THE SACRAMENTS

Holy Orders

The man who is ordained receives a gift of the Holy Spirit that gives him a sacred authority that is conferred upon him by Christ through the bishop. He receives a definitive power and a mission for his brothers and sisters in faith. [YOUCAT 249]

In the Upper Room during the Last Supper, Christ commissioned the Apostles equipping them with a sacred authority to serve the faithful; these ordained priests represent Christ as pastors – shepherds – of his people and as head of his Body, the Church.   (YOUCAT 259)

A Catholic priest who administers the sacraments acts not on the basis of his own power or moral perfection (which unfortunately he often lacks), but rather “in persona Christi”.  Through his ordination the transforming,  healing, saving power of Christ is grafted onto him.  Because a priest has nothing of his own, he is above all a servant.  (YOUCAT 250)

“Priestly ordination is administered as a means of salvation, not for an individual man, but rather for the whole Church.” St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

See also www.rcdow/vocations