What Are the Duties of a Parish Priest?

The Papal Visit states that the duties of a parish priest include presiding at Mass, giving blessings, proclaiming and explaining the Gospel, anointing the sick and absolving sinners. Furthermore, a parish priest builds up a local community of faith.

Priests are generally ordained by the bishop of the diocese in which they will serve or the religious order that they will join. When ordained, a priest makes a promise of obedience to his bishop. He is given responsibility for any of the works of a bishop or for parishes under the bishop’s authority. As a bishop’s co-worker, a priest primarily performs the mission of the Church to proclaim, teach and guard God’s word found in Scripture and authentic Catholic tradition. Aside from celebrating Mass, which is the Church’s central worship, a priest celebrates other sacraments, such as baptism, confession and marriage. He also anoints and prays for those who are sick. Moreover, priests care for, look after and govern God’s people in his parish.

Blanchardstown Parish explains that the primary duty of parish priests is to proclaim the Gospel to all, as stated by the Vatican Council II. Priests celebrate the Eucharist, celebrate marriages and funerals, and often visit sick or housebound parishioners for confession or communion.