“Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate (bishop), presbyterate (priest), and diaconate (deacon).” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1536).
Only baptized, Catholic men are called by the Church to become ordained and receive this sacrament. The man who is ordained a bishop or a priest receives a special grace to act “in persona Christi”, not based on his own power or merit, but in the person of Jesus Christ. Deacons “share in Christ’s mission and grace in a special way” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1570) to serve as Christ served.
Common Questions - Holy Orders
Sets men and women apart for a life of ministry in service of Christ’s bride, the Church. For more information, visit the Vocations & Seminarians Office page: https://rcav.org/vocations-office
You must pray every single day, asking God to reveal His plan for you. Do not ask yourself, “What do I want to do when I grow up?” This is the wrong question! Rather, you should be thinking and asking: “Jesus, what do You want me to do?” And listen for the answer! The primary locus of revelation is the heart. Listen with your heart! The discernment process in the priesthood must also include the Church. The local bishop is the one who ultimately decides who is and who is not called. He is assisted in this by the vocation office and the seminary. This whole process is called “discerning one’s vocation.”