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. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate. (CCC 1536)
Through Baptism, all members of the Church share in Christ’s offices of priest, prophet and king. We all share in what is called “the common priesthood of the faithful” and are called to help sanctify the world through our spiritual offering of our works and prayers. Some members of the Church, however, are called by God to be a total gift of self to Church through ordained ministry or consecrated religious life.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the sacramental act that integrates a man into the order of the episcopate (bishops), the presbyterate (priests), or the diaconate (deacons).
- Bishops are direct successors of the Apostles and are called to teach, sanctify and shepherd the members of Church, particularly those of the local Church or diocese.
- Priests assist the bishops in their ministry by celebrating the Eucharist, administering the Sacraments, and spreading the Gospel.
- Deacons assist the bishop and priests by assisting at the Eucharist, distributing Holy Communion, proclaiming and preaching the Gospel, baptizing, blessing marriages, presiding at funerals, and ministering through acts of charity.
Consecrated Religious Life
Some men and women are called by God to live a radical witness to Christ by imitating him as closely as possible through vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in consecrated religious life. They enrich the Church not only by their radical witness to Christ, but also through their many apostolates (e.g., education, health care, missionary activity).
If you are a person who feels called to ordained ministry or consecrated religious life, please contact our Pastor, Fr. Sunny Joseph, O.S.H. More information on vocations can be found on the Archdiocesan website http://www.houstonvocations.com.