“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 (reaching a bishop level of clergy service), presbyterate (priesthood), and diaconate(ministry of deacons).”
—Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 1536
Men of the parish who feel called to the Sacrament of Holy Orders, either as priests or deacons, are encouraged to talk to the clergy of the parish for guidance and counsel. The Archdiocese has a men’s vocations office to assist anyone in such discernment. Call 301-853-4500 and ask for the priest or deacon’s office of vocations. For priesthood discernment, go to dcpriest.org.
There are two types of men’s priestly vocations to the Church. There are diocesan priests (such as the ones who serve at each of the four parishes in Bowie) and there are religious priests (such as the Franciscans who live the religious life as priests in the communities of certain charisms).
Women of the parish interested in religious life can also call the Archdiocese for an office to assist you in any vocation in that manner. Call 301-853-4500 and ask for the women’s vocation office.
It is a great joy for any parish to see one of their own receiving a call to special, dedicated service to the Church. It is the duty of every parish and member to foster and pray for vocations. We can also support those lay persons who seek to serve the Church in paid offices and ministries to the parish and diocese.
We pray for the intercession of St. Theresa of Calcutta and St. John Paul the Great for vocations to priesthood, religious life and the diaconate. Both saints visited our area of the United States and gave forth the call to serve the Church with full hearts. They promoted these particular vocations as key roles for the Church ahead, as offices we cannot do without. We greatly need vocations for service to the Church.
Our common first vocation is to live out our baptismal call to be a child of God and to be holy in the grace outpoured in Jesus Christ. Each of us are called to a saintly life. Those who live out their Catholic faith in committed love and service and prayer will be led by God to what particular application He wants of our lives.