"The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variation it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures and spiritual attitudes." (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1603)
"The matrimonial covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament." (Code of Canon Law, 1055)
Information about marriage preparation can be found here.
Ordination to the priesthood or diaconate is a gift and call from God. “Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers.” (CCC, no. 1549)
Priest – appointed by the local bishop to the pastoral care of a parish or other diocesan ministries, the priest promises obedience to the bishop in service to God’s people. More information can be found here.
Deacon – from the Greek diakonia, meaning servant; dedicated to the Church’s social and charitable endeavors, deacons are involved in the liturgical and pastoral life as well. More information can be found here.
While not recognized as sacraments, vowed religious life and lay ecclessial ministry are also seen as vocations.
Lay Ecclessial Ministry
Lay men and women have been undertaking a wide variety of roles in Church ministries for many years. In certain areas they are entrusted with responsibilities for leadership in particular areas of ministry and are in close mutual collaboration with the pastoral ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons. These men and women serve in parishes, schools, diocesan agencies, and Church institutions.
More information can be found here at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Vowed Religious Life
Through prayer, life in community & ministerial work that keeps the community’s charisms alive, a member of a vowed religious community is able to bring the love of God / the Word of God to life!
The Diocese of Grand Rapids is blessed with representatives of various religious communities of women. More information is available here.