Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.
The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. This participation is called the "common priesthood of the faithful." Based on this common priesthood and ordered to its service, there exists another participation in the mission of Christ: the ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders, where the task is to serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community. The Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only on baptized men, whose suitability for the exercise of the ministry has been duly recognized. Church authority alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.
This information as well as additional information about the Sacraments of the Church can be found at: The Vatican Website
Do you feel that you're being called by God to the holy priesthood? Congratulations on taking the next step in your discernment! Here in St. Louis, we're blessed to have Kenrick-Glennon Seminary right here in our city to form men to the holy priesthood.
Have additional questions about Holy Orders?
Holy Orders FAQ