Holy Orders

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Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders — as a deacon, priest or bishop — are consecrated in Christ’s name “to feed the Church by the word and grace of God.”

By virtue of our Baptism, all Christians are part of a common priesthood of believers. We are all called to participate in Christ’s mission. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, bishops and priests are given a special role in carrying out this mission. They exercise a ministerial priesthood. Deacons also receive a special grace through ordination and are called to assist the ministry of bishops and priests (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], nos. 1547, 1554).

Pope Benedict XVI writes, “The priest is above all a servant of others” (Sacramentum Caritatis [Sacrament of Charity], no. 23). In gathering the community, modeling Christ’s love for the poor, presiding at Eucharist, and evangelizing social realities, ordained ministers help Christians imitate Christ’s mission of love and justice.

20 Ways to Promote Vocations in your Parish or School

1.Have public recitation of the diocesan vocation prayer at masses on Sunday and the daily masses.

2.Provide Eucharistic adoration on certain days, asking for prayers for vocations.

3.Send greeting cards to each of the seminarians of your diocese at the beginning of a new semester, holidays, exam times, birthdays, ordinations, etc.

4.Sponsor poster/coloring/essay contests with vocation related themes and exhibit the results.

5.Encourage interviews of pastors, priests, sisters, brothers and deacons for the school newspaper or parish bulletin, especially on how they discerned their call.

6.Create a page on your parish/school website with vocation information.

7.Host an Altar Server Appreciation Night and ask one of the priests to speak to the servers.

8.Before a regular meeting, have your ministry or group get together a little earlier to say a decade of the rosary together for a specific priest or seminarian.

9.Create a collage of photos of priests, brothers, and sisters who have been part of your community.

10.Include Vocations Awareness lesson plans and programs at each grade level of religious education. Each grade can do a special project and the reports can be combined into a resource booklet.

11.Have the vocation prayer printed on refrigerator magnets and distribute.

12.Find out the Ordination date of your parish priests and celebrate within the parish and school.

13.Promote the lives of saints in various ways, e.g. in the bulletin, on the bulletin board, on posters, in a bibliography, etc.

14.Take a group from your parish or school to attend the ordination of a diocesan priest or deacon. Check out the vocations calendar for dates of upcoming ordinations.

15.Invite a priest, sister or deacon to supper to discuss vocations around the family dinner table.

16.Sponsor a Communion Breakfast with a vocation speaker.

17.Invite the Director of Vocations to the parish for a weekend, for masses and meals with parish families.

18.Ask 31 parishioners to volunteer to pray the rosary or attend mass on one of the 31 days of the month for vocations on behalf of your parish and committee.

19.Celebrate feasts of the saints, such as attending Mass on the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, patroness of missionaries and patroness of many vocations.

20.Provide intercessory prayers for vocations for Prayer of the Faithful at Mass