The Pontifical North American College

February 2, 2018

Lector Installation 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018 was a memorable day for forty-one men from the First Year class at the College as they were instituted as Lectors. The College was honored to welcome Their Eminences James Cardinal Harvey and Edwin Cardinal O’Brien, and over thirty concelebrating priests for the occasion. Together, these men processed into the Immaculate Conception Chapel and knelt down in prayer and preparation. They now go forth to serve the Church as Lectors. It was a simple, brief ceremony in comparison with an ordination, but it marked a significant step towards the priesthood. The new Lectors received their first official public ministry, which the Church grants them to proclaim the Scriptures during the liturgy.

His Eminence Kevin Cardinal Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, was the celebrant of the Mass. One by one, these men stood to declare their willingness to serve and then knelt before the Cardinal to receive the Lectionary during the Rite, as the Cardinal instructed them: “Take this book of Holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of his people.”

In his homily, Cardinal Farrell drew upon three examples of Lectors in Scripture: Samuel, most notable for his ability to listen before proclaiming the Word of God; Paul, who embodies the integrity of the Word he proclaims by his just actions; and John the Baptist, who directs his entire being to the Person of Jesus Christ and leaves his own ideas aside. The Cardinal’s words were a good reminder to all in attendance to renew their lives in faith, to preach most effectively by bearing Christ in their daily lives, “as Mary did so perfectly.”

The joy in the College was tangible, from the many well wishes exchanged throughout the day to congratulatory signs pasted on seminarians’ doors. But most of all, it was an exciting day for the College as the new Lectors will now be able to practice their new ministry during liturgies at the College.