Holy Orders


Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaco­nate. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1536)

Priests are united with the bishops in sacerdotal dignity and at the same time depend on them in the exercise of their pastoral functions; they are called to be the bishops’ prudent co-workers. They form around their bishop the presbyterium which bears responsibility with him for the particular Church. They receive from the bishop the charge of a parish community or a determinate ecclesial office. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1595) To learn more about becoming a priest for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, please contact Reverend Dan Schmitmeyer, the Archdiocesan Director of Vocations.

Deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service of the Church; they do not receive the ministerial priesthood, but ordination confers on them important functions in the ministry of the word, divine worship, pastoral governance, and the service of charity, tasks which they must carry out under the pastoral authority of their bishop. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1596) To learn more about becoming a deacon for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, please contact Deacon Mark Machuga, the Archdiocesan Director of the Diaconate.