Catholics in the United States refer to what is known as a parish priest in other English-speaking nations as a "pastor." Parochus is the Latin term used in the Code of Canon Law. The parish priest is the competent clergyman in charge of the congregation given to him by the parish. He leads them in prayer and acts as an intermediary with God on their behalf.
There is no fundamental difference between a priest and a pastor. In fact, both are priests who have been ordained to specific duties within a church community. A priest may have responsibilities within a single church or multiple churches. However, in most cases he will serve under a bishop who has overall responsibility for administering the spiritual life of the diocese or parish. Although primarily male roles, women have performed religious rites and rituals throughout history. Currently, several female priests are employed by Catholic churches in countries such as Canada, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, and Brazil.
As for pastors, they work within autonomous ecclesiastical provinces of bishops who oversee the daily operation of their churches under certain guidelines. Pastors are usually appointed by the bishop to lead one or more congregations within that province. They may have responsibilities beyond Sunday worship including serving as a spiritual guide for parishioners and providing counseling and other services to those in need.
In general terms, priests and pastors perform very similar functions within their respective church communities.
Most people refer to a "pastor" as a professional Christian religious leader (a clergyman or clergywoman!). In other terms, the "clergy" are those individuals who are regarded as religious authority by both their denominational tradition and their congregation. Typically, they are ordained ministers of the Gospel who have been assigned to lead a church community in matters of belief and practice.
Pastors usually lead small groups of people - often referred to as a church family - in faithfulness toward God and others. They may be employed by a larger organization (such as a parish), or may work independently. Pastoring can be a very rewarding career path for those who feel called to it, but it also requires many responsibilities that may not always fit easily with personal time schedules.
Clergy include priests and pastors. A priest is a person ordained to perform certain holy rites and functions within a religion or faith system. A pastor is a priest who is responsible for overseeing a church community.
A minister is a person ordained to preach the word of God and administer the sacraments. A priest may not hold this function simultaneously, but a pastor usually does. There are different titles used for specific roles within churches. For example, a bishop is a senior cleric who leads a diocese, while a archbishop is the head of a large archdiocese.
A pastor is a fully ordained priest in charge of a parish in Catholicism. A Catholic deacon is an ordained minister who can give sermons, proclaim the Gospel, serve as an ordinary minister of the Eucharist, perform weddings, and perform ceremonial baptisms. For some, it is a step toward the priesthood. Others see it as a service to the church with no implication of any greater dignity or status. In many cases, priests will have their names added to buildings and churches to indicate their relationship to the bishop.
In addition to their role at Mass, pastors are responsible for the spiritual guidance and development of their people. They may also have a role in disciplinary matters, though this depends on local custom and law. Pastors are usually appointed by bishops and usually require ordination to the priesthood to be formally declared eligible for appointment. However, in certain circumstances they may be nominated by other clergy or laity without going through the process of ordination.
Deacons are usually ordained priests but are not required to be. They share with priests the responsibility of administering the sacraments and preaching. However, unlike priests, they do not have a direct role in governing churches or communities. Rather, they assist the bishop or other priests in this task. Deacons cannot marry nor are they permitted to have children. However, this is not a requirement and some priests are married or have families. Women can be ordained as deacons although this is uncommon.
A priest (from Greek presbyteros, "elder") is an official or ministry in several Christian churches who serves as a liaison between a bishop and a deacon. In some denominations, priests are also called ministers. A priest generally does not hold any sacerdotal title such as "father" or "bishop", but rather he is simply called by that functionary office. In other words, a priest is anyone who has been ordained to the office of minister.
In most denominations, priests are men and they are selected by their local bishops. However, in certain denominations such as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church, women can be selected as priests. In addition, some groups within Christianity have chosen not to select any female clergy members but instead call all clerics "priests". These include some Eastern Catholic Churches that follow the Byzantine Rite and others that follow the Roman Rite.
The role of a priest varies from church to church but usually includes leading services, visiting hospitals, serving food at homeless shelters, acting as a spiritual guide, and more. Each denomination has its own guidelines for what it means to be a good priest or minister. Generally speaking, though, a priest is expected to have a strong faith himself and to lead others in prayer and meditation.
What additional words can you use to describe a parish priest?
The term "pastor" is derived from the Latin noun pastor, which means "shepherd," and the verb pascere, which means "to bring to pasture, put to grazing, induce to eat." The title "pastor" also refers to an elder's duty in the New Testament and is synonymous with the biblical definition of a minister. A pastor is one who guides a church or community of believers.
In the New Testament, a pastor is someone who leads a church or congregation. He is called by God to lead his people in prayer and to teach them His will for their lives. The New Testament uses several terms to describe the office of pastor: shepherd (John 10:11), ezer k'phat (Isaiah 41:14), good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21), plank in Christ's ship (1 Peter 4:17), pillar of the church (1 Corinthians 3:15).
In the Old Testament, the role of pastor is described as that of a priest before Israel entered the promised land. The priests led worship and offered sacrifices on behalf of the people. They taught them the law and administered justice. Above all, they guided them through times of trouble by providing spiritual comfort.
Pastors are expected to be leaders among their people. They are called to exercise sound judgment and discipline those under their care. They are responsible for the spiritual growth of their flock by teaching them about Jesus Christ and by leading them in prayer.