Depending upon their position in the hierarchy, all deacons, priests, and bishops are personal representations of the person of Jesus Christ. The word deacon in Greek actually means ‘servant’ which calls to mind Christ as the suffering servant. Priests act in persona Christi, in the person of Christ, as they offer the Eucharistic sacrifice. And bishops stand in line as the successors of those who knew Jesus more personally than anyone, the apostles themselves. To become part of the hierarchy is to become Jesus for others.
In orders, the bishop lays hands on the person who is going to become a deacon, priest, or bishop and says the appropriate prayer. For a deacon he says, “Lord, we beg you, send forth upon them the Holy Spirit, that they may be strengthened by the gift of your sevenfold grace to carry out faithful the work of the ministry." For a priest he says, “Almighty Father, grant, we pray, to these servants of yours the dignity of the priesthood. Renew deep within them the Spirit of holiness. May they safeguard this office, next in rank to our own, which they receive from you, O God, and by their manner of life may they be examples of right conduct". For a bishop he says, “So now pour upon this chosen one that power which is from you, the governing Spirit whom you gave to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the Spirit given by him to the holy Apostles, who founded the Church in every place to be your temple for the unceasing glory and praise of your name.”
Carrying on the mission that Christ entrusted to the Apostles
Feel the Call?
If, in your prayer, you feel God is asking you to discern becoming a deacon or priest, we encourage you to call the parish office or complete the contact form below to discuss your vocation.