Whats the difference between a Diocesan priest and a religious priest?
A diocesan priest ordinarily serves the Church within a rather well-defined area of a diocese. He ordinarily serves the people as a parish priest, but he may also be involved in many other forms of ministry: teaching, Chaplain in hospitals, prisons, campus ministry, etc. A religious priest, on the other hand, is a member of a community, which goes beyond the geographical limits of any diocese. What’s the difference between a brother and a priest? A brother is a layman who commits himself to Christ by the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience, who lives in religious community, and who works in nearly any job: teacher, electrician, cook, lawyer, mechanic, artist, etc. A priest’s distinctive role is as minister of the sacraments: celebrating Eucharist, Baptism, Penance. He does a variety of other works as well, but sacramental life is his special ministry.
A diocesan priest ordinarily serves the Church within a well-defined geographical area (a diocese). He serves the people within that particular diocese as a parish priest, but may also be involved in other forms of ministry: teaching, chaplainry in hospitals or prisons, campus ministry, etcetera. Most diocesan priests live and work in the same diocese for most of their life. Diocesan priests make two promises: obedience to the bishop and celibacy. This means that they promise to work with the Bishop and do what he asks them to do for the needs of the people of the diocese. The promise of celibacy is both a sign of the priest’s interior dedication to Christ and a motive of pastoral charity for the sake of the kingdom and in lifelong service to God and humanity.