About the Priesthood

"…God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength." CCC1

A call to a priestly life is best understood by considering who a priest is. He is a man of faith and prayer called to be a church minister; he proclaims the Word of God; he administers the sacraments; he lives celibately as servant-leader; he builds a parish community that works to bring healing, justice, and holiness to all. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, baptized men are consecrated in Christ’s name “to nourish the Church with the word and grace of God.”

The priest stands as a sacramental witness of the presence of God in the world. This vision of priestly life is lived each day in the parishes of the Diocese of Sacramento and the diverse institutions which serve the needs of the people of California. The Diocese is part of a tapestry of ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity. Diocesan priests work in this challenging mosaic of humanity.

Requirements to be part of the tradition of the priesthood are understandably high. Emotional maturity, good health, intelligence, a deep and prayerful commitment to serve God and His people are essential. Seminaries provide the necessary tools, formation, and direction to be an effective priest for the Church and the Diocese of Sacramento once a man has recognized the call to priestly life.

Through the process of discernment, one discovers God’s will for his life. A man exploring the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood, diaconate or a religious order can find assistance through the Office of Priestly & Religious Vocations. A discernment test can be helpful in knowing the next step to take.