“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.” (CCC 1536)
The priest is a man, chosen from among men to be an “altar Christus” (another Christ).
The call to serve is a vocation. One does not choose, but is chosen by Christ and the Church to continue the mission of Christ on earth. The priest is called to offer sacrifice on behalf of God’s people in the Holy Mass, to teach by proclaiming the Word of God and teachings of the Church and to sanctify by providing the Sacraments to God’s people, leading them in prayer, praying for them and being an example of one whose life is completely dedicated to Christ and His Church.
This however, just touches the surface. The priest, is to be a sign of contradiction by a life of fidelity to the Gospel in the midst of his daily life. One priest said, “I pick up a piece of paper on the ground for the love of God.” This summarizes the life of a priest – his whole life is to flow from his love for Christ.
If you would like to become a priest, or would like more information, visit the Diocese of Providence Office of Vocations.