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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, presbyterate, and diaconate.
This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, so that he may serve as Christ’s instrument for his Church. By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet, and king. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1536, 1538 & 1581).
Only a baptized man may validly receive this sacrament. This sacrament is not one that is sought or one that a man has a right to receive. No one has a “right” to receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders for it is an office to which the man is called to by God.
Any man who feels that God is calling him to discern a vocation to the Permanent Diaconate or the Priesthood should make an appointment with our parish priest by calling St. Mary’s Parish Office at 301-627-3255. More information on the Priesthood can be found at www.dcpriest.org.