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Catholic Priest


A priest is a minister of Divine worship, and especially of the highest act of worship, sacrifice. In this sense, every religion has its priests, exercising more or less exalted sacerdotal functions as intermediaries between man and the Divinity.

The Christian law has necessarily its priesthood to carry out the Divine service, the principal act of which is the Eucharistic Sacrifice , the figure and renewal of that of Calvary (cf. Heb., v, 1: "for every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God , that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins").

In the Catholic sense this priesthood has two degrees: the first, total and complete, the second, an incomplete participation of the first. The first belongs to the bishop. The bishop is truly a priest ( sacerdos ), and even a high priest ; he has chief control of the Divine worship ( sacrorum antistes ), is the president of liturgical meetings; he has the fullness of the priesthood, and administers all the sacraments. The second degree belongs to the priest ( presbyter ), who is also a sacerdos , but of the second rank; by his priestly ordination he receives the power to offer sacrifice (i.e. to celebrate the Eucharist), to forgive sins, to bless, to preach, to sanctify, and in a word to fulfill the non-reserved liturgical duties or priestly functions. In the exercise of these functions, however, he is subject to the authority of the bishop to whom he has promised canonical obedience; in certain cases even he requires not only authorization, but real jurisdiction, particularly to forgive sins and to take care of souls.



When a Priest becomes Pastor� The term Pastor denotes a priest who has the cure of souls ( cura animarum ), that is, who is bound in virtue of his office to promote the spiritual welfare of the faithful by preaching, administering the sacraments, and exercising certain powers of external government, e.g., the right of supervision, giving precepts, imposing light corrections -- powers rather paternal in their nature, and differing from those of a bishop, which are legislative, judicial, and coactive. A pastor is properly called a parish-priest ( parochus ) when he exercises the cure of souls in his own name with regard to a determined number of subjects who are obliged to apply to him for the reception of certain sacraments specified in the law.

What is a Priest of the Diocese of Quilon? : - A priest who commits himself to and is ordained for service of God's people in a definite geographical area (a diocese) is called a diocesan priest. In addition to serving the day-today needs of people in parishes, diocesan priests may also serve in a variety of other capacities such as teachers, social workers, ecclesiastical advisors, chaplains for hospitals or prisons, or in diocesan administration.

What does a diocesan priest of Quilon do? The ministry of each priest depends somewhat upon his particular interests and skills and the needs of the diocese. A diocesan priest spends much of his time preparing for and celebrating the Sacraments.

Each day sometime is set-aside for personal, private prayer. Visiting the sick, visiting people in their homes and working with the various parish and neighborhood organizations are all part of his ministry. A diocesan priest must also be available to people when they have special needs. He is also a spiritual leader in the community. Along with his parishioners, he addresses issues that touch all members of the community, particularly those who are abandoned and forgotten. He is frequently involved in individual counseling like marriage problems, parent �teenager problems, drug problems or just life in general.

Priests who are pastors are responsible for all ministry provided by the parish and for the administration of the parish. Like anyone else, a priest must also find some rest and relaxation when he can do things he enjoys. He needs also to be supported by others and ongoing formation for fulfilling his ministry with greater satisfaction.

(Courtesy: Catholic Encyclopedia, CDPI.COM)
© 2005 ++ Quilon Diocese++. All rights reserved

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