The Origins: The priest in your parish can trace his ordination to Jesus and the Apostles. From the beginning of the early Church, the Apostles ordained successors. It is from this unbroken chain of command that the priesthood comes.
Christ Himself chose the Apostles and gave them a share in His mission and authority:
- “As the Father has sent Me, even so I send you.” (Jn. 20:21 RSV)
- “He who hears you hears Me…” (Lk. 10:16 RSV)
- “[W]hatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt. 18:18 RSV)
- “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (Jn. 20:23 RSV)
- “[Baptize] them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Mt. 28:19 RSV)
- Today, He has not forsaken His flock but He keeps it under His constant protection through His priests.