A priest is a man who has been configured to Christ through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
Here are some examples of what a priest does:
- Celebrates Holy Mass, baptisms, weddings, reconciliation and funerals
- Prays the Liturgy of the Hours daily
- Preaches the Gospel in word and deed
- Offers the gift of counsel to those who seek Jesus
- Shepherds a parish with its staff and volunteers
- Leads people in prayer and teaches prayer
- Teaches in Catholic schools and/or religious education programs
- Visits the sick, dying, homebound
- Witnesses to the dignity of all human life
- Calls people to a greater sense of justice
- Loves others with the love of Christ the Good Shepherd
More important than what a priest does, however, is WHO a priest IS. By definition, a priest is one who offers sacrifice on behalf of the people. Priests have existed since the earliest days of the Bible. A priest of the Catholic Church is a disciple of the Lord Jesus, who is deeply in love with Jesus, who desires to serve Christ's bride the Church at the altar, who offers the forgiveness of sins, who is called to give his life for the sake of the Gospel, and who has a devotion to Mary the Mother of God. A priest is a living witness to the reality that Jesus the Son suffered, died, and was raised up: God loves the world and desires us to live forever. Priests, although weakened by sin, are given the grace to tell the Truth of the Good News. The priest not only offers the Eucharist at the altar, he also offers his own life as a gift.