Where Do I Begin?

Programs Related to Discerning

Exploring Priesthood Weekend

The retreat to help men discern God's call to the diocesan priesthood. Throughout a weekend of prayer, discussions, presentations of diocesan priesthood and group interaction, men begin to better understand God's movement in their life. The next Exploring Priesthood Weekend will occur March 16-18, 2018 at Mundelein Seminary, located about 40 miles north of downtown Chicago. 

During the Exploring Priesthood Weekend, men participate in presentations on the steps for discerning; values of priesthood; seminary life, academics, spiritual formation and pastoral ministry; and seminarians will share their vocation stories. There are several worship opportunities, and men are encouraged to ask questions, interact, pray in the chapels, walk the grounds, and/or use the recreational facilities. By fully engaging in the opportunities provided on the retreat, men are more able to understand where God is leading them.


INSEARCH is a two-phase, six-month program (October through April) for post-college men with a serious interest in diocesan priesthood. Meetings are held every week in the evenings at the Quigley Pastoral Center in downtown Chicago, which provides men with the opportunity to continually engage the question about priesthood. In addition, a small fraternity develops among the men who participate in INSEARCH, sharing a common bond in the search to gain clarity around the question of priesthood.

The program helps men gain clarity in their vocation by discussing discernment and the call of discipleship and priesthood. Priests tell their stories and offer presentations on spirituality and the life of a priest in Chicago. There are weekly prayer times and scripture reflections, and a weekend retreat provides participants time and space to explore the movement of God in their lives. INSEARCH encourages spiritual direction for the participant, to help him on his spiritual journey.

House of Discernment

The Vocation Office in the Archdiocese of Chicago is the location of a House of Discernment at Holy Name Cathedral for young professionals and college seniors who would like to seriously discern their vocation to the priesthood while they continue to work or finish their college degrees. The House will consider men’s busy lives, while at the same time affording them the opportunity to live in community, deepen their prayer life and grow closer to Jesus Christ. Through prayer, fraternity and lived discipleship, men will come to understand if God is calling them to be a priest.


  • Catholic man between the ages of 20-35.

  • Young professional or senior in college.

  • Serious commitment to discerning the Diocesan Priesthood.

  • Daily commitment to prayer and Mass.

  • Commitment to meet regularly with a spiritual director.

  • Commitment to refrain from dating for one year as you discern a vocation to priesthood.

  • Ability to live in community with others.

  • Ability to pay monthly rent.

Casa Jesús

The Casa Jesús House of Formation / Discernment is for Hispanic young men interested in the diocesan priesthood. Casa Jesús helps prepare the aspirants to enter the seminary by creating a prayerful community in which to live. During the one-year program, aspirants study English at University of Illinois at Chicago, do community service and serve in pastoral functions at various churches in the Chicago area.

The program provides opportunities to engage in spiritual direction and personally develop through priestly formation. When the year comes to an end, each participant decides whether to apply to the seminary where he would begin the study program that would lead to the priesthood.

Below is information about Archdiocese of Chicago’s programs for men who are discerning priesthood. For more information about any of the programs below, contact:

Fr. Timothy Monahan
Vocation Director

If you will be studying for a diocese other than Chicago, please contact your diocesan vocation director.