The Sacrament of Holy Orders

"With a heart filled with gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ, I repeat that the Eucharist 'is the principal and central raison d'être of the sacrament of priesthood, which effectively came into being at the moment of the institution of the Eucharist'." - Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003.



All of Christ's faithful share in a common priesthood through baptism. From among them, the Church calls and ordains men to share specially in Christ's priesthood. In the Old Covenant, even though Israel was a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6), the Lord called certain men to a special priestly ministry (Exodus 19:22). In the New Covenant, even though Christians are a kingdom of priests (1 Peter 2:9), Jesus calls certain men to a special priestly ministry (Romans 15:15-16).


This Sacrament is called Holy Orders. Through it priests are ordained and thus empowered to serve the Church (2 Timothy 1:5-7) as pastors, teachers, and spiritual fathers who heal, feed, and strengthen God's people—most importantly through preaching and the administration of the Sacraments.

At Epiphany Parish, young men who would like to learn more about the priesthood should feel free to visit with the pastor. The Diocese has an annual retreat for those discerning a priestly vocation called Emmaus Days, in two sessions (for those aged 18+ and for younger men). The Sacrament of the Holy Orders is celebrated in Peoria by Bishop Daniel Jenky.



More information about Holy Orders can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1536-1600).

A Plenary Indulgence is granted to the faithful who devoutly assist a priest's first Mass, and to the priest celebrating his first Mass under the usual conditions.


New seminarian Nathan Hopper and Epiphany graduate said he is grateful to the people of the Diocese of Peoria for their support and prayers, and he continues to pray for them in return. 

Current Epiphany Seminarian

Nathan attended Epiphany Catholic School and then Normal Community High School. Becoming an active member of Epiphany’s LifeTeen program, “I was blessed to develop a real passion for the faith and an understanding of how it can be integrated into daily life,” he said.

After graduating as valedictorian from Normal Community High School in 2012, Hopper went to Illinois State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in accounting.