Sacrament of Holy Orders

Sacrament of Holy Orders

From the moment of Jesus’ conception in the womb of Mary until his Resurrection, he was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In biblical language, he was anointed by the Holy Spirit and thus established by God the Father as our high priest. As Risen Lord, he remains our high priest. . . . While all the baptized share in Christ’s priesthood, the ministerial priesthood shares this through the Sacrament of Holy Orders in a special way. 
“Here I am, send me.” (Is 6:8)

Ordination to the priesthood is always a call and a gift from God. Christ reminded his Apostles that they needed to ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest.  Those who seek priesthood respond generously to God’s call using the words of the prophet, “Here I am, send me” (Is 6:8).  This call from God can be recognized and understood from the daily signs that disclose his will to those in charge of discerning the vocation of the candidate.

~from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


ORDINATION: The rite of the Sacrament of Holy Orders by which the bishop, through the imposition of hands and the prayer of consecration, confers the order of bishop, priest, or deacon to exercise a sacred power which comes from Christ on behalf of the Church (1538).

 Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church

ORDERS, HOLY: The Sacrament of Apostolic Ministry by which the mission entrusted by Christ to his Apostles continues to be exercised in the Church through the laying on of hands. This sacrament has three distinct degrees or “orders”: deacon, priest, and bishop. All three confer a permanent, sacramental character (1536).

 Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church