The Whole Church is a Priestly People
Only Christ is the true priest. Yet through our baptism, we all share in His priesthood. There are two ways to participate in Christ’s priesthood:
- The common (or baptismal) priesthood of the faithful
- The ministerial priesthood of bishops and priests
The ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. Priests’ lives are literally spent in service to us. The Church states that the priest’s office “is in the strict sense of the term a service.” Priests exercise their service to us in 3 ways: by teaching, divine worship, & pastoral governance. The ministerial priesthood is one way Christ builds up and leads His Church … thus every priest is a GIFT to us from God.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders
Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry
Ordination is the sacramental act that integrates a man into the order of bishops, presbyters, or deacons. When a man is ordained, he receives a gift of the Holy Spirit that permits the exercise of a sacred power for the service of the faithful. This sacred power comes only from Christ Himself through His Church.