At Pontifical North American College, Rome, Bishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, OP., presents seminarian Max Vetch, the Lectionary during his Institution to the Ministry of Lector, on January 16, 2022.

Max is a Theology I seminarian at the school. He is studying to be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rapid City. His parents are David and Sara Vetch of St. Mary Parish in Aberdeen, S.D.

“’Before anyone may be promoted to the diaconate, whether permanent or transitory, he must have received the ministries of lector and acolyte, and have exercised them for an appropriate time’, so that he may ‘be better disposed for the future service of the word and the altar’. In fact, the Church ‘considers it to be very opportune that both by study and by gradual exercise of the ministry of the word and of the altar, candidates for sacred orders should through intimate contact understand and reflect upon the double aspect of the priestly office. Thus, it comes about that the authenticity of the ministry shines out with the greatest effectiveness. In this way the candidates come to sacred orders fully aware of their vocation, ‘fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, constant in prayer and aware of the needs of the faithful’ (Romans 12:11-13)’”. This quote from the Vatican document on the Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons points to the importance of this gradual process in preparing men for ordination to the priesthood or diaconate.

Let us continue to pray for seminarian Max Vetsch with these words addressed to him during the Rite for Institution of Lectors:

“Dear sons in Christ,

Through his Son, who became man for us, God the Father has revealed the mystery of salvation and brought it to fulfillment. Jesus Christ made all things known to us and then entrusted his Church with the mission of preaching the Gospel to the whole world.

As readers and bearers of God’s word, you will assist in this mission, and so take on a special office within the Christian community; you will be given a responsibility in the service of the faith, which is rooted in the word of God. You will proclaim that word in the liturgical assembly, instruct children and adults in the faith and prepare them to receive the sacraments worthily. You will bring the message of salvation to those who have not yet received it. Thus, with your help men and women will come to know God our Father and his Son Jesus Christ, whom he sent, and so be able to reach eternal life.

In proclaiming God’s word to others, accept it yourselves in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Meditate on it constantly, so that each day you will have a deeper love of the Scriptures, and in all you say and do show forth to the world our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Then all stand, and the bishop, without his miter, invites the faithful to pray:

“Brothers and sisters,
let us ask God our Father
to bless these servants
who have been chosen for the Ministry of Lector.
Let us pray that they may be faithful
to the work entrusted to them,
proclaim Christ to the world,
and so give glory to our Father in heaven.”

(PNAC Photo Service)

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