Discerning a vocation
to the priesthood in the
Archdiocese of San Francisco

Why be a Priest?

Has your heart been pierced by the love of the Lord?

Priests bring God's love and grace to the world in a radical way. Through the sacraments and through preaching the Gospel, the priest stands as the corporal face of the Church, the face of Christ, supporting and caring for all He meets.

If you have a friendship with Jesus Christ, and wish to share His goodness with others; if you love the Catholic Church, and desire to help it flourish; if you value the gift of life, and desire to spend yours in service to an eternal cause, these desires can be fulfilled in a priestly vocation lived well.

“All priests need to look to Mary for the example, guidance and intercession necessary to attain that self-mastery in their own life that will help them to acquire the virtues of the good shepherd, guiding God’s people to the green pastures of His mercy, love and truth.”  

– Archbishop Cordileone

Discerning the Call

To discern your vocation is to discover God's purpose for your life. It always begins with deepening your love for Jesus--of giving your whole life to Him--and then asking, "Lord, where are you calling me?"

Discernment involves listening to God, learning about yourself, and seeking the guidance of others. To begin, re-dedicate yourself to daily prayer; look deeply into your heart to see the desires God has placed there. Give it time and be patient as God reveals His will.

Discernment is not a solitary endeavor. Be sure to reach out to others, especially a priest you trust, to seek his insights concerning your vocation.

“Only by his identity with the person of Jesus Christ will the priest exemplify the primacy of charity in his ministry of Word and Sacrament, and so fulfill the command given him at his ordination: ‘Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the mystery of the Lord’s cross.’”  

– Archbishop Cordileone

Next Steps

If your prayer and study have inspired you to further explore a vocation to the priesthood, please contact the vocation office. We are here to help! Our job is to answer your questions and to guide you into God's perfect will, whatever it may be.


Receive monthly emails of upcoming events and resources for discerning your vocation.


The Archdiocese of San Francisco Vocation Office.

Fr. Patrick Summerhays, Vocation Director
One Peter Yorke Way
San Francisco, CA 94109

Fr. Patrick Summerhays
Vocation Director
One Peter Yorke Way
San Francisco, CA 94109

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Meet the Vocation Team

Fr. Tom Martin

Fr. Andrew Ginter

Fr. Cameron Faller

Fr. Juan Manuel Lopez

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone
Archdiocese of San Francisco