2009 Year of the Priest >  Year of the Priest Books >  Biographies >  Why I Became A Priest

Why I Became A Priest

Item Number: 18267

Catalog Code: WIBP

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Nineteen noted priests (including Bishop Sheen) explain why they gave their lives to Christ.

With the priesthood under such heavy fire today, now more than ever Catholics need to recall the reasons why good men become good priests. Why? It’s simple: through the ages, these reasons don’t change. In Why I Became a Priest, nineteen priests (also including — besides Fulton Sheen — Rosary Priest Fr. Patrick Peyton, and a young, orthodox Thomas Merton) explain what led them to become priests — reasons that retain their power to draw young men into the priesthood today. These richly varied and wide-ranging narratives show how the divine call reaches men in all walks of life, moving them to forsake all the consoling features of ordinary life. These accounts are especially refreshing to read amid all of today’s short-sighted calls for married priests: these priests make clear why celibacy drew them to their life of sacrifice!

  • Why the convert and globe-trotting newspaperman Max Jordan became a priest at the advanced age of fifty-six
  • Fr. Robert Lucey: the chief obstacles to priestly vocations today
  • “The most horrible leper in all China” — and how Fr. Hugh Sharkey was able to show him the love of Christ
  • A world to conquer: the immense priestly task that Fr. James Keller (and others like him) took on cheerfully
  • Fr. John O’Neil: how God broke through his youthful musings about marriage and money-making
  • Why Fr. John B. Sheerin delayed in responding to his call. Why he finally took the plunge, even after becoming a lawyer
  • Young Thomas Merton: why he decided not to become a Franciscan, but to enter a Trappist monastery
  • Why did Norman Cardinal Gilroy become a priest? A priest asked him to!
  • Archbishop Sheen: why he relied so heavily upon Our Blessed Mother throughout his priestly ministry
  • Her role in the vocation of “The Rosary Priest,” Fr. Patrick Peyton
  • Why Fr. Daniel Lord allowed his dreams of the priesthood to dissipate and even turned to directing plays, and how his mother’s prayers put him back on the road to the Lord
  • Fr. Jude Senieur: for the priesthood, he overcame heartaches, feelings of inadequacy, discouragement, and separation from his home and family — and considered it a bargain
  • How Fr. Godfrey Poage, while still a seminarian, responded valiantly and imaginatively to a vocations decline in his seminary
  • Fr. John O’Neil’s pointed response to friends who said that priests “never did like girls and probably hates babies”
  • The remarkable reasons why Fr. Urban Nagle little noted nor long remembered his motives in becoming a priest
  • “I want to be a priest to get to Heaven” — and more simple wisdom from the priest known here only as “Father X”
  • The most powerful spiritual influence in the life of a child — and how it can lead boys into the priesthood
  • How one young man’s desire to become a doctor ultimately led him into the priesthood
  • Why Fr. Jude Senieur was so deeply affected by the personal happiness of the priests he knew
  • Why does God choose one man to be a priest rather than another? Fr. Hugh Sharkey’s insights on this perplexing question
  • Why the priest is greater even than Moses on Mt. Sinai
  • How a road accident gave Fr. Edgar Schmiedeler his first inkling that he might have a vocation to the priesthood
  • Suffering inherent in the priestly life. One condition that must be met in order for it to strengthen, rather than destroy, the spirit of the priest
  • An inspiring meditation on the call to priestly service by James Cardinal McGuigan, Archbishop of Toronto (1934-1971)
  • Feel called to be a priest, but troubled by feelings of unworthiness and unsuitability? One priest’s sage response
  • What must happen first before today’s vocations crisis will end
  • Two principal ways that God makes known His call to the priesthood
  • Three qualities a man must have in order to be a worthy priest of Jesus Christ
  • Three reasons why some seminarians never make it to the priesthood

    Impressive reviews for the original edition published in 1952

    “For the Catholic youth considering his vocation, 15 priests, a bishop, an archbishop and a cardinal describe the occasions, motives and people that influenced their decisions, the doubts and temptations to discouragement they faced, and the rewards that came to them.” — Catholic Library World

    “It has long been customary to persuade converts to bare their souls for the benefit of others. The present symposium is of a scarcer type. In it nineteen priests, mostly well known and including Cardinal Gilroy and two bishops, contribute their answers to the title-question. The introduction is by Cardinal McGuigan of Toronto. With the simplicity of great understanding he takes the reader along almost imperceptibly from natural and human considerations of life to its supernatural aspect and to the sublimity of the priestly vocation. This little volume will help all educators to be careful lest they judge rashly of vocation potentialities, either one way or the other. It throws a multiple light on the priesthood in a way that is fresh and popular, yet profound. Every parish library should have it and every librarian can recommend it.” — Books on Trial

    “A cardinal, an archbishop, and fifteen priests recount the influences that helped them on toward the altar in this collection of priestly biographies which should be studied by all who are concerned with recruitment for the sanctuary. True, we have many studies, theological and psychological, on the priestly vocation; but seldom do priests themselves tell how they made up their minds to enter the seminary.” — Catholic World




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