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To Save a Thousand Souls


By Father Brett Brannen

In what has been hailed as “a groundbreaking work” Fr. Brett Brannen compiles all the wisdom of a master Vocation Director into one volume. Using powerful and entertaining stories, the book explains in down-to-earth language how to discern a vocation to diocesan priesthood.

The book has received universal praise from bishops and vocation directors: "Fr. Brannen's book is tremendous—inspirational, imminently practical, and amazingly comprehensive. It is a clearly written 'how to' manual filled with solid advice for men discerning the priesthood. A marvelous work of immense value." - Fr. Len Plazewski, President, National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors

To Save a Thousand Souls is the definitive guide for men considering the priesthood. Using powerful and entertaining stories, this easy-to-read book explains how to carefully discover God’s call. To Save a Thousand Souls is used by hundreds of dioceses and thousands of seminarians. Many regard it as the standard “catechism for discernment,” with Bishop Robert Barron calling it a “classic of the genre." It has been re-printed in Europe and Asia and translated into Spanish, French, Romanian, and Vietnamese.


  • Updated references to technology, internet addiction, and social media.
  • Revised language about “four pillars” of seminary formation to “four dimensions.”
  • Removed the section on pre-theology outside of seminary.
  • Shortened the section on high school seminaries.
  • Updated references to CARA studies of ordination classes.
  • Added a section explaining the Propaedeutic Year (with qualifications that its implementation will vary according to diocese).
  • Revised the section on the sexual abuse crisis and strengthened the passage on the absolute impediment of pedophilia and ephobophilia.
  • Added an explanation of “moral certitude” in reference to discerning priesthood.
  • Added additional qualifications to passages addressing same-sex attraction.
  • Strengthened the emphasis on honest self-disclosure.
  • Added to the section on leaving seminary in a healthy manner.
  • Improved language and grammar in several sections.
  • Added new inspirational quotes about the priesthood and the spiritual life.
  • Removed the rosary appendix to reduce page count (will be available online).
  • Updated appendix of questions
  • Updated bibliography
  • Updated page design and book cover.

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Paperback Book

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