The purpose of ministry, writes Fr. Maldari, is to channel the energy of the Holy Spirit through the diverse gifts in the community. Recognizing that the whole universe is sacred—a divine milieu—all ministry is sacred, too.
Ministry is ultimately cooperating with God in furthering the process of creation to its fulfillment in salvation. It also humbly recognizes human limitation and dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Fr. Maldari thus suggests that the sacrament of holy orders needs rethinking to celebrate the sacramental character of all ministries.
Donald C. Maldari, SJ is professor of theology at the Pacific Regional Seminary in Fiji, and past associate professor of religious studies at Le Moyne College in Syracuse. He has also taught theology at the Centre Pedro-Arrupe in Port-au-Prince (Haiti), and he has worked as a chaplain in a Mexican penal colony, a parish priest in Brooklyn, and the associate director of novices for the Jesuit novitiate in Syracuse.