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. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate. Today the word "ordination" is reserved for the sacramental act which integrates a man into the order of bishops, presbyters, or deacons, and goes beyond a simple election, designation, delegation, or institution by the community, for it confers a gift of the Holy Spirit that permits the exercise of a "sacred power" (sacra potestas) which can come only from Christ himself through his Church. Ordination is also called consecratio, for it is a setting apart and an investiture by Christ himself for his Church. The laying on of hands by the bishop, with the consecratory prayer, constitutes the visible sign of this ordination.
The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers." The ministerial priesthood has the task not only of representing Christ - Head of the Church - before the assembly of the faithful, but also of acting in the name of the whole Church when presenting to God the prayer of the Church, and above all when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice (CCC 1536, 1538, 1545, 1552).
The Diocese of Lake Charles has several programs to assist young men who are discerning a call to the priesthood or diaconate. The Director of Vocations, Rev. Msgr. Daniel Torres, Vicar General, can be reached at 337-439-7400, extension 220. You can write to: Diocese of Lake Charles, P. O. Box 3223, Lake Charles, LA 70602-3223. Or you can e-mail to email@example.com.
Additionally, Vocation Recruiters assist Msgr. Torres with helping men to discern God’s call to priesthood and the diaconate. These recruiters are listed below:
Rev. Jeffrey Starkovich, Vocation Recruiter
Very Rev. Marcus Johnson, Vocation Recruiter (St. Louis Catholic High School)
Rev. Susil Fernando, Vocation Recruiter
Rev. Nathan Long, Vocation Recruiter
Director, Vianney House (Discernment house for men considering entering seminary)
Director, Vocare (Special discernment group that meets periodically to pray and discern)
337-439-7400, Ext. 308