The theology of the Catholic priesthood is rooted in the priesthood of Christ and to some degree shares elements of the ancient Hebraic priesthood as well. A priest is one who presides over a sacrifice and offers that sacrifice and prayers to God on behalf of believers. The ancient Jewish priesthood which functioned at the temple in Jerusalem offered animal sacrifices at various times throughout the year for a variety of reasons.

In Christian theology, Jesus is the Lamb provided by God himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Before his death on the cross, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples (the Last Supper) and offered blessings over the bread and wine respectively, saying: "Take and eat. This is my body" and "Drink from this all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:26b-28 Jerusalem Bible). The next day Christ's body and blood were visibly sacrificed on the cross.

Catholics believe that it is this same body, sacrificed on the cross and risen on the third day and united with Christ's divinity, soul and blood which is made present in the offering of each Eucharistic sacrifice which is called the Eucharist. However, Catholicism does not believe that transubstantiation and the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist involves a material change in the 'accidental' features: i.e. under normal circumstances, scientific analysis of the Eucharistic elements would indicate the physical-material properties of wine and bread.

Thus Catholic priests, in presiding at the Eucharist, join each offering of the Eucharistic elements in union with the sacrifice of Christ. Through their celebration of the Holy Eucharist, they make present the one eternal sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Catholicism does not teach that Christ is sacrificed again and again, but that "The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice." Instead, the Catholic Church holds the Jewish concept of memorial in which "..the memorial is not merely a recollection of past events....these events become in a certain way present and real." and thus "...the sacrifice Christ offered once and for all on the cross remains ever present."Properly speaking, in Catholic theology, expressed by Saint Thomas Aquinas, "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers."Thus, Catholic clergy share in the one, unique, Priesthood of Christ.

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"Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel"!
(1 Cor 9:16)

Salesian Constitutions art. 43
"We work in the social communication sector. This is a significant field of activity which constitutes one of the apostolic priorities of the Salesian mission.…


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"Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel"!
(1 Cor 9:16)

Salesian Constitutions art. 43
"We work in the social communication sector. This is a significant field of activity which constitutes one of the apostolic priorities of the Salesian mission. Our Founder had an instinctive grasp of the value of this means of mass education, which creates culture and spreads pattersn of life; he showed great originality in the apostolic undertakings which he initiated to defend and sustain the faith of the people. Following his example we utilise as God's gift the great possibilities which social communication offers us for education and evangelisation".

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