The priesthood (Holy Orders) is a sacrament, a sacred order. Sacraments are physical means through which God's grace is experienced in the world. The Sacrament of the priesthood (known as Holy Orders) is the visible way through which Christ continues His mission in the world.
The priesthood is a call from Christ to live in a relationship with him by serving His People. Not content to leave His People with simply the memory of his redeeming love, Christ chose certain ones of His followers (the Apostles) to continue His work on earth until the end of time. The priesthood is an extension of this, and is hence a continuation of the work of Christ in the world today.
While the whole Church is a priestly people, sharing in the priesthood of Christ by their daily sacrifice, prayers and spreading of the Gospel, God calls specific men to serve in His Name in the midst of the community. These men are priests.
Fishers of Men....
Discovering God's plan for you happens through a process of prayerful discernment. The following are concrete steps to discover this plan:
*Be still in order to hear the Lord's voice calling. Take time to pray and meditate before
the Lord present in the Eucharist; ask our Blessed Mary to intercede in your vocation.
*Find a Spiritual Director - Someone you can be open with - who can help you to
develop your relationship with our Lord and to know yourself better.
*Get in Touch with the vocation director of our diocese. Speaking with a vocation
director does not mean you must become a priest, but rather allows you to learn
more about the priesthood.
*Read up on religious and priestly life.
*Participate in come and see retreats.
*Trust: "Do not be afraid!" Discerning your vocation is not for the weak of heart. Yet
be assured: God's timing is always perfect - but seldom soon enogh!
Who Receives Holy Orders
The Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only on baptized men (viri), whose suitability for the exercise of the ministry has been duly recognized. Church authority alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. (CCC1598)