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. (Mt 28:18-20) Holy Orders includes three degrees: episcopate (bishop), presbyterate (priest), diaconate (deacon).
Holy Orders is bestowed on a baptized man when a bishop ordains him to be conformed to Jesus Christ by grace, and to service and leadership in the Church. A man can be ordained a deacon, a priest or a bishop. Each of these ‘Orders’ magnifies his capabilities and responsibilities for service to the Church. Like Baptism and Confirmation, this Sacrament confers an indelible spiritual character on the one who receives it and cannot be repeated or conferred temporarily.
The laying on of hands by the bishop, with the consecratory prayer constitute the visible sign (matter and form) of this sacrament.
The Call to Priesthood
God continually calls men to serve in the Church as deacon or priest. A man feels a call in his soul. Others may validate the call and the Church affirms that call with ordination. The process to ordination begins when a man confers with a spiritual director, parish priest, or vocation director, who then refers him to the proper ecclesiastical authorities. At that time he makes a formal application, appropriate documents are procured, and various testing is done. Upon approval of the Bishop (Diocesan Priesthood Candidate) or Religious Order Superior (Religious Priesthood candidate), the Candidate begins the formal education required by Canon Law for ordination. Dioceses and Religious Orders use various universities and seminaries for their candidates to Orders.
Those interested in the priesthood and/or consecrated religious life and priesthood should contact the pastor or other parish priest. For the Capuchin-Franciscan Priesthood (those who serve our parish) call Father Tom Betz OFM.Cap. at 215-592-7552 or toll free at 888-2-OFMCap. For the Diocesan Priesthood, call Father Raymond Lavoie at 717-657-4804 x282.
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