Introduction to the PriesthoodA Diocesan Priest typically serves the Church within a defined geographical area called a Diocese and is directly accountable to the local Ordinary (Bishop). At ordination the newly ordained makes a promise of obedience to the bishop and the bishop’s successors and he recommits his promise of celibacy made during his ordination to the Diaconate ("Transitional" Diaconate). The Diocesan Priest usually serves the people of God as a Parish Priest, but may also be involved in other forms of ministry such as education, chaplaincy in a hospital or a prison, campus ministry, the Diocesan Curia, etc. While Diocesan priests do not take a vow, or make a promise, of poverty, he is called to live an exemplary life of living modestly with the gifts and resources that have been entrusted to him.
A Religious Order Priest is a member of a religious community which goes beyond the geographical limits of any diocese. He seeks to live a vowed life within a community of men for mutual support and the accomplishment of some work. There is an emphasis in the community on shared ideals, prayer, and commitment to Christ. Religious priests work in a wide variety of ministries. There are numerous Religious Orders throughout the world and each has their own Charisms or Gifts they offer the Church. Religious Order Priests may be involved in missionary work, teaching, science, retreats, and parish ministry.