What does a Priest do?

What a priest does originates in who he is.  A priest participates in Christ’s identity as Beloved Son, Committed Spouse of the Church, Spiritual Father, Head of the Body which is the Church, Shepherd of the flock, and Divine Healer. In Many are Called, Dr Scott Hahn explains that a priest is a spiritual father, mediator, provider, teacher, spiritual warrior, means of God’s mercy, bridegroom and brother.  The priest is given a sacred power to serve God’s people, to lead them to union with God. He does this principally by teaching the people, shepherding them through leadership, offering pastoral care and spiritual guidance and sanctifying them through the Sacraments (CCC 1592).  A priest can experience in just one day what some experience in their whole lifetime.

The Ministry of the Priest includes

  • Preaching the word of God
  • Baptizing
  • Offering the Sacrament of Confession for the forgiveness of sins
  • Offering Mass daily
  • Praying
  • Providing pastoral guidance and spiritual direction
  • Marriage preparation for couples and celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage
  • Visiting and Anointing the Sick
  • Leading the community in serving the poor
  • Commending their souls of the departed to God at the funeral Mass and accompanying the bereaved

Newly ordained Fr Joshua Miechels giving a blessing to senior seminarian Joshua Scott
Photo by Giovanni Portelli

With all these tasks, it’s easy to see why priests lead quite busy lives! Like all vocations, the vocation of the priest relies upon the grace of God to carry out what God has asked.

WATCH

A Week in the Life of a Priest

OTHER RESOURCES

St Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, Chapters 3-10, explains Christ’s priesthood

In Being a Priest Today, Fr Robert Barron speaks about why it’s a great time to be a priest (6 mins)

Banner Photo Credit: Patrick J Lee