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Bishop leads celebration of rite of lector and acolyte at St. Rose

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James Cantella stands before Bishop Michael Fisher as he receives his lectionary. A dozen men preparing for the permanent diaconate were welcomed into the ministries of lector and acolyte at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Buffalo on March 6.

On March 6, Bishop Michael Fisher joined the candidates in diaconate formation and their families to celebrate the rites of lector and acolyte at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Buffalo. This celebration came as part of a formation weekend for the permanent.

Kevin Barron, Todd Bowman, James Cantella, William Coker, Martin Hackford, Thomas Labelle, John Phillips, John Rhein and Anthony Vilardo received the rite of lector in their second year of formation. In the rite, Bishop Fisher presents the Sunday Lectionary to each man and proclaims, “Take this book of Holy Scriptures and be faithful in handing on the word of God so that it may grow strong in the hearts of His people.” An instituted lector is one who reads the lesson from sacred Scripture, except the Gospel, in the Mass and in other sacred celebrations.

Candidates in their third year of formation, Mark Bialkowski, Timothy Haley and Andrew Mical, received the rite of acolyte. An acolyte is someone who, will process in and out with the priest at Mass. In this duty one may carry the cross or the book of the Gospels. The acolyte may assist with the usage of incense during various parts of the Mass. Within the rite, Bishop Fisher presented each candidate with a paten and said, “Take this vessel with bread for the celebration of the Eucharist. Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of His Church.” 

The lay ministries of lector and acolyte were established by Pope Paul VI in 1973 with the apostolic letter “Ministeria Quaedam.” They are to be given to all candidates for holy orders. These ministries are also open to male laity not aspiring to become a priest of deacon.

Anyone who feels a calling to become a permenant deacon is encouraged to talk to a deacon in their local area, their parish priest, and give a call to Deacon Tim Chriswell, director of the permanent diaconate, to learn more about this this ministry. 

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