing of the Priests and Religious Brothers and Sisters? Who decides what diocese a priest goes after he is finally ordained? What type of lifestyle does a priest have? Do the lifestyles of Priests differ from the lifestyle of a Friar in a monastery? If so, then how does it differ? How did you know that God called you to be a priest? Do you enjoy being a priest? If you weren't a priest, what would you have done with your life? What are the requirements of joining the priesthood?


Dear Dan,

I didn’t reply earlier because of the number of separate questions rolled into this one. Sorry. I will just paste your question, and then insert my answers in caps.

What is the History behind the different religious "groups" (I don't know the correct term)? EACH ONE HAS A DIFFERENT HISTORY. EACH STARTED UNDER GOD'S INSPIRATION TO THE FOUNDER, AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND PLACES IN HISTORY AND FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES. CONSECRATED LIFE IN THE CHURCH GOES BACK TO THE BEGINNINGS, AND THEN WENT THROUGH STAGES (CONSACRATED VIRGINS, HERMITS, CENOBITES, MISSIONARY ORDERS, ETC... How many different religious groups are there (ex. Jesuits, Franciscans, Cappuchins, Sisters of Charity, Legionaries of Christ...)? THERE ARE 137 INSTITUTES OF BROTHERS AND PRIESTS, AND 433 INSTITUTES FOR WOMEN RELIGIOUS LISTED IN THE CATHOLIC DIRECTORY FOR THE U.S.

I've noticed that certain priests wear a different kind of clothing. Do priests have different "groups" that they belong to? SOME ORDERS HAVE THEIR OWN HABIT, OR KIND OF CLOTHING THEY WEAR, LIKE A UNIFORM.

What are the correct terms used to describe the clothing of the Priests and Religious Brothers and Sisters? A 'HABIT'

Who decides what diocese a priest goes after he is finally ordained? THAT IS USUALLY DECIDED LONG BEFORE HE IS ORDAINED. A SEMINARIAN STUDYING FOR THE PRIESTHOOD HAS TO DO SO UNDER A SPECIFIC BISHOP. THE BISHOP CALLS HIM TO THE PRIESTHOOD. THOSE WHO STUDY IN A RELIGIOUS ORDER ARE USUALLY SENT WHEREVER THEY ARE NEEDED.

What type of lifestyle does a priest have? Do the lifestyles of Priests differ from the lifestyle of a Friar in a monastaary? If so, then how does it differ? THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DIOCESAN PRIEST (THE ONE YOU MOST OFTEN FIND IN A PARISH) AND A RELIGIOUS ORDER PRIEST IS THE FACT THAT THE RELIGIOUS ORDER PRIEST BELONGS TO A COMMUNITY AND FOLLOWS A SPECIFIC SPIRITUALITY - THAT OF THE FOUNDER OF HIS ORDER.

How did you know that God called you to be a priest? THE THOUGHT COMES TO YOU, YOU GET ADVICE, TEST IT OUT, AND JOIN THE SEMINARY. YOU REALLY ONLY KNOW FOR SURE THAT YOU ARE CALLED WHEN YOU ARE ORDAINED.

Do you enjoy being a priest? YES! MOST DEFINITELY

If you weren't a priest, what would you have done with your life? I HAD OTHER POSSIBILITIES, ACTUALLY PREFERENCES, AT THE TIME I STARTED, BUT ONCE YOU PUT YOUR HAND TO THE PLOUGH YOU DON'T LOOK BACK. RIGHT NOW I COULDN'T IMAGINE MYSELF DOING ANYTHING ELSE.

What are the requirements of joining the priesthood? HEALTH, MATURITY, INTELLIGENCE ENOUGH, RIGHT MOTIVE, ATTRACTION. THEN YOU HAVE TO BE ACCEPTED SOMEWHERE.

GOD BLESS,

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