The Sacrament of Holy Orders

"To live in the midst of the world without wishing its pleasures;

To be a member of each family yet belonging to none;

To share all suffering, to penetrate all secrets;

To heal all wounds;

To go from men to God and offer Him their prayers;

To return from God to men to bring pardon and hope;

To have a heart of fire for Charity;

To have a heart of bronze for Chastity;

To teach and to pardon, console and bless always;

My God, what a life;

and it is yours,

O priest of Jesus Christ.

-Fr. Jean-Baptiste Lacordaire

In the Creed, we say we believe in "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." The Catholic Church is Apostolic because the authority that Jesus gave to His apostles has been passed down through ordination from bishop to bishop, directly from the apostles themselves.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matt. 28: 18-20). 

 

Jesus passed on His authority to the apostles, who passed it on to their successors. St. Paul even reminded the young bishop Timothy to practice his authority well: 

"Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you." (1 Tim 4:14)

The priesthood and diaconate are special callings, and absolutely central to the life of the Church. The most important duty of the priest is to give us Jesus Himself in the Eucharist.

Do you think you might be called? Please speak to our priest or deacon. Call the rectory office at 301.349.2045. 

The Saints on Holy Orders

"The priest is not a priest for himself - he is for you. After God, the priest is everything." St. John Vianney
 

"(You think) perhaps the sole ends of the priesthood are to say Mass, and to recite the Office, and then to live like seculars? No, the end for which God has instituted the priesthood has been to appoint on earth public persons to watch over the honor of his divine majesty, and to procure the salvation of souls." 

St. Alphonsus de Liguori
 

"The power of the priest is the power of the divine person; for the transubstantiation of the bread requires as much power as the creation of the world."  St. Bernardine of Siena

"He made them the vicars of his love."  St. Ambrose of Milan

What are Holy Orders?