Holy Orders

  • The Sacrament of Holy Orders

    In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, or Ordination, the one being ordained vows to lead other Catholics by bringing them the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), by proclaiming the Gospel, and by providing other means to holiness.
    Do this in memory of Me.   (Luke 22: 19)

    They appointed presbyters for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith.   (Acts 14: 23)

    They chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.  They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them.  (Acts 6: 5-6)


  • Parish Guidelines

    Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders -- as a deacon, priest or bishop -- are consecrated in Christ's name "to feed the Church by the word and grace of God."

    If you feel that God may be calling you to serve Him and His Church as a priest, permanent deacon, or in the consecrated religious life, please speak with the parish priest or contact the Diocesan Office for Vocations at 412-456-3123, or by e-mail at vocations@diopitt.org.


  • What the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about Holy Orders

    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. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.   (CCC 1536)

    "The divinely instituted ecclesiastical ministry is exercised in different degrees by those who even from ancient times have been called bishops, priests, and deacons." Catholic doctrine, expressed in the liturgy, the Magisterium, and the constant practice of the Church, recognizes that there are two degrees of ministerial participation in the priesthood of Christ: the episcopacy and the presbyterate. The diaconate is intended to help and serve them. For this reason the term sacerdos in current usage denotes bishops and priests but not deacons. Yet Catholic doctrine teaches that the degrees of priestly participation (episcopate and presbyterate) and the degree of service (diaconate) are all three conferred by a sacramental act called "ordination," that is, by the sacrament of Holy Orders: Let everyone revere the deacons as Jesus Christ, the bishop as the image of the Father, and the presbyters as the senate of God and the assembly of the apostles. For without them one cannot speak of the Church.   (CCC 1554)