Priests are ordained ministers who, acting in the person of the Christ the head (in person Christi capitis), offer sacrifice, forgive sins, bless, preach, guide, and lead the people liturgical worship.
Priests are ontologically changed upon ordination, meaning that their very essence is transformed, and they will be a priest forever, even in the afterlife. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, they are ordained as “another Christ” (alter Christus), so that it is Christ who empowers, enables, and gives life to their priestly ministry.
A common concern of men considering the priesthood is that they are not holy enough. No priest is perfectly sinless, but because it is Jesus who is the source of what they do, they don’t have to be. God uses priests to serve his people in a special way, and in so doing the priests themselves will grow closer to Christ as well.
From Church Documents
“Being a priest of our Church brings me the joy of serving God in sharing His love and serving God’s people in their walk of Faith.”
“”Even after 37 years, I still marvel at the trust that people give me, as a priest. They so often truly open the doors of their hearts, so that the light of Christ within becomes more visible to them and to myself, and so that I can bring that light to them.”
“The day I was ordained, I entered into a new relationship with the people of God. Much as when a man and woman enter the covenant of marriage, their relationship with their family of origin shifts because their relationship with each other has taken a place of primacy. Through no merit of my own, the Church chose me, still very much one of the sheep, to step into the shoes of the shepherd.”
The ministry of a priestA priest’s ministry in an extension of Christ’s own love for his people.
Personal life of a priestPriests serve the people of God, but this doesn’t strip away who they are.