I will give you shepherds after my own heart.
In these words from the prophet Jeremiah, God promises his people that he will never leave them without shepherds to gather them together and guide them: “I will set shepherds over my sheep, who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed.” (Jeremiah 23:4)
Pope John Paul II wrote, “Without priests the Church would not be able to live that fundamental obedience which is at the very heart of her existence and her mission in history, an obedience in response to the command of Christ: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations’ (Mt. 28:19) and ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ (Lk. 22:19), that is, an obedience to…announce the Gospel and to renew daily the sacrifice of the giving of his body and the shedding of his blood for the life of the world.”
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is experienced in three degrees:
ordination to the diaconate
ordination to the priesthood
ordination to the episcopacy (the bishops, who are the successors of the apostles)
Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, all of the faithful experience a universal call to holiness. In Holy Orders, however, men are consecrated to the service of all the faithful, nourishing them through Word and Sacrament.
Men interested in Holy Orders, either the priesthood or the diaconate, are encouraged to research and pray upon the matter with fervor and diligence, always discerning through the sacred heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Women and men interested in consecrated life as a religious sister or brother are also encouraged to give prayerful consideration to the matter, and entrust it to the Lord. We are each called to discern and live our vocation, embracing it as a gift from God—whether that vocation is to single life, married life, or the consecrated life.
If you feel you may be called to the priesthood, diaconate, or religious life, please feel free to contact any of our priests or deacons to discern this special calling from God.
If you have any questions, please contact Fr. Mike.