"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…It includes three degrees of order: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1536).
At ordination, the one called by God promises to embrace the disciplines of the Church more fully: promising obedience, forsaking his personal wants for the good order of the Church; promising celibacy, forsaking his own ego in favor of the Kingdom; and promising stability, remaining faithful to the People of God in his diocese of incardination throughout his life.
As long as he remains faithful to these promises, remaining faithfully in communion with the Church, he receives the permission, also known as faculties, to lead the community entrusted to him in the sacred rites of the Church, in the study of the Deposit of Faith, and in the administration of the goods of the Church through careful stewardship.
Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are nonetheless interrelated: each of them in its own special way is a participation in the one priesthood of Christ. The ministerial priest, by the sacred power he enjoys, teaches and rules the priestly people; acting in the person of Christ, he makes present the eucharistic sacrifice, and offers it to God in the name of all the people. But the faithful, in virtue of their royal priesthood, join in the offering of the Eucharist. They likewise exercise that priesthood in receiving the sacraments, in prayer and thanksgiving, in the witness of a holy life, and by self-denial and active charity. (Lumen Gentium 10)
For more information, please go to:
At the Archdiocese of Portland