Christian Vocation


Key language

Vocation= a general calling to a life of hiliness and service to God.

Ordination or Holy orders= the sacrament that makes men priests

Pastoral care= support and consel given by a priest to members of his congragation

The ordination of priests

  • The Roman Catholic Church teaches that God calls men to the sacred ministry.
  • There are three orders of ministry:
    • Bishops
    • Priests
    • Deacons.
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Rite of ordination

  • Presentation- candidate called forward to be presented in front of bishop.
  • The examination- Bishop questions candidate about responsibilities, candidate promises to fulfill them,
  • Prostration- lies on floor in prostration
  • Consecration- priests ordained by bishop, by laying on of hands and prayer
  • Prayer- bishop gives prayer of thanks to God.
  • Investment- priests invested with stole and chasuble. (show wearer is priest)
  • Anointing- bishops anoints priest's hands.
  • Mass- priest assists bishop in celebrating mass.

Priests Enjoy Priesthood, Carefully Planning Interesting Assembelies [and] Masses.

Pressentation, Examination, Prostration, Consecration, Prayer, Investment, Anointing, Mass

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The role and work of a priest

  • Catholic priests are ministersof the church. Only men can become priests within the Catholic church. They receive the sacrament of the Holy Orders which ordains them to be ministers of the church. They are answerable to the Bishop, and take a vow of obedience to the bishop.
  • Roman Catholic prests take a vow of celibacy which means that they will not have sexual relations. They are not allowed to marry and have a family because they have a vocation not to become married, but serve the community.

The priest has many duties to carry out:

  • He administers sacraments such as Baptism, the Eucharist and marriage.
  • Leads prayer and other forms of worship
  • Pastoral care of his parish, visiting the sick or have other needs
  • Proclaiming the Gospel and teaching the faith
  • Giving advice, both in Reconciliation and informally
  • Being a servant to Christ and his Church- putting others needs first.
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The role of Deacons

  • Most people who are ordained as deacons go on to become a priest, but there are permenamt deacons, who are allowed to be married men, but if so, can never become priests.
  • The deacons' role is above all as a servant- serving the people of christ.

The deacon has the following duties:

  • Assist bishops and priests in celebrating the sacraments, above all, that of the Eucharist
  • Giving out Holy Communion
  • Assisting the priest at, and blessing, marriages
  • Proclaiming the Gospel
  • Preaching
  • Taking funerals
  • Involvement in social and charitsble works
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Religious orders and religious vows

Men and women who become monks and nuns have to be accepted by a moastic community and then spend several years there as a novice before becoming a fully professed nun or monk.

  • At that point they make 3 vows:
    • Poverty- they own no personal posessions.
    • Chastity- absolute sexual purity (never having sexual relations)
    • Obedience- to the rule of the order and to the abbot/ mother superior.
  • Vows are intended to help monks/nuns to cencentrate fully on the worship and service of God.
  • They place their trust in God rather than in possessions, power or status.
  • Have no personal distraction to weaken their realtionship with God & their response to His will.
  • Through being part of a community, their worship & understanding of God is enriched.
  • There are 2 types of monastic community:
    • Contemplative- descibes enclosed monastic orders totally devoted to prayer and study.
    • Apostolic- describes monostatic orders that combine prayer & study with active service of the community.
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Lay ministers

  • These are both men and women who offer their services to the church, by giving communion or reading at mass; paying regularly, studying the bible and attending masses; being a lobing and faithful huspand/wife/parent; serving God and others in their role as employers or students; caring for those in need.
  • They might join organistaiond such as the society of Vincent de Paul (SVP) which supports disadvantaged people in prison and helping run soup kitchens for the homeless.
  • Lay ministers do not take the sacrament of Holy Orders which priests receive, and therefore they are able to get married and live a normal life. Having lay ministers is beneficial because there is a decline in the number of men wanting to become priests, and therefore lat ministers help priests to ensure that the community is served well.
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Parable of the talents

The importance of making good use of one's talents is set out in this parable:

  • A man going on a journey gives 3 of his servants differing sums of money, according to their ability. The first gets 5,000 gold coins, the second gets 2,000 and the third gets 1,000 gold coins
  • They were expected to use the money during their master's absence to make a profit for him.
  • On his return, the master summons the servants and is delighted witht he first 2, who have doubled the amount they were given. He was angry with the third who buried his in the ground. His excuse was that his master was a hard man and he was afraid of losing the money, so thought he'd keep it safe and then return it.
  • His master saw through the excuse and scolded him for his laziness, saying that atleast if he'd put it in the bank, it would have gained some interest.
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