A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
Authorized service of God in the service of others, according to specified norms revealed by Christ and determined by the Church. In Catholic usage the various forms of ministry include these features: 1. service of God, who is glorified by the loving service given to others; 2. authorization by the Church's hierarchy, whether the Pope directly or the local ordinary; this authorization may require ordination, as in the priestly ministry, or consecration, as in the priestly ministry, or consecration, as in religious life; or liturgical blessing, as with lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion; 3. based on the teaching of Christ, who showed by word and example how to minister to people's spiritual and temporal needs; and 4. under the guidance of the Church in accordance with her directives and decrees.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.