Editor's note: Below is a version of a press release written by Dean Marshall for the recent Ministries Mass.
Saint Benedict, Ore. - As various monks and priests moved forward in procession at the beginning of the annual Ministries Mass for Mount Angel Seminary on January 29, 30 seminarians waited in joyous anticipation within the vestibule of the Mount Angel Abbey Church.
Preparing to be instituted in the ministries of Acolyte and Lector, they were taking their next steps towards ordination as priests. Presided over by the Most Reverend Jaime Soto, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, those instituted as Lectors during the Mass were exhorted in the words of the Rite to “be faithful in handing on the word of God, so it may grow strong in the hearts of his people,” as they were entrusted with the Scriptures to proclaim them in the Liturgy and to teach them to the faithful. The Acolytes in turn were encouraged in a similar Rite to “make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of his Church,” as they were appointed to assist the priest and deacon during Mass and to serve as special ministers of Holy Communion.
From the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, Brent Crowe was instituted as a Lector and Zani Pacanza was instituted as an Acolyte.
From the Diocese of Boise, Nathan Dail and Joseph Lustig were instituted as Lectors while John Kucera was instituted as an Acolyte.
From the Archdiocese of Seattle, Edward Duncan and Keefe Piper were instituted as Lectors, while Christopher Hoiland, Nicholas Pak, and Cody Ross were instituted as Acolytes.
From the St. John’s Society, Nicolás Facile and Juan Pablo Segura were instituted as Lectors.
From the Order of Discalced Carmelites, Br. Matthias Lambrecht, O.C.D. and Br. Daniel White, O.C.D. were instituted as Lectors.
From the Diocese of Baker, Víctor Manuel Mena Martínez was instituted as a Lector.
From the Diocese of Helena, Joseph Paddock was instituted as a Lector, while Cody Williams and Alex Woelkers were instituted as Acolytes.
From the Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago, Kasiano Sivia was instituted as a Lector.
From the Diocese of Sacramento, Dean Marshall and Edgardo Garcia Velázquez were instituted as Lectors, while Edgardo Garcia Velázquez and Andrés Emmanuelli Peréz were instituted as Acolytes.
From the Diocese of Las Vegas, Felipe Jiménez was instituted as a Lector.
From the Diocese of Orange, Phuong Nguyễn was instituted as an Acolyte.
From the Diocese of Oakland, Oscar Rojas Martínez was instituted as an Acolyte.
From the Diocese of San Diego, Stephen Saroki, Derek Twilliger, and William Zondler II were instituted as Acolytes.
From the Diocese of Fresno, Gonzalo Siller Ramírez was instituted as an Acolyte.
From the Diocese of Reno, Joseph Walsh was instituted as an Acolyte.
Bishop Soto conferred these Ministries on behalf of the Dioceses and Religious Orders for which these men are in formation at Mount Angel Seminary. He said to the men, “You are being invited into a parable that perhaps you do not understand,” likening the Ministries to the parables found in the Gospel. He went on to say, “Jesus is bringing you close, near and dear, so he can explain to you the mysteries of the Kingdom.” Finally, he encouraged all the men to live these Ministries in their very lives: “Proclaim the word. Place yourself at the service of the altar of Christ. Let your life tell the gospel story of Jesus in Word and Service. Let both be done with joy.”
The newly instituted Lectors and Acolytes were from 13 Dioceses located around the United States including American Samoa, as well as two different Religious Orders.
A reception was held for the new Lectors and Acolytes, visitors, faculty, and staff in Aquinas Hall following the Mass.
Established in 1889, this year Mount Angel Seminary celebrates its 125th anniversary. It is the oldest and largest Catholic seminary in the West and is currently forming and educating 154 seminarians for priestly service in 27 dioceses and six religious communities across the United States and beyond.