Skip Navigation LinksHoly-Orders

Home > Sacraments > Holy Orders

Holy Orders

Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his Apostles continues to be exercised in the church. It includes three degrees: diaconate, presbyterate and episcopate. 

Episcopal consecration of a bishop confers the offices of sanctifying, teaching and ruling. Priests are consecrated to preach the Gospel and to shepherd the faithful, as well as to celebrate the divine liturgy. 

Deacons share in Christ’s mission and grace. Among other tasks, deacons assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity.

Learn more at

Michael Kerlin, a 20 year old parishioner at St. Joseph's, will enter the Mercedarian Friars (Order of Mercy of the Blessed Virgin Mary) as a postulate in Philadelphia, beginning in January, 2020.   The Order, which also has houses in Ohio and Florida as well as internationally, began in the 13th century in Spain to help prisoners by the Turks gain solace and release.  The postulancy is a 1 to 2 year period of discernment common to all religious orders.  During this time Michael will have the opportunity to live in a community with the Friars, have formation classes to learn about the Order and it's charism, and participate with the Friars in their apostolic work in the Philadelphia area.  For more information on this religious order, go to their website at

Aidan Kerlin, a 19 yr. old at St. Joseph's and brother of Michael, began his studies in college seminary at St. Mark's Seminary in Erie, PA, as a seminarian for the Diocese of Greensburg.  He is majoring in Philosophy as a freshman student at Gannon University. Aidan and the other seminarians at St. Mark's live in community at the seminary where they pray, share meals together and have formation classes. Their academic work is completed at the university.  As part of the seminary formation, Aidan and the other seminarians also perform apostolic works.  This year Aidan assists with an after school program for school children from Erie every Thursday.  Aidan is under the supervision of a rector and vice rector at the seminary, and also has economic advisors, a spiritual director, and shares a confessor with the other seminarians.  In the summer, Aidan will return to help Fr. Sam with the parishes.  Fo more information on th seminar, go to their wbsite: