What is a Priest?
A priest is inseparably one with Christ and with the Church. By baptism
he shares in the priesthood of all believers. By ordination he is given a
new relationship to Christ and to the community - he becomes configured
to Christ, shepherd, head, and high priest, and represents Christ to
the Church and to the world. He also represents the Church in her
mission to be the sacrament of salvation to the world. The priest
reminds the entire community of the baptized of its call to service in
the name of Christ prophet, priest, and servant of the kingdom of God. A
priest is a servant leader in the Catholic Christian community; he is
called to minister in the manner of Christ who "came not to be served
but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
O Jesus living in Mary,
come and live in your servants:
in the spirit of your holiness,
in the fullness of your might,
in the truth of your virtues,
in the perfection of your ways,
in the communion of your mysteries.
Subdue every hostile power,
in your Spirit
for the glory of the Father.
A priest represents the Church's teaching and tradition, sensitive to
God's presence in his people and his movement in their history. A priest
serves the local community for which he is ordained and the universal
Church of Christ, one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
The mission of St. Patrick's Seminary is to prepare priests according to
the mind of Christ and the needs of the Church in our present day.
There are many aspects to this formation: personal, social, spiritual,
intellectual, and pastoral. The priest must ever see himself dependent
on God for his life and existence, for his vocation and his priestly
ministry in Christ. The Latin phrase of Fr. Olier, founder of the
Society of St. Sulpice, expresses what must be an essential part of the
priest's life: Vivere summe Deo in Christo Iesu, "To live fully to God
in Christ Jesus."
1608 - 1657
Founder of the Society of St. Sulpice