Our Diocesan Seminary of the Holy Spirit, Harris Park, continues to go from strength to strength. On site, there is a lot of building work going on to provide new accommodation for the increasing number of young men pursuing a priestly vocation in the diocese.
Irrespective of all the distraction, the seminarians are undeterred in fulfilling their path to ordination.
On Sunday 20 September 2015, two of them were installed as Lectors at St. Margaret Mary’s Church, Merrylands, by Emeritus Bishop Kevin Manning. For Adam Carlow and Matthew Dimian, becoming Lectors is a significant step in following their vocation. The first step is entering the Seminary. The steps that follow involve: becoming a Lector, then an Acolyte, being accepted for Candidacy for the Diocese, followed by ordination to the Diaconate and finally to the Priesthood.
The word ‘Lector’ is from the Latin word, ‘legere’, which means ‘to read’. As Lectors, Adam and Matthew become official Ministers of the Word of God. It will be their task to proclaim the non-Gospel readings during the Church’s liturgies. Lectors can be seen as ministers at the Altar of the Word just as Acolytes can be seen as ministers at the Altar of Christ’s Sacrifice.
In order to fulfil this ministry of Lector as effectively as possible, Adam and Matthew will now dedicate themselves to taking Sacred Scripture as their way of life. In proclaiming the Scriptures to their brothers and sisters in Christ, they become part of the process of God’s revelation to His people, an office that has to be undertaken with great reverence.
Consequently, it will be part of their duties to study the Scriptures seriously, to meditate on the implications of what they learn there, and to contemplate the great mysteries of our faith that are contained there. Not a bad second step for someone who wishes to dedicate their whole life to Christ.
The mass was celebrated by Emeritus Bishop Kevin Manning and I concelebrated with Father Janusz Palwic OSPPE and Father Peter James Strohmayer OSPPE. The other seminarians served alongside Brother John and Brother Zachary, who are students with the local community of hermits.
The parishioners of Merrylands joined in the celebration of Mass and treated Adam, Matthew, and their guests to an elaborate morning tea afterwards, for which all were very grateful.
It is hoped to keep you informed of yet another major seminary event toward the end of the year, when some of the seminarians will take yet another step forward by becoming Acolytes.
Fr John Hogan is the Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary, Harris Park.