Our First Call:
Reborn as sons of god, they must confess before men the faith which they have received from God through the Church. Bound more intimately to the Church by the sacrament of confirmation, they are endowed by the Holy Spirit with special strength. Hence they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith both by word and deed as true witnesses of Christ
- Lumen Gentium 11
Each one of us receives our first call on the day of our Baptism. Conformed to Christ through this first sacrament of the church, we are called to live lives of Holiness. It is the divine calling to love and serve God, to obey his commandments, and to cooperate with Christ in the work of redemption by loving and serving others. Everyone is called to live the vocation of holiness, but everyone lives it in a special and unique way according to the plan of God.
The Call to Priesthood:
Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders are consecrated in Christ’s name to feed the Church by the word and the grace of God
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1535
Some men, from among the baptised are called by God to serve him through uniting themselves more closely to Christ though his ministerial priesthood.
The Priest is a man called to proclaim the "Good News" of salvation to the world and to lead God's people in worship, especially in making present the saving sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross in the Eucharist. He is also privileged to bring Christ to people in the Sacraments: he gives the life of Christ to people in Baptism; he forgives their sins in Reconciliation; he anoints the sick; he officiates at weddings. In general, the priest brings Jesus Christ to people in their spiritual needs.
The Call to conformity with Christ:
Instituted by Christ, the ministerial priesthood has continued throughout history as his very means of building up the Church. Christ remains within his body the Church, and at the same time is every present as its head, which can be expressed as the ministerial priesthood. This can never be seen as an expression of superiority, the head having control over the body, but as St Paul himself insisted:
"For Just as in one body we have many members, yet all the members have not the same function, so we the many, are one body in Christ, by severally members one of another"
- (Rm 12:4-5)
The Call to Service:
Priests are members of the community, set aside
in service of the community. It is
through the ministerial priesthood that Christ organises and directs the
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us
that the Sacrament of Holy orders configures the priest so that he may be a
servant and instrument of Christ for his church.
“by ordination one is enabled to act as the representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest prophet and king”
of the Catholic Church 1581
Like at Baptism and confirmation, the church has always taught that at Ordination to the priesthood an indelible character is imprinted on the ordinand.
Through ordination a new relationship is formed between the priest and Christ, and the priest and the entire Christian community. Ordination binds the priest to the Bishop and his brother priests, and also binds him in a particular role of responsibility for the life of the community of faith.
The ordination of a priest is the conferring of a sacrament that configures a man to Christ The Good Shepherd in a new way, and he becomes for the people of God a sign of the love of God for his people. In his new and specific mission he is called to serve the community of the faithful, and be an example to them of Christ.
From the beginning of the church, some men, called by Christ, from among the faithful are commissioned to lives of service in the model of Jesus the priest, prophet and king. Through sacred ordination they enter into this priesthood of Christ in a new way, and are set aside for service of the people of God