Sacrament of Holy Orders

Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the mission entrusted by Christ to His apostles continues to
be exercised in the Church until the end of time. The Sacrament’s three degrees (Episcopate,
Presbyterate, and Diaconate) are conferred as follows:

Bishops (Episcopate) receive the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, which integrates them into
the Episcopal college and makes them visible heads of the particular Church entrusted to them. As
successors of the apostles and members of the college, the bishops share in the apostolic
responsibility and mission of the whole Church under the authority of the Pope.

Priests (Presbyterate) are united with the bishop in sacerdotal dignity and called to be the bishop’s
prudent co-workers in the exercise of their pastoral functions. They gather around their bishop who
bears responsibility with them for a particular church. They receive from the bishop the charge of a
parish community or determinate ecclesial office.

Deacons (Diaconate) are ordained into the ministry of service to the Church. Deacons do not receive
the ministerial priesthood, but ordination confers on them the functions of the Ministry of the Word,
Divine Worship, and Service of Charity under the pastoral authority of their bishop. (CCC 1536, 1595,

For additional information on the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or for consecrated religious life for either
men or women, please contact the pastor or call the Vocation Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis at