The Church adopted the term order from its use in the Roman Empire, where it referred to a governing group. In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, there are three degrees or “orders”: bishop, priest, and deacon. The rite of ordination is the sacramental act that makes this possible. Ordination “confers a gift of the Holy Spirit that permits the exercise of a ‘sacred power’ . . . which can come only from Christ himself through the Church” (CCC, no. 1538).
All candidates for ordination in the Latin Church-with the exception of permanent deacons, who can be married at the time of their ordination-are chosen from among those who intend to remain celibate “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:12). Their celibacy is a sign of their intention to imitate Christ’s own celibacy.
Those interested in pursuing becoming a Priest can contact the Cleveland Diocese via the web at http://www.clevelandcatholicpriesthood.com or by calling (440) 943-7660.
Those interested in the Deaconate Program can find information on the web at http://www.dioceseofcleveland.org/diaconate or by calling the Deaconate Formation Office at the Center for Pastoral Leadership at 440-493-7652.