The virginity of Mary is often spoken about in reference to the lives of consecrated religious. But along with the witness of St. Paul and that of our Lord, himself, it also finds a correlation with priestly celibacy. Mary is the virgin who conceives and gives birth to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. By giving life to Jesus she is making possible the life of the world. Similarly, the celibate priest is called, “Father,” because he is a spiritual parent. The priest consecrates and makes Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament by the power of the Holy Spirit. As one who is specially configured to Christ, he makes Jesus present as the bread of life and, again, the life of the world.
Never had God given such responsibility to human beings as he had to the Holy Family and later to his bishops and priests. It is for this reason that the Western Church has preferred that its clergy manifest a single-hearted love of God and a service undistracted by a spouse and personal family. In her later years, Mary too had to go on without her faithful protector, Joseph. Priests have the support of the believing community, but in a real sense they also embrace an aloneness for the kingdom.
Mary was never ordained a priest, but there is a sacerdotal element in her life that resonates with the priesthood.