an Episcopal Conference) is a permanent institution comprising all the bishops of a country or a particular territory, that as a body exercises certain pastoral functions for the faithful of their territory (c. 447). That is why it is no coincidence that the writers of the Gospel mention that Jesus was about 30 years old when He was baptized. But first, the 21-year-old New Jersey resident had to break the news to her boyfriend, whom she had met in an online chat room a few years earlier and planned to marry. During initial formation candidates discern a calling within the consecrated life to either become a friar-brother or a friar-priest. A priest gives himself in order to give life to others. He was expecting to become a priest several years ago, but the bishop declined to ordain him. That said, the Church’s law on age limits for ordination doesn’t directly address John’s question. John’s question simultaneously involves issues pertaining to the diaconate, to the contents of the Code of Canon Law, and to the authority of Episcopal Conferences vis-à-vis that of a diocesan bishop. The focus is on becoming a Franciscan friar of the Order of Friars Minor, not on the priest or brother vocation. So now John has the answer to his question. By Canon Law, deacon candidates must be no older than 65 at the time of ordination.”  So the bishop won’t ordain me. If a diocese pays for the seminary training of its prospective clergy, this constitutes an investment in a man who will reasonably be expected to “repay” the diocese with many years of ministerial service. I … They were recording a very important fact. People searching for Become a Catholic Priest: Step-by-Step Career Guide found the following resources, articles, links, and information helpful. In 1991, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk of Prague confirmed that five other women were also ordained as priests during that time. Don’t brag to fellow parishioners how “Close you guys are” as then that creates animosity or jealously – and THAT stresses the priest … The older a man is, the fewer years he would most likely have to be of service. I'm Catholic i'm 31 years old so probably too old for that anyway. As ‘Father’, he brings life to the family of God through his intimate relationship with his bride, the Church. As was discussed at length in “Can Homosexual Men be Ordained to the Priesthood?” a man may very well feel that he is being called by God to become a member of the clergy … but a bishop is under absolutely no obligation to ordain him. Sex During priesthood is never something of debate. In the Archdiocese of Boston, only 40 men are training to become priests; the average age of priests is 59, with 187 of the 587 priests older than 65. … If the information on this website has helped you, please consider making a contribution so that it can continue to help others. This is true because, as per 1031.3, the minimum age established by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops in this instance “trumps” the minimum age set by canon 1031.2. I say I'm too old to become a priest or a monk. Interestingly, most Religious Congregations will accept you even if you've clocked 30 through 35. The priest will therefore, to the degree that he lives his time of formation and his priesthood well, experience the hundredfold of blessings – blessing that help him become … For starters, if you flip through the code looking for rules regarding age-cutoffs for men who are to be ordained, you’ll only find canon 1031. Cathy Caridi, J.C.L., is an American canon lawyer who practices law and teaches in Rome. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. If he can convince the bishop that adequate reasons exist for ordaining him a permanent deacon despite his age, he may be ordained after all. In the past Cathy has published articles both in scholarly journals and on various popular Catholic websites, including Real Presence Communications and Catholic Exchange. She founded this website to provide clear answers to canonical questions asked by ordinary Catholics, without employing all the mysterious legalese that canon lawyers know and love.