Office of Vocations - Archdiocese of San Francisco

We are the Office of Vocations of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. We help promote and discern vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

The Office of Vocations helps to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life in the Archdiocese, works with men who are discerning a vocation to be a priest in the Archdiocese, and supports our seminarians and their program of formation. If you are a man considering the priesthood and would like to know more about following the Lord's call please contact us: [email protected]

Mission: We are the Office of Vocations of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. We help promote and discern vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Operating as usual

The priesthood is a calling.

Christ asks of some men the sacrifice of their lives in following him as his more intimate companions. From all eternity, certain men are called to the priesthood. It is a call inscribed in their nature and because of this, is a call that will bring them fulfillment.

A good priest is a spiritual hero, a man who sacrifices himself for the people of God. Is Jesus calling you to be his priest?

If you have ever thought about being a priest, these qualities may be clues to a future priestly vocation.

1. God has placed in your heart a desire to be a priest.

2. You have a deep love for Christ and His Church.

3. Other people have mentioned that you would be a good priest.

4. You desire to live a life of virtue and prayer.

5. You want to help others grow closer to Christ.

Check out this link for a deeper look at the signs of a Priestly Vocation.

St. John Vianney | San Francisco Vocations

Check out this month's newsletter to read about the life of St. John Vianney and how he wanted to lead a life of solitude in a monastery. He attempted to run away from his parish and become a monk – four times!

But each time he came back. He could not say “no” to Jesus calling him to go where he was needed.

How is God calling you to reject the temptations the world throws up against your good efforts? How is He calling you to say “yes"? St. John Vianney Feb 3, 2021 Can you imagine the Church today without the influence of one of the greatest priest-saints of the 19th century, St. John Vianney? It easily could have happened. The world could have been completely unaware of the existence of the man named Jean Marie Vianney, if he had....

Husband or Priest? The Brothers Faller On Discerning God's Call to You!

Just a reminder that our vocation event via Zoom is this Thursday at 5:30 pm for those interested in learning more about vocational discernment.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us! Father or Father? Husband or Priest? The Brothers Faller Talk About Discerning God's Call for You!

Priests do far more than celebrate Mass and pray all day. The life of a priest is busy, demanding, challenging—and incredibly rewarding. The vast majority of priests live happy, fulfilling lives. They love the people they serve, and in turn, are loved by their parishioners.

Teach: Priests instruct others about the faith.
Shepherd: Priests guide, unite, and encourage their parishioners.
Sanctify: Priests administer the sacraments and encourage holiness.

Pope Saint John Paul II once said that “A priest is a man who offers his whole humanity to God so that God might use him as an instrument of salvation.” God ordains the man to serve, as Christ came to serve, and to lead people to their greatest good, heaven. The priest does this in many ways, but the dignity and essence of the ordained priesthood resides not first in what he does, but in who he is: An Icon of Christ in the World.

Great Spiritual Opportunity for Lent:
The Search is a beautifully produced journey through the big questions we all share. This Lent, we are inviting YOU to The Search with your own small group. And if you don't have a small group yet...we encourage you to start one! It's easy, and The Search is a great resource to start with. In fact, each week Chris Stefanick from Real Life Catholic will be guiding us throughout Lent on how to use The Search in your own small group during his weekly show The Life You Were Made For.

To sign up for this seven-week series, visit and get ready to experience your most meaningful Lent, ever

Today is the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life!

In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as "Candlemas Day"; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples.

Happy Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas!

St. Thomas explains that when one is truly discerning a vocation, it is God who enlightens one's eyes to understand the value and beauty of religious life, and moves one's heart to choose it.

O God, who made Saint Thomas Aquinas outstanding in his zeal for holiness and his study of sacred doctrine, grant us, we pray, that we may understand what he taught and imitate what he accomplished. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Check out this link to find answers to the most common questions that every man has asked at some point in his discernment. If you still have some unaswered after this list, please don’t hesitate to contact the vocation office.

We are here to help you discern what God has in store for your life.

The Search is a beautifully produced journey through the big questions we all share. This Lent, we are inviting YOU to The Search with your own small group. And if you don't have a small group yet...we encourage you to start one! It's easy, and The Search is a great resource to start with. In fact, each week Chris Stefanick from Real Life Catholic will be guiding us throughout Lent on how to use The Search in your own small group during his weekly show The Life You Were Made For.

To sign up for this seven-week series, visit and get ready to experience your most meaningful Lent, ever.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

May God grant us all the wisdom and courage to lovingly protect his gift of human life at every stage.

Discernment: The third rule is prayer

God gradually brings us to know what we must do “through an authentically Catholic life of prayer”. It takes a lifetime of prayer to grow proficient in discerning God’s particular will among a variety of morally acceptable options in daily life.

As St. Paul advised the Thessalonians:
Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. [1 Thes 5:15-18]

Check out this article to read more about Dr. Jeff Miruses rules of discernment. An extended and growing commitment to the Catholic life of prayer, then, is the soul of discernment, and the essence of Rule Three.

Fear of Commitment | San Francisco Vocations

Saying “yes” to one path on life’s journey ultimately means saying “no” to many other options. That’s the bottom line with fear of commitment—a fear of missing out on something else. What if something better comes along?

Check out this month's newsletter to read more! Fear of Commitment Jan 13, 2021 We live in an age when life moves fast, information comes nonstop, and sometimes it may seem the best way to deal with millions of options is not to lock into any of them. That’s the consensus of a number of studies on fear of commitment, a growing problem in young....

If the Human Formation Pillar forms the foundation of one’s priestly formation, continually built up through prayer (Spiritual) and study (Intellectual), then the Pastoral Formation Pillar puts the other three together into a well-integrated whole. For the entire goal of priestly formation in the seminary is to form and prepare men for the work of ministry, especially parish ministry.

As men of character, men of prayer and men of learning, they must also possess the capacity to serve God’s people well. They must have a pastoral zeal to love and serve all of the faithful — poor and rich, young and elderly, educated and unsophisticated, all in a multicultural and multi-lingual archdiocese, in a culture that is often indifferent, if not outright hostile, to the Gospel and the Catholic Church.

"A priest is not a theologian with his head in the clouds, but rather is a man of faith and learning who can teach the faith to all by touching their hearts."

Intellectual formation "is a fundamental demand of man's intelligence by which he 'participates in the light of God's mind' and seeks to acquire a wisdom which in turn opens to and is directed towards knowing and adhering to God." (Pastores dabo vobis 51; Gaudium et spes 15)

Seminarians seek and come to know the truth of God which has been revealed in Jesus Christ and is passed on by the Church through sacred Scripture and tradition. This knowledge enables a deeper love of God and a more effective proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As the seminarian matures as a man of virtue and character, so too must he grow as a man who knows the Sacred Scriptures and the magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church.

In the area of Spiritual Formation, seminarians seek to grow in their relationship with Christ through prayer and contemplation. In this relationship, they encounter the overwhelming love of God in their lives and share in His merciful compassion. Ultimately centering a man’s heart, mind and soul upon the Lord. Like the example of the giants of Theology, such as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John Paul II, one must “do theology on your knees.”

In Pastores Dabo Vobis, Pope John Paul II described the principal foundations for priestly formation as human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. Each area, while distinct in itself, is naturally linked to the others.

Being a priest is not a job: it is taking on a new identity; it is becoming alter Christus, another Christ. To this end, the Church requires rigorous formation in four key areas, beginning with Human Formation.

The purpose of Human Formation is to assist the seminarian in his task of becoming a man of integrity with the personality necessary for priestly ministry in the Church. It “seeks to prepare men to be bridges for, not obstacles to, the spread of the Gospel.”


Fr. Mark-Mary shares his top 10 podcasts that are sure to liven your faith and get you gearing for sainthood.

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.

On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.

Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what thy bosom ran—
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.

Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with thy glory’s sight. Amen.

- Written by St Thomas Aquinas. Translated by Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins

Continuing Christmas into the New Year You’ve probably seen it already. Your neighbors no longer have lights twinkling outside their houses.

As we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, please pray for openness to your vocation.

“The Holy Family of Nazareth is truly the ‘prototype’ of every Christian family which, united in the Sacrament of Marriage and nourished by the Word and the Eucharist, is called to carry out the wonderful vocation and mission of being the living cell not only of society but also of the Church, a sign and instrument of unity for the entire human race.” – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, December 31, 2006

Image: "The Holy Family with the Little Bird" by Bartolome Esteban Murillo

Scripture for Discernment | San Francisco Vocations

God often speaks clearly as we read and pray with Sacred Scripture. This collection of Scripture passages may be a helpful tool throughout your discernment. Scripture for Discernment   Discipleship: Call and Response   God often speaks clearly as we read and pray with Sacred Scripture. This collection of Scripture passages may be helpful in particularly difficult or confusing circumstances. Old Testament Gen 12:1-9 The Call of Abram: Leave your countr...

Just a Guy in the Pew

On this week's episode of the Just a Guy in the Pew podcast, John and Victor tackle the topic of "peace."

Many guys today—in their search for peace—find other things to fill the void instead. Booze, drugs, porn... you name it.

In this episode, learn how letting go of those sins and opening your heart to Christ is the only way to bring about true peace in your life.

Listen to the full episode here>>

Saints, not superheroes | San Francisco Vocations

Check out this month's newsletter to read about the saints and their struggles with temptations; some even led very sinful lives prior to their conversions.

"We become holy not despite our weakness, but because of it. Only when we confess our sinfulness can we truly open ourselves to God’s all-powerful grace". Saints, not superheroes Many saints struggled with temptations; some even led very sinful lives prior to their conversions. As St. Paul said, “I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Rom 7:15). What does this tell us about holiness? We become holy not despite our weakness, bu.....

Week three: Joy

“To know that God is not distant but close, not indifferent but compassionate, not aloof but a merciful Father who follows us lovingly with respect for our freedom: all this is a cause of deep joy which the alternating ups and downs of daily life cannot touch.” - St. John Paul the Great⁣

Archdiocese of San Francisco

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us!

Tomorrow, December 12, is the Celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Archdiocese observed a virtual pilgrimage last week, due to the pandemic. Tomorrow (Saturday) Masses will be outdoors on the Cathedral Plaza at 8 am (English) and 12 noon (bilingual). All are welcome up to the 200-person capacity. Masks and social distancing required. The Vatican has made special possibilities for a PLENARY INDULGENCE if conditions are met - find those at the link below.

(There will be no Mañanitas in the morning.)

A little invitation to pray and reflect...

Invitation to prayer: Open our hearts, O God, and guide us to hear your word and live out your love.

Reflection: In this season of hope, the reading from Isaiah can get you really excited: God sets the right path before us, and – if we follow it – we will be blessed immensely and for generations. We are almost two weeks into Advent, the season where we eagerly anticipate the arrival of Jesus who – through His life and death – not only gave us the explicit details of God’s path but also showed us how good God is.
The thing is – as exciting as this sounds – in practice it’s REALLY tough to truly, deeply learn what God teaches and follow God’s commandments. We need only look at the millions and millions of people around the world who are marginalized, enslaved, abused, forgotten, and left out to know that we – the children of God – have a LOT of work to do to bring about God’s kingdom on Earth. Jesus calls us to solidarity with the poor, the hungry, and the imprisoned – how are we doing on that? We are called to welcome the stranger, shelter the homeless, and bring peace to the suffering – what’s our track record in those areas?
Let us not forget that Jesus, the precious infant Son of God, grew into a man that challenged authority, rebuked the rich and powerful, and died to save us all (including the sinners).

Prayer: God, we hope not only for the arrival of Jesus but also that your love and commandments will transform our hearts and lead us down Your path.

Closing: Thank you God for your love and peace, grace and mercy, and this time with you. Help us to love you and love all of your children.

- The Catholic Telegraph

Week two: Peace. ⁣

Most of us are familiar with the Old Testament word for “peace,” or shalom. For Hebrew speakers, shalom has a much richer and fuller significance than the English word “peace.” Whereas we sometimes limit the idea of peace to the absence of conflict, shalom includes far more. It comprises notions of wholeness, completeness, soundness, and prosperity.⁣

In the Old Testament, peace is also inseparable from righteousness and justice. These latter concepts are embodied in one Hebrew word that connotes right-relationship between two or more parties. This word is usually translated as “righteousness,” referring not only to doing morally correct deeds, but also to living rightly in relationship with others. Righteousness is also closely connected to justice, because the righteous person acts with justice in the civil or judicial sphere. The necessary link between righteousness and peace can be seen, for example, in Isaiah’s vision of a future day when a righteous king will reign over Israel and God’s Spirit will be poured out upon the people. (Isa 32:15-17)⁣

The second Sunday of Advent is often reserved for reflecting on and anticipating the peace that Christ ushers into the world with His birth. True peace is more than just a calm feeling in our hearts or an absence of conflict in our live and world. True peace, the peace that only Christ can give, includes personal wholeness, corporate righteousness, political justice, and prosperity for all creation.

(Excerpted from⁣

Art by The Living Heart Co.

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