A priest is an vocation within the Catholic and Orthodox Churches that involves performing Masses (and various other sacraments) for the laity, the collection of tithes, and distribution of alms for the poor. The priest is also be expected to notify people of messages from both secular and Church authorities.
In period priests were often quite important figures in a given locality, as only priests could administer the sacraments and were exempt from secular law. The latter played a significant factor in the death of Thomas Becket.
Priests are subordinate to bishops.