What is a Priest?
A priest is inseparably one with Christ and with the Church. By baptism he shares in the priesthood of all believers. By ordination he is given a new relationship to Christ and to the community. He becomes configured to Christ, shepherd, head, and high priest, and represents Christ to the Church and to the world. He also represents the Church in her mission to be the sacrament of salvation to the world. The priest reminds the entire community of the baptized of its call to service in the name of Christ; prophet, priest, and servant of the kingdom of God. A priest is a servant leader in the Catholic Christian community; he is called to minister in the manner of Christ who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
A priest represents the Chruch's teaching and tradition, sensitive to God's presence in His people and His movement in their history. A priest serves the local community for which he is ordained and the universal Church of Christ, one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
The mission of St. Patrick's Seminary & University is to prepare priests according to the mind of Christ and the needs of the Church in our present day. There are many aspects to this formation: personnal, social, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. The priest must ever see himself dependant on God for his life and existence, for his vocation and his priestly ministry in Christ. The Latin phrase of Father Olier, founder of the Society of Sulpice, expresses what must be an essential part of the priest's life: Vivere summe Deo in Christo Iesu, "To live above all for God in Christ Jesus."