When a Catholic man makes a decision to exclusively serve Christ as a priest, he begins a journey of discernment to discover his deepest desire and God’s call in his life. After completing his seminary training he receives a special sacrament called Holy Orders. Becoming a priest is not something that a person initiates of his own accord. God specially calls him to this task (see the powerful testimonies of Fr. Chase Hilgenbrinck and Fr. Donald Calloway at the bottom of this page). Jesus is our good shepherd who intimately knows us and laid down His life for us. A priest too, is called to be a shepherd, a teacher and a guide just like Jesus.
Jesus – a priest forever!
In the Jewish experience of the Old Testament, priesthood was a hereditary function usually reserved to the clan of Aaron and the tribe of Levi. They took care of the temples but were also rabbis and scribes who exercised great authority and leadership. However, when Jesus came, He not only spoke and acted with God-given authority but also lived an exemplary life of service – which ultimately lead to His sacrifice on the cross – all for love of a people whom He saved. This prompted people to recognize Jesus not only as victim, but also as high priest (a person who offers a sacrifice on behalf of the people).
Today, the Church continues to exercise Jesus’ mission, through the sacrament of Holy Orders. Jesus’ own words form the core principle of this ministerial role: “But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all”. (Mk 10: 43-44)
God is faithful. In every age He calls young men to become good shepherds to His people. He promised He would never leave us and we experience His mighty power in our lives through the sacraments administered by His priests.
Who can respond?
- A baptized catholic man can receive this sacrament if he has felt the call of God on his life.
- He cannot demand to receive this sacrament but must be judged suitable for the ministry by the Church authorities.
- This process dates back to ministry in the early Church where Peter seemed to act as the designated leader of the group of twelve apostoloi (Acts 1: 15-16) which may be translated as “ambassador” (because Jesus had called and sent them to preach the Kingdom). The service they performed was identified as diakonia, and as the Church grew, they were eventually joined by elders or presbyteros and episkopos (elders in charge). People chosen for this ministry were selected from among the community, prayed for, and Church elders laid hands on them designating them for this special work.
This is the same process that the Church follows today.
Did you know?
Is God calling you today?
If you believe that God is calling you to this ministry, or if you are simply interested in Holy Orders, please contact Fr. Michael Willemsen on 9657 0254. Please also visit: http://www.corpuschristicollege.org/
Join Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, as he explains what Holy Orders are in the Catholic Church, what happens at an Ordination, and what it means to say YES to God.
Chase Hilgenbrinck was a Division I Soccer star and played professionally in Chile and with the New England Revolution of the MLS. In his powerful witness, “From Pro Soccer to the Priesthood” he shares about how a higher calling eclipsed his love for soccer.
Here’s the dramatic testimony of Fr. Donald Calloway MIC – from a youth filled with crime to a powerful encounter with Our Lady. This is the true story of a life transformed through the grace of God’s mercy.
“Mercy gets its hands dirty” is a wonderful insight into the role of a priest, presented by Pope Francis.