"The priest is above all a servant of others" Pope Benedict XVI (Sacrament of Charity, no.23)
By virtue of our Baptism, all Christians are part of a common priesthood of believers. We are all called to participate in Christ's mission. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, bishops and priests are given a special role in carrying out this mission. They exercise a ministerial priesthood. Deacons also receive a special grace through ordination and are called to assist the ministry of bishops and priests (CCC nos. 1547, 1554).
Through ordination, priests become representatives of Christ to the Church- as witnesses of holiness and love, preachers of the Gospel, shepherds of the faithful, conveners of divine worship and builders of the Church. Through their ministry, priests are called, in imitation of Christ, to 'preach good news to the poor...proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (Lk 4:18-19)' (Pope John Paul II, I Will Give You Shepherds, no. 11).
Men discerning a call to the priesthood should contact Fr. Joe O'Connor, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Syracuse.
Prayer for Vocations
O Jesus, Good and Gentle Shepherd, grant that the men and women
from our community may have the grace and the courage to hear
and answer your call to the priesthood and religious life. Give them
the wisdom to realize that life is a gift. Let them realize their life is
part of your plan. Call forth those you have chosen to spread the
Gospel message, and help them freely respond to a life of service in
the Church. May the parents and families of our parish support and
encourage our young men and women to search for, follow and
answer the call of God in their lives.