USML | The Life of a Priest

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The Life of a Priest


“A priest engages in people’s lives at the most memorable times: baptisms, weddings, anointing of the sick and funerals; celebrates the Eucharist with the Parish; and helps people reconcile with God and community through sacramental forgiveness in Christ’s name.”

Explore More About the Life of a Priest…

Celebrates Mass
A priest offers the sacrifice of the mass and brings comfort and meaning to modern day life in his homilies.

Engages in People's Lives
A priest is present at the most memorable times, both joyful and sorrowful, in baptisms and weddings, funerals and hospital visits.

Reconciles People with God
A priest forgives sin through the sacrament of Reconciliation, bringing healing and reconciliation with God and community.

Other Parish Work
Prays the Liturgy of the Hours and private prayers. Assists in feeding the poor in his neighborhood. Provides spiritual direction, listening and counseling. Teaches catechism and prepares youth for sacraments. A diocesan priest is primarily a parish priest, but he can also be assigned full-time to a specific ministry in the life of the Church, such as teaching or being chaplains for hospitals, colleges, police or fire department.

Rector, Author, Speaker, Theologian
Fr. Robert Barron is an acclaimed author, speaker and theologian. He is the Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary/St. Mary of the Lake University and the  Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture and also is the founder of Word On Fire (www.WordOnFire.org). Fr. Barron is the creator and host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking ten-part documentary series and study program about the Catholic faith. He is a passionate student of art, architecture, music and history, which he calls upon throughout his global travels in the making of the documentary.

Police Chaplain
Fr. Joseph Mol, has been police chaplain for the Hickory Hills police department for over four years. Their first one. He goes out on patrol with the guys once a month and is also on call. "For example," he says, "where there’s a domestic disturbance or a teen drug problem, if the people want to talk with somebody, I’ll invite them into the station.” He listens and refers them for anger management or other social service resources. He smooths the rough spots for them. At the station he visits all the departments as a morale check.

College Chaplain 
Fr. Patrick Marshall has been director and chaplain of the John Paul II Newman Center at University of Illinois at Chicago since 1991. There are 25,000 students with 60 percent from Catholic families. He says, "Obviously they don’t all participate. This age group often doesn’t feel a connection with their families. So we make a big effort to get to know everybody’s name. It’s a lot of personal interaction. We go into the dormitories and get to know them personally, eat with them or have lunch at the student union with them. We have retreats. You really build a sense of community. We deal with crisis counseling or spiritual direction, but we also have a Catholic studies program."


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