The Byzantine Catholic Priesthood
The priest proclaims the "Good News" of salvation to the world and leads God's people in worship. He touches people's lives at the most intimate personal moments, both joyful and sorrowful.
The priest shows people how Christ's life is relevant to their own. He answers the question, "How do I live out my faith today?"
Through his ministry, Jesus Christ meets his people in the sacred mysteries (sacraments). He gives new life in baptism; he invigorates life through chrismation (confirmation); he sustains life through the Eucharist; he restores life in holy repentance and holy anointing. The priest serves as an icon of Jesus Christ as he satisfies their daily needs.
Above all, the priest is a man of prayer. By his ordination, the priest's most important role is in celebrating the Divine Liturgy (Mass).
Nevertheless, his private prayer is essential. The priest must nourish an intimate relationship with the Jesus Christ about whom he speaks, teaches and preaches.
Men who enthusiastically articulate their living faith are a great treasure to the church.
Any call by God stirs deeply within one's soul. Every baptized Christian is called to walk with his brothers and sisters on their journey to the Lord. God calls some men to serve His Church as priests. Proclaiming God's word, celebrating the mysteries and shepherding the flock to which he himself belongs, the priest lives the call he experienced.
Why not? We’re all searching for meaning and fulfillment in life. For a Christian, life's meaning comes from serving God. The priest serves God’s people as a leader in liturgy and ministry, as a brother Christian and a spiritual father. Maybe it's the perfect choice for you.
If you feel God might be calling you to be a priest, visit the seminary. The seminary is the best place to discern God's authentic will for your vocation.
Even going to the seminary is not a final decision to become a priest. That's why there are four years of seminary.
You may imagine the seminary like a large, stone edifice where men walk around in long black robes praying and fasting. You’re right! It is that, but it’s actually a lot more.
Seminary formation involves body, mind, and soul. Seminarians take classes in Eastern Catholic theology, sacred Scripture, church history, pastoral care and counseling, and other subjects. They also enjoy sports and recreation.
Most importantly, the seminarian prays. He learns how to pray liturgically and privately. In short, he learns how to accomplish his life's work: to become like Jesus Christ.
So if you’re considering the priesthood, above all, don’t get discouraged. God always gives you the grace to do what He asks you to do.
For more information about the seminary, please contact Father Joseph Raptosh, dean of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, (412) 321-8383.
Dear Byzantine men,
The priesthood is for heroes. The past few years the Catholic priesthood in America came under vicious attack. Now more than ever the church needs courageous, faithful, honest and passionate men to be the living icon of Jesus Christ in a world that desperately needs to see His face and to hear His voice.
So, why be a priest? Isn’t the priesthood a routine sort of life without any real excitement and with no real challenges? After all, you serve the liturgies of the church. You preach, and isn’t that about it?
Hardly! Priesthood offers you numerous exciting and challenging opportunities. You offer the sacred mysteries (sacraments) to the faithful and enter the mystery of each individual’s life. You share the joy of a bride and groom on their wedding day, and you celebrate with a husband and wife at the birth and Initiation of their child. You suffer with the sick and their family, and you grieve with loved ones as they lay their departed to rest.
You counsel the people who look to you when their marriage is faltering, when they’re struggling with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, pornography or illicit sex, or when they’re coping with the loss of a job, a home, or a loved one. You never know whose life you may touch and in what way. God works in you and through you.
People look to you as a beacon of hope because of what you preach and the way you live. To shine brightly you must live passionately.
Above all, priesthood demands a radical commitment of your whole life. Priesthood demands continuing growth in holiness for your own sake and for the sake of the people of God.
So, if you’re a man with a deep personal relationship with God, who loves your Byzantine Catholic Church and its teachings, respects other people, works well with others, and has the courage to take risks and voice an unpopular view, maybe the priesthood is for you.
Please spend some time exploring this site, and if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to talk with you. Above all, continue to pray, and be assured of my prayers for you. “Be not afraid!”Sincerely yours in Christ,
Very Rev. Archpriest Dennis Hrubiak
Director of Vocations
If you’re a man with a deep personal relationship with God, who loves your Byzantine Catholic Church and its teachings, respects other people, works well with others, and has the courage to take risks and voice an unpopular view, maybe the priesthood is for you.
Be sure to stay close to the holy mysteries (sacraments). Find a spiritual father and tell him you're considering priesthood. Pray every day. Continue to serve your parish. If you do these things and still think you might have a vocation to the priesthood, it's probably time to contact Father Dennis Hrubiak, director of vocations for the Eparchy of Parma, (216) 741-8773 x232.