The Melchizedek Project educates and inspires Catholic men to consider a vocation to priesthood. We help begin discernment groups on college campuses, as well at Catholic high schools and parish youth groups. This initiative is funded by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute and run by Vianney Vocations.
Most Catholic young men lack the in-depth information they need to prayerfully discern a vocation to priesthood. To help solve this problem, The Melchizedek Project helps form vocation discernment groups. Each discernment group uses as a guide Fr. Brett Brannen’s book To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood. (Learn more about the book here…) There is a discussion guide for each meeting corresponding to specific chapters in the book.
The overarching aim of The Melchizedek Project helps men hear the call of Jesus Christ and discover their true vocation.
How does the program work?
The Melchizedek Project is specifically for discernment groups at college campuses, Catholic high schools, or parish youth ministries. Here’s how it works:
- Request Start-up packet. Vocation Directors submit campus ministries and youth groups, to whom we send a packet explaining how to begin a discernment group. (Request Start-up Packet…)
- Form your group(s). At the beginning of the semester, promote the group and determine how many participants will be in each group. Tips for running your group.
- Request additional books. At least 10 days before your first meeting, visit this site to request additional copies of To Save a Thousand Souls and discussion guides as needed. Request Materials… There is no cost to you.
Note: We are conscious that the commitment level of young men varies. We are willing to send copies of To Save a Thousand Souls even to men who cannot attend every meeting of the discernment group, but who are clearly discerning the priesthood.
Who leads the Discernment Group?
Every situation is different, so the program is flexible. The group may be lead by:
- The Vocation Director
- Priest Chaplain
- Parochial Vicar
- Youth Minister
- Lay Campus Minister
- Student leader
In some situations, a hybrid may be best. For example, the vocation director could lead the first meeting, then the men carry the discussion forward.
With each shipment of books, we’ll include a pamphlet for running the discernment group. It will include discussion questions for seven sessions, corresponding to the most important chapters in To Save a Thousand Souls. Topics include developing a prayer life, the nature of the priesthood, overcoming common discernment fears (especially celibacy), finding a spiritual director, etc.
The discussions are straightforward and based on chapters in To Save a Thousand Souls. Very little preparation time is needed by the leader.
Can the program include other Vocation Office discernment groups?
No. Our funding is limited to helping begin discernment groups on college campuses, Catholic high schools, and parish youth ministries.
If you are leading a different kind of discernment group, please purchase copies of To Save a Thousand Souls through Vianney Vocations. Copies are $15 each with free shipping. Just mention that you would like Discussion Guides and we will include them in your shipment at no extra cost.
If you already have copies of To Save a Thousand Souls, but just want the Discussion Guide, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will mail them to you at no cost.
About To Save a Thousand Souls
To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood is a ground-breaking book that has been hailed as a “catechism of discernment.” It has been praised by dozens of bishops and Vocation Directors as the most complete guide for men considering priesthood. Over 100 dioceses have ordered copies for their candidates.
Filled with inspiring stories, humor, and wisdom, the book is an easy-to-read yet deeply moving work. One young man recently sent us a letter of thanks, saying “Your book single-handedly answered so many of my unanswered questions and fears about my search to accept God’s will.”
Fr. Brett Brannen is a pastor in the Diocese of Savannah. He previously served as the Vice-Rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD, after having served for ten years as Vocation Director in the Diocese of Savannah.