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Ordained Ministry

The one ordained ministry in the Catholic Church has three forms. It is constituted by the ministries of bishop, presbyter (priest), and deacon. These three dimensions of ministry have been a part of the order of the Church from early in the church’s history.

The Second Vatican Council emphasised an understanding that the ministry of the bishop has the “fullness of order”. The bishop’s ministry is articulated in the three dimensions of preaching, sanctifying and governing of the local Church (diocese). All bishops of the Catholic Church with the Pope represent the communion of the Church.

The other two forms of ordained ministry are related to the bishop’s ministry of unity and collaborate with the bishop in the service of the church and its mission.

The presbyter and deacon find their identity in Jesus’ ministry, but are given their authority to serve through the bishop’s apostolic ministry. The presbyter is usually the principal leader of a parish community, and participates in the priesthood of the bishop’s ministry grounded in Christ’s priesthood.

What has become known as the permanent Diaconate since Vatican II was a form of ministry that faded from the Church in the West for some centuries. However, Vatican II restored this form of the ordained ministry. The deacon participates in the service dimensions of the bishop’s ministry, and grounds its spirituality in Christ the servant.


By virtue of our Baptism, we are all called by God for some work in the world to continue Jesus’ mission to build God’s kingdom. Some of us are also called to minister within the Church itself to help the rest of the community to worship God and to support them in their work in the world. To hear God’s call to this kind of vocation is not always easy and we are here to help you discern you call as best we can.

If you would like to talk to someone about a vocation to the priesthood, religious life, or even as a lay ecclesial minister, please contact Fr Joseph at 3357 6058.

If you would like information about exploring a vocation as a Friar of Holy Spirit Province please email: vocations@franciscans.org.au

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