St. Paul said to his disciple Timothy: "I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you, through the laying on of my hands," (2 Tim 1:6) and "If any one aspire to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task." (1 Tim 3:1) To Titus he said "This is why I left you in Crete, that you amend what was defective, and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you." (Titus 1:5).
The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. This participation is called "common priesthood of the faithful." Based on this common priesthood and ordered to its service, there exists another participation in the mission of Christ: the ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders, where the task is to serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community.
The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi), divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendu).
The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the laying on of hands followed by a solemn prayer of consecration asking God to grant the ordinand the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his ministry. Ordination imprints an indelible sacramental character.
The Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only on baptized men (viri), whose suitability for the exercise of the ministry has been duly recognized. Church authority alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.
In the Latin Church the sacrament of Holy Orders for the presbyterate is normally conferred only on candidates who are ready to embrace celibacy freely and who publicly manifest their intention of staying celibate for the love of God's kingdom and the service of men.
If you feel that you have been called into the service of the Lord, please click on the link below to learn more about entering the Holy Orders.