Holy Orders

Holy Orders: There are Three Levels of Holy Orders -Bishop – Priest – Deacon. Each level of Holy Orders participates in Christ the Head who is The Priest, The Prophet, The King.

From “Christ the Light of the Nations”: The Lord Jesus, after praying to the Father, calling to Himself those whom He desired, appointed twelve to be with Him, and whom He would send to preach the Kingdom of God; and these apostles He formed after the manner of a college or a stable group, over which He placed Peter chosen from among them. So that as sharers in His power they might make all peoples His disciples, and sanctify and govern them, and thus spread His Church, and by ministering to it under the guidance of the Lord, direct it all days even to the consummation of the world. And in this mission, they were fully confirmed on the day of Pentecost in accordance with the Lord’s promise.

The divine mission, entrusted by Christ to the apostles, will last until the end of the world since the Gospel they are to teach is for all time the source of all life for the Church. And for this reason, the apostles, appointed as rulers in this society, took care to appoint successors.  For they not only had helpers in their ministry but also, in order that the mission assigned to them might continue after their death, they, therefore, appointed such men and gave them the order that, when they should have died, other approved men would take up their ministry. 

Bishops, therefore, with their helpers, the priests and deacons, have taken up the service of the community, presiding in place of God over the flock, whose shepherds they are, as teachers for doctrinepriests for sacred worship, and ministers for governing.

And just as the office granted individually to Peter, the first among the apostles, is permanent and is to be transmitted to his successors, so also the apostles’ office of nurturing the Church is permanent, and is to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops. Therefore, the Sacred Council teaches that bishops by divine institution have succeeded to the place of the apostles, as shepherds of the Church, and he who hears them, hears Christ, and he who rejects them rejects Christ and Him who sent Christ.
In the bishops, for whom priests are assistants, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Supreme High Priest, is present in the midst of those who believe. These pastors, chosen to shepherd the Lord’s flock of the elect, are servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God, to whom has been assigned the bearing of witness to the Gospel of the grace of God, and the ministration of the Spirit and of justice in glory.  This duty, which the Lord committed to the shepherds of His people, is a true service, which in sacred literature is significantly called “Diakonia” or ministry. 
Bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ,
A bishop marked with the fullness of the sacrament of Orders, is “the steward of the grace of the supreme priesthood,” especially in the Eucharist, which he offers or causes to be offered.
Bishops, as vicars and ambassadors of Christ, govern the particular churches entrusted to them. 
Bishops have legitimately handed on to different individuals in the Church various degrees of participation in this ministry of Christ. Thus the divinely established ecclesiastical ministry is exercised on different levels by those who from antiquity have been called bishops, priests and deacons.
Priests, do not possess the highest degree of the priesthood, and are dependent on the bishops in the exercise of their power, and are united with the bishops in sacerdotal dignity. Exercising within the limits of their authority the function of Christ as Shepherd and Head, they gather together God’s family as a brotherhood all of one mind, and lead them in the Spirit, through Christ, to God the Father. In the midst of the flock, they adore Him in spirit and in truth. Finally, they labour in word and doctrine, believing what they have read and meditated upon in the law of God, teaching what they have believed, and putting in practice in their own lives what they have taught.
At a lower level of the hierarchy are deacons, upon whom hands are imposed not unto the priesthood, but unto the ministry. Strengthened by sacramental grace, in communion with the bishop and his group of priests they serve in the diaconate of the liturgy, of the word, and of charity to the people of God.

For Priestly Vocations:

Look kindly, we pray, O Lord, on our Diocese. Enkindle in the hearts our catholic a deep desire to serve you. May they be open to your call to become dedicated and holy as priests and deacons. Give them the courage to overcome their fears and the wisdom to hear your special call for them. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord of the harvest inspires in many men the desire to serve you in the Priesthood. Give them courage and wisdom to respond to your invitation by saying: “Yes Lord, I am here, I have come to do your will.” We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Prayer for Priests 

Eternal Father, thank you for all priests, here in our Parish, in our Diocese and throughout the world. Thank you for the way they preach the Gospel, celebrate the Eucharist and care for Your people. Sanctify, heal and guide them. Incline them to constant Adoration and Thanksgiving. Mould them into the likeness of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest. Send Your Holy Spirit to keep the joy and enthusiasm of their Ordination Day alive in their hearts. We ask you to bless our Bishop, our Priests and Seminarians of our Diocese. We ask for a special blessing on N. May their witness to Christ inspire other men to offer their lives to you and your Church. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, pray for all priests.
Saint John Vianney, Pray for us all.