A Catholic man who “takes Holy Orders” receives a special sacrament called Holy Orders, which creates the hierarchy of deacon, priest, and bishop. He serves the spiritual needs of others in the Catholic Church.
A baptized man must first be ordained a deacon before being ordained a priest and ordained a priest before being ordained a bishop. As with all sacraments the sacrament of Holy Orders is routed in the sacrament of Baptism, without which none of the other sacraments can be received.
Bishops are said to have the “fullness of the priesthood,” because they alone have the authority to offer all seven sacraments — Baptism, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders.
Priests have the power and authority to celebrate five — Baptism, Penance, Holy Eucharist (Mass), Matrimony, and Anointing of the Sick.
Deacons can celebrate Baptism and Matrimony, provided that it’s a wedding without a Nuptial Mass
The Sacrament of Holy Orders confers the dignity of the sacrament, and that entails the obligation to obey the Pope and be of service to the people of God. Priests are to see their role as shepherds who love and know their sheep.
If you have felt the gentle call in your heart to become a priest, please speak to one of the priests in the parish who will be delighted to meet with you and put you in contact with a vocation’s director.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is celebrated on the occasion of the Ordination of a deacon, priest or bishop.
If you are thinking about a vocation as a diocesan priest or permanent deacon in Ireland and would like more information, see www.vocations.ie.
Most priests or permanent deacons will be happy to meet with you and will help you make contact with your local Vocations Director so you can follow up with further discussion about your interest and how to proceed with your enquiry.