I think that your pastor is an example of the recruiting model, i.e. men who accepted the call later in life. The old model, i.e. teens who felt or thought they felt the call, worked when the seminaries had more rigor in whom they would select.
In the 70’s, when I was temporarily in the seminary, they were taking practically anyone (including me!!!) because of a potential shortage of priests. I’m not saying that that caused all of the problems, because it clearly didn’t, and a host of great priests came from that model, but I do think the later-in-life model is a good one.
Including lots and lots of draft dodgers.