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Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate. (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1536).
Are you considering a call to the diaconate or priesthood?
Is your heart touched to follow Christ? Would you like to know more about being a deacon or priest today? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please contact the Father Randy Vashon, the diocesan vocations director at 732 – 562 – 2453 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Each step leading up to vocation in the diaconate (deacon) or priesthood is an additional step of faithfulness to the inspiration of God. Following a vocation is like driving a car, paying attention and reacting to the signs on the road as they pass by. You may not be sure of where God is leading you, but what matters is that you follow the signs which He sends. As time passes, the road becomes clearer and you will become enlightened as to what God wants.
Jesus’ first invitation to the apostles was for them to begin following Him. In the beginning He did not offer them and answer to all their questions or a solution to all their needs. He merely said, “Come and see” (Jn 1:39). Now for you the translation is, “If you think God may be calling you, look into it.”
Faith picks up where reason leaves off. Reason alone is not sufficient to please God. Rather, God is pleased when you admit your uncertainty and give your trust to Him. “It is impossible to please God without faith” (Heb 11:6).
What is the difference between a diocesan priest and a religious priest?
A diocesan priest ordinarily serves the church within a well-defined geographic area called a diocese. He serves the people as a parish priest, but may also be involved in other forms of ministry: teaching, chaplain in hospitals, prisons, campus ministry, etc. A religious priest, on the other hand, is a member of a community which goes beyond the geographical limits of any diocese.
A religious priest seeks to live a vowed life within a community of men for mutual support and accomplishment of some work. There is an emphasis in the community on shared ideals, prayer and commitment to Christ. Religious priests work in a wide variety of ministries.
What about deacons?
All ordained ministers in the Church are called to functions of Word, Sacrament, and Charity, but bishops, presbyters and deacons exercise these functions in various ways. As ministers of Word, deacons proclaim the Gospel, preach, and teach in the name of the Church. As ministers of Sacrament, deacons baptize, lead the faithful in prayer, witness marriages, and conduct wake and funeral services As ministers of Charity, deacons are leaders in identifying the needs of others, then marshaling the Church’s resources to meet those needs. Deacons are also dedicated to eliminating the injustices or inequities that cause such needs. But no matter what specific functions a deacon performs, they flow from his sacramental identity. In other words, it is not only WHAT a deacon does, but WHO a deacon is, that is important.