Sixty-Eight Lectors Installed
Sunday, January 10, 2016 was an important day for sixty-eight men from the first and second year classes at the College. And it was an impressive sight. Together, they processed into the Immaculate Conception Chapel and knelt down in prayer and preparation. One by one, they stood to declare their willingness to serve and then knelt before the Archbishop to receive the Lectionary. One and all, they will 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 Excellency, the Most Reverend Paul R. Gallagher, Secretary for the Relations with States in the Vatican, was the celebrant of the Mass and during the Rite presented each candidate with the Lectionary, the book containing liturgical readings from Holy Scripture. While doing so, he 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, Archbishop Gallagher reminded the seminarians that they are to clearly, intelligibly, and boldly proclaim the Word of God so that it may be heard by all, both literally in the manner in which they speak, and also as a matter of integrity in how they live their lives in witness to what they proclaim. He noted that this is an important first step in their public life in the Church, being mandated and charged by the Church for the task of proclaiming God’s Word, and that the other ministries they receive on the way to priesthood build on this first public step.
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.