What Do Priests Do?

Never a Dull Moment

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.

Priests 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 huge 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:

• 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
• Work with teens and young adults
• 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
• Pray daily for the People of God

Read more: Signs of a priestly vocation