Holy Orders | OLM
7 Holy Sacraments of the Catholic Church

Holy Orders

One of the Seven Holy Sacraments of the Catholic Church

When Called by God ...

Priests and Deacons: Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ, the "common priesthood." The ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders differs from the "common priesthood" because Holy Orders confers a sacred power for the service of the People of God. Ordained ministers serve by teaching, divine worship and pastoral leadership. The Church confers Holy Orders only on baptized men who receive the fullness of the sacrament. Brothers are religious men who live in a religious community, and they have not taken Holy Orders as a priest (i.e., ordained). Monks are religious men living in a religious, monastic community, and they may be either ordained priests or not. While deacons do not receive ministerial priesthood, ordination confers on them important functions including ministry of the word and the service of charity. The sacrament is conferred by the laying on of hands and a solemn prayer of consecration. Ordination imprints an indelible, spiritual mark on the soul.

Sisters and Nuns: While many use the terms "sister" and "nun" interchangeably, in the Catholic Church a nun resides in a clositered monastic community while a sister actively serves her ministry in a local community. Whether a sister or nun, the women undergo formation, a 2-year spiritual journey of reflection, prayer, celibacy, and poverty. They then take final vows with a religious order or community to live simple, chaste lives and to be obedient to the will of God.

When Called to be a Roman Catholic priest

Becoming a Catholic priest is a long-term process beginning with a sense of a divine call to religious life, long reflection, deep prayer and a rigorous education. The Catholic Church describes priestly formation as calling for profound, prayerful personal, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral development.

To learn more,
visit Catholic Vocations
or Fr. Bill at the Parish Office

When Called to be a Roman Catholic sister or nun

Becoming a Catholic nun or sister is a 2-year process that begins with a sense of being called to religious life.

To learn more,
visit Catholic Vocations
Convent at OLM by calling 310.456.6156

or contact
Parish Office
or call 310.456.2361.