The life of a priest is busy, demanding, challenging—and incredibly rewarding. In addition to administering the sacraments and leading prayer, they love the people they serve, and in turn, are loved by their parishioners.
Teach: Priests instruct others about the faith.
Shepherd: Priests guide, unite, and encourage their parishioners.
Sanctify: Priests administer the sacraments and encourage holiness.
The Making of a Catholic Priest
A Sacred Ministry to God's People
“The faithful expect only one thing from priests: that they be specialists in promoting the encounter between man and God. The priest is not asked to be an expert in economics, construction or politics. He is expected to be an expert in the spiritual life.”
– Pope Benedict XVI
Individual priests have a very wide variety of tasks within the Church. There are many specialized ministries such as being a chaplain, working at the diocesan offices, or teaching in a seminary. But the majority of priests serve in parishes. Their duties include:
- Celebrate Mass and preach the Gospel
- Lead a parish of Catholic Christians
- Bring new members into the Church through Baptism
- Hear Confessions and provide spiritual direction
- Help teens and young adults come to know Christ
- Prepare couples for marriage and counsel married couples
- Teach people how to pray
- Feed the poor, visit prisons, and advocate for justice
- Counsel people going through difficult times
- Visit the sick in hospitals and anoint them for healing
- Perform funerals and bury the dead
- Manage the temporal affairs of the parish
- Pray daily for the People of God