Becoming a priest or a man or woman religious is not primarily our own decision…. Rather it is the response to a call and to a call of love.
A baptized man must first be ordained a deacon before being ordained a priest and ordained a priest before being ordained a bishop. So every priest and every bishop has experienced the Sacrament of Holy Orders more than once, but he experiences ordination to each level only once.
Catholic men who “take Holy Orders” receive a special sacrament called Holy Orders, which creates the hierarchy of deacon, priest, and bishop. These men (who are ordained by a bishop by means of that sacrament) serve the spiritual needs of others in the Catholic Church.
One of the primary functions of deacons, priests, and bishops is to administer the sacred rites of the Church to God’s people. Ordination to the priesthood is always a call and a gift from God. Christ reminded his Apostles that they needed to ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest. Those who seek priesthood respond generously to God’s call using the words of the prophet, “Here I am, send me” (Is 6:8). This call from God can be recognized and understood from the daily signs that disclose his will to those in charge of discerning the vocation of the candidate.
Discerning a religious call
Fr. Sean Suckiel, Vocations Director
341 Highland Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11207