Through ordination, priests become representatives of Christ to the Church — as witnesses of holiness and love, preachers of the Gospel, shepherds of the faithful, conveners of divine worship, and builders of the Church. Through their ministry, priests are called, in imitation of Christ, to “preach good news to the poor. . . proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk. 4:18) (St. John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis 11). Deacons, too, are ordained to imitate Christ in his ministry of service and charity to the poor and needy in the community.
What is a vocation?
Many people use the word vocation (from the Latin vocare, meaning “to call”) in reference to the call to be a priest, sister, or brother. However, the Catholic understanding of vocation is much broader: every baptized person has a vocation–a call–to love and serve God. How you choose to live out that vocation is what each person must discern. Some feel called to live as single or married laypeople; others choose consecrated life and join a secular institute or religious community (as sisters, priests, or brothers); still others choose ordination as deacons or diocesan priests.
For more information about a vocation as priest, deacon or consecrated religious, contact one of the parish priests.
Those interested in the Permanent Diaconate, click here.
For a list of Consecrated women and men serving the Diocese of Peoria, click here.