Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.” (CCC 1536) Diaconate “Deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service of the Church; they do not receive the ministerial priesthood, but ordination confers on them important functions in ministry of the word, divine worship, pastoral governance, and service of charity, tasks which they must carry out under the pastoral authority of their bishop.” (CCC 1596) The diaconate program in the Diocese of Lexington is a five year program, and begins at various yearly intervals. Ministerial Priesthood “The Ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi), divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendi). (CCC 1592) The program of study for the ministerial priesthood varies in length, but usually includes a four year college degree, and four additional years of theological study. These requirements vary depending on the courses taken during the four year degree program. The Diocese of Lexington has an Office of Vocations. It can be reached at ichooseyou.com for more information.