Holy orders: Continuing the priesthood of Jesus Christ

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

What are holy orders?

The sacrament of holy orders, through apostolic succession, ordains men to serve God and His Church, bringing people the sacraments, proclaiming the Gospel, and leading the Church following the example of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. While all the baptized share in Christ’s priesthood, the ministerial priesthood shares this through the sacrament of holy orders in a unique way. There are three degrees of holy orders in the Catholic Church: Bishop, Priest and Deacon – each with a specific and special purpose.


The call to a vocation as a deacon or priest is a special process that requires much prayer, education and understanding. Admission criteria for the Diocese of Charlotte’s diaconate program and the diocese’s seminary program are:

If you feel you are being called to a life of service to the Lord and His people, you owe it to yourself to find out more. Explore the resources in our Vocations section.


Unlike the other sacraments of the Church, the sacrament of holy orders is available only to men who have been called by God to serve Him in a special way.

God’s calling to take up one’s cross and follow Him as a leader in the Church is a blessing and something to be taken seriously. There are many steps, resources, and people along the way to help you figure out if this is God’s will for you. Click here to learn more and get started.


For more information about discernment of holy orders, please see the Vocations section of our website.

This website uses cookies. By continuing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy