Holy Orders

Sacraments – Holy Orders

This sacrament is for those who choose to become a priest, bishop or deacon. Through ordination, he will be able to serve the church community. This is not a sacrament that everyone partakes in, rather one that people feel called to by God.

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God which he bought with his own blood” (Acts 20:28)

St. Paul said to his disciple Timothy: “I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands” (2Tim 1:6), 

The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ, the “common priesthood of the faithful”.  Another participation in the mission of Christ is the ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders (bishops, priests, deacons), where the task is to serve the People of God in the name and in the person of Christ in the midst of the community, by teaching, divine worship and pastoral governance (CCC 1592).

Church authority alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. This is conferred only on baptized men who have been recognized as suitable for carrying out the ministry. The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the laying on of hands followed by a solemn prayer of consecration asking God to grant the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his ministry. (CCC 1597-8)

As successors of the apostles and members of the college, the bishops share in the apostolic responsibility and mission of the whole Church under the authority of the Pope, successor of St. Peter. Priests are the bishops´co-workers, sharing in the responsibility for the Church. They receive from the bishop the charge of a parish community or another office in the Church. At their ordination all priests make a public declaration to stay celibate for the love of God’s kingdom and the service of men. 

Deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service in the Church under the pastoral authority of their bishop. Whilst not priests, and therefore with no call to live celibately, ordination confers on them important functions in the ministry of the word, divine worship, pastoral governance, and the service of charity. (CCC 1594-6)

“All pastors should remember too that by their daily conduct and concern they are revealing the face of the Church to the world, and men will judge the power and truth of the Christian message thereby. By their lives and speech, in union with Religious and their faithful, may they demonstrate that even now the Church by her presence alone and by all the gifts which she contains, is an unspent fountain of those virtues which the modern world needs the most.” (Gaudium et Spes 43.18)