Holy Order/Ordained Ministry
The sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ’s priesthood, which he bestowed upon His Apostles. There are three forms of this sacrament: Diaconate (deacon), Presbyterate (priest) and Episcopate (bishop). It is one sacrament celebrated three times with successively higher sacramental effect – deacons: the ability to preach; priests: the ability to act in the person of Christ to offer Mass; bishops – a special grace of strength which allows him to teach and lead his flock, even to the point of dying as Christ did.
Deacon, priests and bishops are all called by Jesus, who told His apostles “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” If you sense a call from God to Holy Orders, it is best to speak to someone about it who can help you discern if it is a true calling. Our Congregation website can help you explore this possibility and put you in touch with a Vocations Director.
The sacrament of Holy Orders leaves a mark that only God can see on the human soul. Like the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist itself, the Holy Orders transforms a man interiorly while leaving his outer appearance unchanged. This new character remains on his soul forever, always identifying him as one of God’s ordained servants.