Holy Orders and the Religious Life
1) Those young men who express interest in becoming a priest should come and discuss this with the pastor. Entering into the priesthood is an involved process that includes study, spiritual formation, prayer and training.
Formal formation for the priesthood is something that begins not earlier than age 18. It typically includes 8 or more years of training after high school.
For men entering the priesthood, there are generally two forms of vocations. One is the diocesan priesthood, and the other is to join a religious order. Discernment is required for a young man, not only of the question of whether the Lord is calling them to the religious life, but how that vocation is to be carried out.
While women do not, strictly speaking, receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, they do nonetheless enter the religious life. This vocation is something that is essential in our Church, and a wonderful way for a young woman to follow the call that our Lord has for them. There are numerous religious orders that women may consider in following their call to the Lord.
Another form of Holy Orders is to enter the Permanent Diaconate. In the diocese of Owensboro, Permanent deacons must be at least age 35. The process typically involved 5 years of formation, and involves prayer, spiritual development, pastoral formation and education