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Chapter Eight. Sacrament of Holy Orders. Hearing God’s Voice. When Abram was 75 years old he heard God’s voice…. Moses heard God call out to him from a bush…. Young Samuel was spoken to in a dream…

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Chapter Eight

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Chapter Eight

Sacrament of Holy Orders


Hearing God’s Voice

  • When Abram was 75 years old he heard God’s voice….
  • Moses heard God call out to him from a bush….
  • Young Samuel was spoken to in a dream…
  • God continues today to call all Christians to his service and some men to his priestly service

Hearing God’s Voice

  • With shrinking numbers of priests, the Church is initiating many efforts to encourage vocations to the priesthood
    • Vocation programs offer opportunities for teenagers to explore priesthood or religious life by participating in programs or shadowing priests
signs for a man to gauge a possible vocation to the priesthood

Call to Priesthood

Signs for a man to gauge a possible vocation to the priesthood:

Improving prayer life

Finds himself fighting thoughts of becoming a priest but cannot ignore them

Attending mass and other sacraments more often

Spending more time in church

Feels he may regret not pursuing the initial steps of a vocation


Responding to the Call

  • A man who is discerning a call to the priesthood must be a believer and recognize God’s voice in his life
  • Some ways in which a man can facilitate and maintain dialogue with God involving the decision:
      • Going to daily mass
      • Setting aside regularly scheduled time for prayer
      • Volunteering in a parish
      • Research
      • Speaking with a spiritual director
      • Trying out another career
      • Participating in a discernment program
      • Practicing the virtues

Applying to Candidacy

  • Aspirancy
      • Once a man decides to make a formal inquiry to be a candidate for the priesthood, he will undergo a series of interviews to determine his sense of calling and to see if he meets some requirements
      • This takes place over 4-5 months
    • The formal application process also includes a written application and several letters of recommendation

Applying to Candidacy

  • Requirements
      • Mature male
      • Completed Christian initiation
      • Willingly and knowingly wishes to be ordained
Human Formation

“Basis of all priestly formation”

Must be developed so he is affable, hospitable, sincere, prudent, generous, encouraging, understanding, and forgiving

Spiritual Formation

Candidate must form an intimate friendship with Jesus Christ

Centers on the priest learning to live the Paschal Mystery in his own life

Preparing for Ordination

Intellectual Formation

Study theology and philosophy in order to gain a deep understanding of what it means to be human

Understand Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition handed down by Magisterium

Pastoral Formation

Goal of entire formation

Priests formed in pastoral ministry so as to make them shepherds of souls in imitation of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd

Preparing for Ordination


Life in the Seminary

  • A seminary is a house of prayer, study, and formation
  • During the week, a seminarian’s day begins with morning prayer from Liturgy of the Hours
  • Afternoons are less structured with a chance for exercise or individual study

There are many meetings in which the seminarian must attend, and attendance at daily mass is a requirement


Celebration of the Sacrament

  • Ordinations of the bishop, priests, and deacons all take place within the Eucharistic liturgy
  • Initial rites of ordination begin after the Gospel where the election of the man takes place and the bishop asks for the consent of all the people
  • The bishop talks about the duties of the priest including:
        • Teaching
        • Sanctifying
        • Shepherding

Celebration of the Sacrament

  • After the homily, the candidate stands before the bishop and is questioned on his resolution to fulfill the duties of the priesthood

All of the priests lay their hands on the candidate’s head in silence while the bishop recites the prayer of consecration


As with all the sacraments, Holy Orders deepens the life of Jesus in the ordained man who is called to serve Him and provides the wisdom and fortitude to live as an ordained minister throughout his life



  • CYO
  • Liturgy of the Hours
  • Religious Superior
  • Lectio Divina
  • Charism
  • Alb
  • Litany of the Saints
  • Stole
  • Chasuble
  • Apostolic Letter