Lector Installation 2019
A solemn and joyful ritual punctuated this year’s 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time as forty-one New Men at the Pontifical North American College received the ministry of Lector on January 20th 2019. Bright rays shined through tall windows on the chilly winter morning before the Installation Mass, as the class of men lined the corridor alongside the Immaculate Conception Chapel and considered their call to warm the hearts of future parishioners with God’s Word. Acolytes, deacons, concelebrating priests and their Eminences Edwin Cardinal O’Brien and James Cardinal Harvey followed into the sanctuary, as the choir lead the college in an entrance hymn and the main celebrant, His Excellency George Lucas, Archbishop of Omaha, prepared to incense the altar.
After the Liturgy of the Word, Archbishop Lucas conferred the Ministry of Lector on each man by successively placing the Sacred Scriptures in their hands and voicing the Church’s instructions to, “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.” Each sounded off a resolute “Amen” as they became instituted Lectors, officially designated to read the Scriptures in the liturgy.
Archbishop Lucas shared a word of his own after he kindly thanked the men for “accepting the call to this ancient ministry of service to the Church.” In his homily he told them, “The Word of God is alive, it needs to be heard, and it cries out to be heard.” But, he noted, “if it is going to be heard, it needs a human voice; it needs your voice…When you come to worship, we want to hear the Word proclaimed: Now we will want to hear it from you.” The homily helped impress on the new Lectors and those gathered to support them what a humbling call it is to be deputed with giving voice to words inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The seminary community greeted the Lectors with cheers afterwards in the refectory before beginning a celebratory brunch. The Rector, Very Rev. Peter Harman, began the meal by give a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving to Our Lord for continuing to bless our Church and beloved College as he asked for grace for these men to grow into priests after the heart of Jesus Christ.