“I will go to the altar of God, to God, the joy of my youth.”
“Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry.” (CCC 1536)
Christ instituted the ministerial priesthood to be a share in His ministry, to extend His healing mission and the preaching of the Kingdom of God into all time and places. Holy Orders, therefore, imparts a special grace upon its recipients to teach, govern, and sanctify as Christ Himself does, participating in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ.
Within the Sacrament of Holy Orders, there are degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate. Each of these degrees exercise their ministry in different ways for the building up of the Kingdom of God. The bishop, for his part, possesses the fullness of the Sacrament. Priests are ordained to be co-workers in the Lord’s vineyard, sharing with the faithful the graces of the Sacraments and exercising the ministry of preaching. Finally, deacons (permanent and transitional) are ordained into a ministry of service, aiding the bishop and his priests especially in their care for the sick and the poor.
Men feeling called to the Sacrament of Holy Orders and interested in learning more are encouraged to speak to a priest, either by contacting the parish office at 217-522-3342 or seeking the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.