By our baptism we are called to service within the Church. Living the values of the historical Jesus, the Christ of our faith, calls us to act and serve in concrete ways in the world. In the rite of Baptism we are anointed “Priest Prophet and King.” It is primary to all Christians. Actions that find their meaning in our baptism are called ministries. We do ministry because of who we are. Ministries that stem from our baptism include liturgical activities (in the assemblies) and service roles in the life of the parish. The call to ministry is constant in a parish. A parish is as alive and vibrant as the response of its members to the call to ministry.
Each parish has a written or unwritten mission. The mission is realized through objectives, goals and actions. To realize its mission the parish requires openness on the part of its membership to respond to the needs. Sometimes parishioners may see a need and simply do it. Sometimes parishioners we may have particular interests and discern through the help of leadership if this interest is a good fit to the gifts he or she has. Sometimes parishioners simply offer themselves and allow the parish to discern where the call may best fit. Sometimes we are called forth and recognized by the community and we simply respond, “Yes, Lord.”
Religious life represents a way of life that witnesses to the Gospel by living special relationships with others in a group and with a particular charism. Religious also serve in ministries contribute collectively and individually to service and leadership in the Church. In our parish we have a number of Religious women. Of the ministries that stem from our baptism are the particular roles known as Holy Orders, or “ordained ministries”. These include deacon, priest and bishop. Each one called to ordained ministry is called forth by the community to this role of service and responsibility that is defined according to particular services the community empowers to this role. Deacons can be married or be in transition to priesthood. Deacons are held responsible to preside at the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage, the Sacrament of Baptism, prepare and deliver homilies, bless, preside at Liturgies of the Word, assist a presiding priest at Eucharist and may hold other responsibilities as needed in a parish or other organization of the Church and the secular world. Priests are responsible for all that is given to the deacon in addition preside at the Sacraments of Eucharist, Reconciliation and The Sick. Like the deacon, the priest may hold may hold other responsibilities as needed in a parish or other organization of the Church and the secular world. Bishops are given the responsibilities included in the role of the deacon and priest with the addition of the responsibility to preside at the Celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Orders and Confirmation. Bishops, like the deacon and the priest, may hold other responsibilities as needed in a parish or other organization of the Church and the secular world.