Ordination to Holy Orders

The Holy Scriptures and ancient Christian writers make it clear that from the apostles’ time, there have been different ministries within the Church. In particular, since the time of the New Testament, three distinct orders of ordained ministers have been characteristic of Christ’s holy Catholic Church.

Orders of Ordained Ministry:

    • ORDER OF BISHOPS carry on the apostolic work of leading, supervising, and uniting the Church
    • ORDER OF PRIESTS (PRESBYTERS), together with the bishops, priests take part in the governance of the Church, in the carrying out of its missionary and pastoral work, and in the preaching of the Word of God and administering his holy Sacraments
    • ORDER OF DEACONS assist bishops and priests in all of this work. It is also a special responsibility of deacons to minister in Christ’s name to the poor, the sick, the suffering, and the helpless.

In the course of fulfilling one’s baptismal vows, the nudge to discern for the Holy Order of the Diaconate or the Priesthood may be experienced by some.

A period of discernment is essential as one seeks to hear through prayer, reflection, and spiritual guidance how God may be calling them to ordained ministry. The call to Holy Orders ought to be engaged with soberness, humility, and obedience. If you are feeling a call to ordained ministry, we invite you to explore that with your faith community’s clergy and learn more about the diocesan Discernment Communities. These communities are open to anyone exploring any call to ministry, ordained or lay.

For information about discerning a call to Holy Orders

Contact Derek Moyer, Missioner for Lifelong Formation at dmoyer@ecwo.org.