The Sacrament of Holy Orders
"This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, so that he may serve as Christ's instrument for his Church. By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet and king." (CCC 1581)
A man who is called by God to leave everything to serve Him begins his preparations for the priesthood by spending a number of years in prayer and study in a seminary. A seminary is a college of learning supported by the local diocese to provide the necessary preparation for the priesthood. The name of the seminary for the Archdiocese of Toronto is St. Augustine's Seminary. It is located on Kingston Road in Scarborough.
There are three orders of ordination:
- the deaconate (deacon)
- the presbyterate (priesthood)
- and the episcopate (bishop)
In the deaconate there is the permanent deaconate made up of men who may even be married and who are called by God to this state, and the transitional deaconate, which is a temporary stage which a man passes through on his way to be ordained to the priesthood. Bishops are priests who have been appointed by the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, to be the head or the auxiliary to the head of a particular diocese. The fullness of Holy Orders resides in the Episcopate. There are particular duties that belong to each one of the orders, and only a bishop can ordain.
The name of our Parish Priest is Father Jim Hannah. The name of the Archbishop of Toronto is Archbishop Thomas Collins. It is important to pray for our priests and bishops who lead us.
In the Archdiocese of Toronto, ordinations to the deaconate happen in January and ordinations to the priesthood happen on Mother's Day in May at St. Michael's Cathedral. The Sacrament of Holy Orders confers an indelible mark on the soul of the deacon, priest or bishop. The bishops descend from the twelve apostles and it is from the bishops that a Pope is elected.