By virtue of our Baptism, all Christians are part of a common priesthood of believers. We are all called to participate in Christ’s mission.
Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, bishops and priests are given a special role in carrying out this mission. They exercise a ministerial priesthood. Deacons also receive a special grace through ordination and are called to assist the ministry of bishops and priests (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], nos. 1547, 1554). Pope Benedict XVI writes, “The priest is above all a servant of others” (Sacramentum Caritatis [Sacrament of Charity], (no. 23). In gathering the community, modeling Christ’s love for the poor, presiding at Eucharist, and evangelizing social realities, ordained ministers help Christians imitate Christ’s mission of love and justice.