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Vocations to


Ministries of the Baptized and Confirmed

“My dear candidates for confirmation, by your baptism you have been born again in Christ and you have become members of Christ and of his priestly people. Now you are to share in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit among us, the Spirit sent by the Lord upon his apostles at Pentecost and given by them and their successors to the baptized.”

—from The Rites of the Catholic Church

There are as many ways to live out ones baptism and confirmation as the Holy Spirit brings about. For example, two 20-somethings from St. Robert are serving in mission experiences overseas. Several members of our community see their professions in education and health care as ministry. Others see their engagement in formal parish ministries (such as singing in a choir, serving on parish council, or bringing food to a local food pantry) as living out their baptismal call. The challenges and joys of parenting, being a good neighbor, or taking care of an aging parent are additional ways we can live out our call through baptism and confirmation to “share in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit” for the sake of the world. How has the Holy Spirit called you?
In referring to the lay baptized faithful, “lay” does not mean “uneducated.” It comes from the Greek word “laos” or “people,” namely the people of God.

Quick facts:
"Baptism" comes from a Greek word meaning “to plunge”
“Chrism,” the consecrated oil used in confirmation is related to the word “Christ,”
meaning “anointed one.”

Christian Marriage

“My dear friends, you have come together…so that the Lord may seal and strengthen your love in the presence of the Church’s minister and this community. Christ abundantly blesses this love. He has already consecrated you in baptism and now enriches and strengthens you by a special sacrament so that you may assume the duties of marriage in mutual and lasting fidelity.”
—from The Rite of Marriage

Some members of the Body of Christ are called to Christian marriage. “Married love is an eminently human love because it is an affection between two persons rooted in the will and it embraces the good of the whole person,” teach the bishops who gathered at the Second Vatican Council (Gaudium et Spes, #49). Marriage is meant to be faithful, fruitful, and lasting for life, for the benefit of all.

Marriage preparation at St. Robert
Worldwide Marriage Encounter
Additional resources on Christian marriage

Lay Ecclesial Ministry

“Ministry in the Church continues the ministry of Jesus through the ages and throughout the world. Continually, the Spirit calls forth new ministries and new ministers to serve evolving needs, as the history of the Church shows. In our time lay ecclesial ministers have emerged, men and women working in collaboration with bishop, priests, deacons, and other laity, each responding to the charisms bestowed by the Spirit.”

—Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord (US Catholic Bishops, 2005), p. 26

Some members of the Body of Christ are called to formal church ministry or “lay ecclesial ministry.” These are professionally trained lay people who help coordinate certain ministries of the church (such as liturgy, social justice, and catechesis). Lay people are entrusted with leading certain prayers (such as the Liturgy of the Word and Distribution of Communion here at St. Robert), while ordained ministers are entrusted with presiding at most sacraments.

For more information about lay ecclesial ministry in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, click here
National Association for Lay Ministry
St. Clare Center at Cardinal Strich University

Quick facts:
“liturgy” comes from a Greek word meaning “the work of the people”
“catechesis” comes from a Greek word meaning “to echo”

Ordained Ministries


“The bishops, in as much as they are the successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord, to whom all power is given in heaven and on earth, the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all may attain salvation through faith, Baptism, and the observance of the commandments.”

—Dogmatic Constitution on the Church or Lumen Gentium, #24

A call from among priests is the coordinating or “overseeing” of the ministries within a local church (diocese). Bishops oversee the teaching, sanctifying, and governing of a diocese. Together bishops form synods or conferences, and for more information about the US Catholic bishops, click here. For information on the bishops of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee click here.

The Pope or “Successor of Peter” is “a lasting and visible source and foundation of the unity both of faith and of communion” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church or Lumen Gentium, #18). For more information about Pope Benedict XVI click here.

Quick facts:
“bishop” comes from the Greek word “episkopos,” meaning “overseer”
“pope” comes from the Greek word “pappas,” meaning “father”


“The Father anointed our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. May Jesus preserve you to sanctify the Christian people and to offer sacrifice to God.”

—from the Rite of Ordination of Priests

Some members of the Christian faithful are called by their local community and by God to be priests (also called “presbyters”). Priests work with bishops and the lay faithful to help celebrate the sacraments, preach the Gospel, and administer parishes (or other ministries). For more information about becoming a priest, please visit and
Fishers of Men video

Quick fact:

“priest” comes from the Greek word “presbyter,” meaning “elder”


“At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’ The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.”

—Acts 6:1-7 (New American Bible)

Some members of the Christian faithful are called to the ordained ministry of the deaconate. The word “deacon” comes from the Greek word “diakonos” meaning “servant.” Often the words “minister,” “servant,” and “deacon” are interchangeable translations of “diakonos” in the New Testament. Deacons, like some lay people, are entrusted with visiting the sick and imprisoned and teaching the Christian faith. Deacons are also entrusted at times with the sacramental responsibilities of proclaiming and preaching the gospel, baptizing, and witnessing marriages.

More about being a deacon

Vowed Religious Life

“The teaching and example of Christ provide the foundation of the evangelical counsels of chaste self-dedication to God, of poverty and of obedience.”

—Dogmatic Constitution on the Church or Lumen Gentium, #43

One of your favorite saints or one of your favorite teachers might have been a member of a religious community. Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, and Benedictines are examples of the many communities of vowed religious within the church. For a list of religious communities in the Milwaukee area for women click here. For a list of religious communities in the Milwaukee area for men click here.

Additional Links
How Do I Know?       Vocation Ministers of the Milwaukee Archdiocese
Serra Club                  Supporting vocations to religious life
Emerging Models     Emerging Models of Church Leadership


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