A priest’s primary responsibility is to pray for the people entrusted to his care and for the whole Church. The prayers of the Divine Office, personal prayer, practice of devotions root a priest in the divine origin of his vocation. Central to his life, is the celebration of the Eucharist, the source and summit of our life. The parish priest today is someone who is a bridge between divine realities and the questions in the hearts and minds of his people.
During the weekends, a parish priest celebrates Mass, and if he is the only priest in the parish, this often means more than one Mass. Baptisms and weddings are celebrated during the weekends; the time to prepare for these Sacraments usually weeks, even months in advance. During the week, a priest will work with different church groups in promoting the life of the parish. There are many parishioners whom he visits, those who are ill, those who are dying, and those who are unable to travel outside their homes. Sometimes, he is directly involved in the catechetical work of the parish and teaches catechism classes. He works with parish and finance councils that assist him in overseeing the welfare of the parish.
A priest may also serve the diocese in a variety of ways other than parish work. He may be assigned to a mission, or to a campus ministry center. He may serve as chaplain at a military base, hospital, or prison. In addition, he may be called to assist in a particular diocesan office, such as the Vocations Office, Marriage Trinbunals, or other ministries that serve the People of God.