"The world looks
to the priest,
because it looks
St John Paul II
Could God be calling you to be a priest?
God made you for a unique purpose. Even before you were born, he knew your vocation, your mission in life. And if you are a faithful Catholic man, God may be calling you for a higher purpose—to become a Catholic priest.
Priests have a critical mission: to bring people to Jesus and Jesus to people. They are spiritual fathers to thousands of Catholics. They preach the Gospel and offer the sacrifice of the Mass. In short, priests are living witnesses of Christ in the world—men of strong character who stand out in our secular culture.
A good priest is a spiritual hero, a man who sacrifices himself for the people of God. Is Jesus calling you to be his priest?
The priesthood is a Sacrament.
The priesthood is a sacrament. Sacraments are physical means through which God’s grace is experienced in the world. The sacrament of the priesthood (known as Holy Orders) is the visible way through which Christ continues his mission in the world today.
A priest wields a Sacred Power.
When a priest makes the sacraments present, he wields a sacred power from God, in Latin, sacra potestas.
A priest’s soul changes forever.
At ordination, a man’s soul undergoes an ontological change—a change of being—which indelibly marks his soul forever. Once a priest, always a priest.
Read more: What do priests do?
The priesthood is a calling.
Christ asks of some men the sacrifice of their lives in following him as his more intimate companions. From all eternity, certain men are called to the priesthood. It is a call inscribed in their nature and because of this, is a call that will bring them fulfillment.
A priest acts In Persona Christi.
Priests act in persona Christi capitas, which means “in the person of Christ, head of the Church.” That’s why the priest speaks in the first person at Mass, “This is my body, given up for you.” As Pope John Paul II wrote: “The priest offers his humanity to Christ, so that Christ may use him as an instrument of salvation, making him as it were into another Christ.”
The priesthood is a call from Jesus Christ to live a relationship with Him by serving His people. Not content to leave His people with simply the memory of His redeeming love, Christ chose the apostles to continue His work on earth until the end of time. The priesthood is an extension of this, and is hence a continuation of the work of Christ in the world today.
Whilst every member of the Church is a priestly people, sharing in the priesthood of Christ by their daily sacrifices, prayers and spreading of the Gospel, God calls specific people to serve in His name in the midst of the community.