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. Holy Orders in the Catholic Church includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. The Church regards ordination as a Sacrament. In the phrase “Holy Orders,” the word “holy” simply means “set apart for some purpose.” The word “order” (ordo, in Latin) designates an established civil body or corporation with a hierarchy, and ordination means legal incorporation into an ordo. In context, therefore, a Holy Order is simply a group with a hierarchical structure that is set apart for ministry in the Church.
If you are contemplating a vocation to the priesthood, diaconate, or religious life, please contact any our parish priest for guidance, or contact the Diocesan Office for Vocations at: firstname.lastname@example.org.