Holy Orders

Religious  Education

St. Mary Catholic Church encourages members to discern vocations to the priesthood or religious life. Those discerning consencrated life will work in close contact with the Office of Vocations at the Diocese of Lansing. For more information on the sacrament of Holy Orders (transitional and permanent deacons, priests, and bishops), please contact Father Peter Clark at our parish or contact the diocese at:

Fr. John Linden
Director of Seminarians
Diocese of Lansing
300 W. Ottawa Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: 517-342-2507

Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the “one mediator between God and men.” The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, “priest of God Most High,” as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique “high priest after the order of Melchizedek”; “holy, blameless, unstained,” “by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified,” that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross.

The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ’s priesthood: “Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers.” – CCC 1544 – 1545

There are three “levels” of holy orders. Deacons are ordained to the ministry of the Gospel. They can marry couples, baptize, preach the Gospel, give homilies, serve as minister of the cup at Communion, and aid with the social ministry of the parish. Priests offer Mass, are extraordinary ministers of the Sacrament of Confirmation, anoint the sick, and hear confessions. Bishops preside over their priests and flocks and are princes of the Church. The Holy Father is the bishop of Rome and the first among his brother bishops.

Those who are consencrated to lives as religious brothers, sisters, single life, and other vocations play an important role in the Church, but they do not have the sacrament of holy orders.