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The call of priesthood is a call to configure one’s whole being to the person of Jesus Christ. All that a priest is and does is embraced with this end in mind. His whole life is focused on his sanctification and the sanctification of God’s people.

A diocesan priest responds to this call to sanctity in the context of his priestly promises. In imitation of Christ who chose the celibate way of life, the priest chooses to “keep for ever this commitment as a sign of [his] dedication to Christ the Lord for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, in the service of God and man” (Rite of Ordination). A life of celibacy frees the priest to be available to love all people with the love of Christ himself.

Recognizing that his call to priesthood is much bigger than his personal relationship to God, the priest lives out this call through a life in Christ’s Church.  He acknowledges the authority and leadership of his bishop and promises respect and obedience to him. The relationship between a priest and his bishop is to enable him to best serve the members of the local Church.

As the priest accepts the call to spiritual leadership, he promises God and all God’s people that he will “exercise the ministry of the word worthily and wisely”; “celebrate faithfully and reverently the mysteries of Christ, especially the sacrifice of the Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation”; “observe the command to pray without ceasing”; and “resolve to be united more closely every day to Christ the High Priest,…and with him to consecrate [himself] to God for the salvation of all” (Rite of Ordination).


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