The calling of candidates during the Mass for the Rite of Institution of Lectors by alumnus Bishop Deeley of Portland included 18 seminarians from 10 different dioceses. They were reminded, “The lector is appointed to read the Word of God in the liturgical assembly with the exception of the Gospel. To prepare himself fittingly for this ministry, let him meditate assiduously on Sacred Scripture.” Benjamin Schrantz, a first-year pre-theologian, reflected on the meaning of this event: “The process of being instituted as a lector was a very exciting and humbling experience. It is a great blessing to be able to participate in the liturgical life of the Church; I see it as a valuable part of my priestly formation and a significant step towards my ongoing discernment of God’s call.”
This large and joy-filled group professed their commitment as lectors and made way for the calling of candidates in the Institution of Acolytes, another sizable group of 13 men from 8 dioceses. They, too, had reflected on their milestone commitment: “The acolyte is appointed in order to aid the deacon and to minister to the priest, especially in the celebration of the Mass. He also distributes Holy Communion as an auxiliary minister and under proper conditions may publicly expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration. He should learn all matters concerning public divine worship and strive to grasp the inner spiritual meaning so that he may offer himself entirely to God in service of the Mystical Body of Christ, especially as manifest in the weak and the sick.” Second-year pre-theologian James Buttner was particularly thankful for the focus of the homily preceding the Institution: “The Bishop’s words about the responsibility associated with the role of acolyte resonated with me in a particular way. His guidance challenged me to be dutiful in my service at the altar as a server and on the occasions that I will serve as an extraordinary Eucharistic minister to the sick or homebound.”
Family and friends of the lectors and acolytes were invited to celebrate this waypost on the path of formation and discernment with the TC community during a convivial reception in Olier Hall following the Mass.