What is a Diocesan Priest?
A Diocesan Priest is called to serve the People of God in a local area, called a diocese, in collaboration with and under the guidance of the Bishop. The priest is a compassionate and understanding leader of the community who walks with the faithful as they seek to live the Gospel. The diocesan priest’s ministry helps to build the Body of Christ in the parishes for the glory of God and the good of the world.
The Priestly Ministry
Diocesan priests are a called to minister in many different ways in order to meet the spiritual needs of their people. Priests celebrate the sacraments, proclaim the Gospel, work as God’s loving hand of forgiveness and mercy, challenge God’s people to deeper discipleship, counsel those who need guidance, and comfort those who need consolation. Priests minister in our parishes, but also in our hospitals, jails, and schools. They work with parish organizations and clubs, teachers, students, business professionals, and counselors. The ability to accomplish all of this comes from the grace of God in the sacrament of Holy Orders and from training in seminary.
Priesthood in the Archdiocese of San Antonio is both exciting and challenging. The Church in this part of Texas is growing rapidly and experiencing constantly changing needs. Most Catholics here are Hispanic, which necessitates learning the language and traditions of this people in order to more effectively minister. There are also Polish, German, Czech and other communities who live in both the rural and urban areas. There is a large military population, as well as many people in the medical, educational and service fields. The men called to the priesthood here need to have the vision, energy and dedication to respond to this dynamic ministry.
Qualities of a Candidate for the Priesthood
- A love for the Catholic faith
- A personal relationship with God
- A generous desire to help other people
- A desire to help make God’s love, truth, and will known in our world
- A capacity and desire to learn and develop himself spiritually, mentally, physically, culturally, and pastorally
- A healthy sense of self
- A genuine respect for and ability to work in collaboration with other people
- Openness to other cultures and ethnic groups
- The courage to take risks
- The desire to stand for the truth and to stand up for the voiceless in a loving way