While all baptized members of the Church belong to the “common priesthood of the faithful,” which they fulfill by participating in divine worship, there is a ministerial priesthood which is at the service of the larger Church. Members of this ordained priesthood, those who have received the sacrament of Holy Orders, serve in the person of Christ by teaching, leading worship, and governing. The Holy Spirit bestows upon them a special grace of configuration to Christ. Our pastor is an ordained priest. Most priests in our diocese are ordained by the Bishop of our diocese. Candidates for priesthood must receive formation in seminaries, be judged worthy by Church authorities, and be ready to embrace lifelong celibacy for the sake of theKingdomofGod.
All Catholics are encouraged to consider their vocation, or lifelong calling for service in the Church. The three vocations are 1) single life, 2) married life, and 3) religious life and priesthood. Religious life consists in becoming a member of a religious community of men or women. Members of men’s communities are typically priests or brothers. Members of women’s communities are nuns (religious sisters). While religious sisters and brothers do not participate in the sacrament of Holy Orders, we mention them here because the Church holds them in special esteem by virtue of their witness to holiness and because mention of them is essential to any discussion of vocations.
Our religious education classes have programs which help students to explore their vocations. Our pastor is also willing to meet and talk with anyone about vocations. Those who are interested in religious life or priesthood are encouraged to meet with our pastor or with the vocation director of our diocese.