ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI A Catholic Church of the Diocese of St. Petersburg
Holy Orders, is a Sacrament by which bishops, priests, and the deacons of the Church are ordained and receive the power and grace to perform their sacred duties.
Those who are called to the clerical state in the Catholic Church are ordained through the Rite of Ordination. In celebrating this Rite, men receive a permanent spiritual mark, called a character, signifying that they represent Jesus’ presence in the Church.
There are three orders of Holy Orders:
1) The Order of the Diaconate (deacons)
2) The Order of the Presbyterate (priests)
3) The Order of the Episcopacy (bishops)
The Diaconate is further designated as either ordination as a Transitional Deacon, to be subsequently ordained as a priest, and the Permanent Deacon, those who will only receive the first Order of Holy Orders (Diaconate).
A Bishop receives the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. He is the head or Ordinary of the local Church. The local area entrusted to him is called a Diocese. A Bishop is also a member of the Episcopal college – collectively all the bishops who, with the pope, guide the Church.
Priests serve the community in various ways. They may be called to serve in a Diocese or as religious order priests, carrying out the mission of a particular religious community. Priests preside at liturgies, preach, administer the Sacraments, counsel people, serve as pastors, and teach.
Deacons are entrusted with the charism of “diakonia,” Greek for “service.” They exercise this charism in three ways: through charity, proclamation of the word and liturgical service.
Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so, ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” –Matthew 9: 37 – 38
The call to ordination is always a call and a gift from God. Those who seek the Sacrament of Holy Orders respond generously to God’s call using the words of the prophet, “Here I am, send me.” (Is 6:8) This call from God must be discerned by the individual, in cooperation with the local Church, and can be recognized and understood from prayer and the daily signs that disclose God’s will.
If you feel called by God to this special vocation Sacrament, please contact a priest or deacon of the parish at (813) 689-4148, send us an email at [email protected] and we will contact you to provide early guidance on the Sacrament of Holy Orders.