Through the sacrament of Holy Orders priests share in the universal dimensions of the mission that Christ entrusted to the apostles. The spiritual gift they have received in Ordination prepares them, not for a limited and restricted mission, “but for the fullest, in fact the universal mission of salvation ‘to the end of the earth,’ ” “prepared in spirit to preach the Gospel everywhere.”
What is ordination?
Through prayer and the laying on of the bishop’s hands, ordination consecrates men called to serve Christ and His Church in the ministry of Word and Sacrament.
What grace does God give in ordination?
Ordination confirms the gifts and calling of the candidates, conveys the gift of the Holy Spirit for the office and work of bishop, priest or deacon, and sets them apart to act on behalf of the Church and in the name of Christ.
It is true that someone validly ordained can, for grave reasons, be discharged from the obligations and functions linked to ordination, or can be forbidden to exercise them; but he cannot become a layman again in the strict sense, because the character imprinted by the Holy Spirit in Ordination is for ever. The vocation and mission received on the day of his Ordination mark him permanently.