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Sacred Rituals: Chaldean Seminarians Advance toward the Priesthood

by MOSAIC Editorial Team

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The Chaldean Catholic Church was blessed with four ordinations on Sunday, December 4, at Holy Cross Chaldean Church in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Most Rev. Francis Y. Kalabat, bishop of the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle, received Perrin Atisha and Rodney Abasso as Lectors and Bardeleon Jaddou and Fadie Gorgies as Subdeacons.

Holy Cross Church was packed with people excited to see four Chaldean men, all seminarians at Sacred Heart, advancing towards their call to the priesthood. There were many symbolic practices throughout the ordinations that were beautiful and full of inner meaning.

Perrin and Rodney walked into the church carrying in their hands an alb and cincture, symbolizing putting off the old self and preparing to put on the new life. (The alb is a long white tunic; the cincture a rope-like belt.) The Lector ordination calls for the cutting of the hair of the one to be ordained. Bishop Kalabat cut a portion of hair from the heads of Perrin and Rodney, a ritual that symbolizes the old habits and sins being cut off. The bishop then vested the men in their albs and placed their cinctures around their waist, while asking the Lord to send down his purity upon them.

In the ordination to the Subdiaconate (the next rank up from Lector), Bardeleon and Fadie received a stole, or long liturgical vestment similar to a scarf, that Bishop Kalabat draped around their shoulders. The stole symbolizes the authority given to them by Christ, through the Church, to assist at the altar and liturgical functions. This ordination leads to the temporary diaconate ordinations in April 2017 and priestly ordinations the following year.

It is always a great joy to see seminarians coming closer to the priesthood. Ordinations are a great time to promote vocations and encourage others to take leaps of faith to come closer to the Lord in their own pilgrimage of holiness and service.

The Lord is always calling, but are we listening?

MOSAIC Editorial Team

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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.