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Privileged to Proclaim the Word

by Perrin Atisha

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Discerning a call to the priesthood at Sacred Heart is more than just six-to-eight years of study. It is a journey to become more like Jesus. This call is more than just working for the Lord. It is falling in love with him.

Along this journey come beautiful installations and ordinations. The first installation is the Ministry of Lector, which is received during our second year of graduate theology. Through this ministry, the seminarians are able to proclaim the Sacred Scriptures (except the Gospels, which are reserved for a deacon or priest) during the Sacred Liturgy.

On Friday, September 23, four Theology II seminarians received the Ministry of Lector. Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hanchon of Detroit presided at the Mass and installation ceremony for Adam Nowak and Derik Peterman of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Br. Romeo Cappella, CCL, of the religious community Companions of Christ the Lamb, and Br. David Brokke, SOLT, of the religious community Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.

I asked an important question to my brothers in regards to this new ministry: How do you see the Ministry of Lector as an aid or step in your discernment and journey towards the priesthood?

Adam offered a beautiful reflection. It's an exciting step toward the priesthood, as we are given the pleasure to proclaim the Word of God at Mass. But it is also a beautiful responsibility because, as the Rite for Installation states, 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.'

We are agreeing, before the bishop, Adam continued, to truly internalize the Word of God so that, one day, we can preach his Word at Mass.

Brother David gave a notable thought. Being installed as a lector for the Church, for me, was a concrete step towards the very real possibility or inevitability of ordination to the priesthood. Though no one in my class is up for orders yet, Brother David explained, the Church is extremely wise in reminding her sons of the weight and responsibility that will soon be on their shoulders should they continue in this direction.

For me, it was a graced moment, a deeper realization that this is the life the Lord is calling me to embrace with the help of his grace."

Please continue to pray for these men as they go forward to proclaim the Word of God and further discern God's call for them.

Perrin Atisha

Perrin Atisha is a third-year theologian studying for the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle.

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.