MinistryAt ordination, priests are not simply being inducted into a society or graduating from a program. They are given a very real gift of the Holy Spirit, a sacred power that flows from Christ. This sacra potestas allows them to serve in Christ’s place, especially through the sacraments.

In all of their ministry, they are striving to bring Jesus to the people and the people to Jesus. Priests pray with, and for, the people of God. They celebrate the Mass, preaching the Gospel and offering the sacrifice of the Eucharist. They baptize, witness marriages, visit the sick, and bury the dead. They are teachers, counselors, evangelizers, governors and defenders, who stand with the people in good times and bad, from birth through death.

In a way, the ministry of a priest is simple: meeting the spiritual needs of the people they serve. Often in seminary the men will say that they are learning, “to be all things to all people,” and while this can never be completely accomplished, it captures the essence of the diverse forms of ministry. Wherever God’s people are, priests are called to go there, and to guide his people home.

From Church Documents

“Priests are a sacramental representation of Jesus Christ – the head and shepherd – authoritatively proclaiming his word, repeating his acts of forgiveness and his offer of salvation – particularly in baptism, penance and the Eucharist…” (Pastores dabo vobis, no. 15)
“The ministry itself, by which the priest brings Christ’s redemptive gifts to his people, transforms the priest’s own life. In a particular way, the celebrations of Baptism, Penance, and the Eucharist lead the priest to a holy encounter with God’s all-transforming, merciful love.” (Program of Priestly Formation, no. 24)
“My priestly ministry has always been formed by the example of Jesus as a servant/shepherd and by Ignatius of Loyola as “one sent to lead others to Christ”, knowing that all I do is as a companion of Jesus and that “His life and grace are enough for me.””
Fr. Gino, S.J., Cathedral of Christ the King
“We are privileged to be present at miracles worked by God in the lives of those we serve—especially in the confessional, at Mass and at deathbeds. We do nothing to earn this blessing, but God is so gracious.”
Fr. John, St. Lawrence

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