What Do Priests Do?

Priests do far more than celebrate Mass and pray all day.  The life of a priest is busy, demanding,challenging—and incredibly rewarding.  The vast majority of priests live happy, fulfilling lives. They love the people they serve, and in turn, are loved by their parishioners.

Teach: Priests instruct others about the faith.

Shepherd: Priests guide, unite, and encourage their parishioners.

Sanctify: Priests administer the sacraments and encourage holiness.

Individual priests have a very wide variety of tasks within the Church. There are many specialized ministries such as being a chaplain, working at the diocesan offices, or teaching in a seminary.  But the majority of priests serve in parishes. Their duties include:

 

  • Celebrate Mass and preach the Gospel
  • Lead a parish of Catholic Christians
  • Bring new members into the Church through Baptism
  • Hear Confessions and provide spiritual direction
  • Help teens and young adults come to know Christ
  • Prepare couples for marriage and counsel married couples
  • Teach people how to pray
  • Feed the poor, visit prisons, and advocate for justice
  • Counsel people going through difficult times
  • Visit the sick in hospitals and anoint them for healing
  • Perform funerals and bury the dead
  • Manage the temporal affairs of the parish
  • Pray daily for the People of God