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Tuesday, May 12, 2009
To proclaim Christ to the world and convince others that Jesus is God with us.
“To proclaim Christ to the world and convince others that Jesus is God with us, then you must first be people who listen to His voice, for it is His Word you proclaim, not your own.”
On Monday evening, thirty five men, and I am honored to be included in that number, were instituted as “Readers.” This Rite of Institution took place during Holy Mass, in a beautiful Roman Catholic Church in Northern New Jersey. We have now finished the third year of a five year program. We are on the move towards diaconal ordination, God willing…
During the Rite of Institution, we all approached the Bishop, who was seated at the front of the altar holding the Bible. Each of us, in sets of three, knelt down at the foot of the Bishop and placed our hands on the cover and pages of the Sacred Scripture. The Bishop then recited these words “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.” We answered “Amen.”
The service was absolutely beautiful. Joining us were many of our family members and close friends. My lovely wife Mary, my son and daughter-in-law, were there to give me support. Also, my second family, the Missionary of Charity sisters, and my fellow MC volunteers, Diana, Debbie, John, Peter, Ed, were all there for me. And my dear friend Marie, a Lay Missionary of Charity, drove all the way from Long Island. Marie, you are awesome! And of course my huckleberry friend, Father John – I can always count on him. Many priests and deacons attended the Mass. Deacon Tom from my home parish came – it was great to have him there. He is a deacon’s deacon! Immediately after Holy Mass, all the priests and deacons came up to us, shook our hands and patted us on the back. It was a real family atmosphere.
Thank you Lord for all the good you put into my life!
The Missionary of Charity Sisters gave me a beautiful hand-made congratulations card. I would like to share a part of it with you, my blog audience, and all my candidate brothers, now Ministers of the Word.
If you have a shared experience, please feel free to share with your comments..