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Cradle Catholic with a lot of questions; such as, why am I just figuring this stuff out now?

February 7, 2011

More Than One Type of Catholic Priest

Actually, there are two types of priests within the Catholic Church. This includes the diocesan priests and the religious order priests. Both have the same priesthood faculties. The fundamental differences lie in who they report to, the type of work they engage in, and their general ways of life. In addition, religious order priests take an additional vow not shared by the diocesan priests - the vow of poverty. Once they take that oath, they are totally financially supported by their religious order.

Most of us are probably more familiar with diocesan priests. These are the priests that look after the needs of their church. They are actively involved in their community and lead a parish within a particular diocese. Religious order priests belong to one of four orders, which includes the Jesuits, Benedictine, Dominican, and Franciscan orders. Superiors within the religious order provide assignments the priests. Religious order priests perform much of the missionary work of the church. While both diocesan and religious order priest teach, diocesan priests typically focus on schools associated with their parish while religious order priests staff high schools or institutions of higher learning. Overall, diocesan priests are more common than religious order priests - nearly two-thirds of priests are diocesan.

References:
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Roman Catholic Priests
College Grad.com:Roman Catholic Priests

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