Holy Orders

Holy Orders is a supernatural calling and is one of the Sacraments of service, the other being marriage. By this Sacrament, somebody who has felt called by God, and whose call has been tested and confirmed by the Church, is ordained (set apart and consecrated) for ministry.  An ordained minister is to lay down his life for those whom he serves by dedicating himself fully to this service, as a good husband devotes himself to his family.

The fullness of this Sacrament is found in the bishop. He receives, by the laying on of hands which connects him all the way back to the apostles, the authority to act in the name of Christ in leading, teaching, and bestowing God’s grace on the people under his care through the Sacraments.  This authority is shared with the priests of each diocese, who are themselves ordained by him. Finally, a share of this ministry is given to permanent deacons as well, who are set apart in particular to serve the local Church by works of charity.

The center of the life of a priest is the offering of the Mass, by which he feeds the flock entrusted to him with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ Himself. Everything else the priest does flows from this offering and returns to it. Most notably, a priest Baptizes new members into the Body of Christ and offers the grace of Reconciliation to those who have separated themselves from that Body by sin. Priests are present to their people as spiritual fathers, caring for their needs, joining in their joys and sorrows, and keeping them in prayer throughout each day.

If you feel called to the priesthood or religious life, please visit the Archdiocese of Cincinnati website at www.cincinnativocations.org.