This is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his Apostles continues to be exercised in the Church. Orders refers to the three degrees: episcopate (bishop), presbyterate (priest), and diaconate (deacon). A priest is consecrated to preach the Gospel, to celebrate divine worship, especially the Eucharist, and to be a shepherd of the faithful. A deacon is ordained for service and carries this out by the ministry of the Word, of divine worship, of pastoral care and of charity. This sacrament is conferred by the bishop.
Christians often speak about “discernment,” which is a word meaning “to perceive as distinct.” In other words, we need to sort through things and identify what is true. For us, it means that we must look for God’s presence and listen for God’s voice amidst the clamor and confusion of modern life. And, just as a parent, God changes how he speaks to us as we grow.
As with all divine calls, God’s call to ordained ministry comes to us at various times in our life. His call will sound different at each stage in our life, depending on what our ears are listening for.
If you are considering serving God as a priest, deacon, or religious, contact your pastor at 757-484-7335 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the diocesan Vocations Office at 804-359-5661 or visit www.richmonddiocese.org/vocations.