Holy Orders is the Sacrament through which men receive from God the grace to perform the sacred duties Christ entrusted to His Church. The Twelve Apostles were the first priests and bishops of the Church. Through the ages men have been ordained as bishops and priests by the laying on of hands to continue the mission of Christ and His Church. The priesthood is a call from Christ to live in a relationship with Him by serving His people. Christ chose certain followers (the apostles) to continue his work on earth until the end of time. The priesthood is an extension of this and is a continuation of the work of Christ in the world today. God calls specific people to serve in his name in the midst of the community.
In the early Church, the order of Deacon was created to assist the priest in the mission and service to the Christian community. (Acts 6:2-6) Today, deacons help the priest at the celebration of Mass, the baptism of children, the witnessing of marriage, and the celebration of funerals. They are ordained to serve and care for the needs of the Church's faithful as well as the poor, the sick, and marginalized of the world. The permanent diaconate is often comprised of married men. Through a call from God and affirmed by the local bishop these men assist in parishes.
For more information contact the Diocese of Fort Worth Vocations Office.