Six seminarians installed as Reader, two as Acolyte at annual Mass of Institution

Bishop Carl A. Kemme prays with one of the candidates for lector telling him “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.” Two other candidates frame the photo. They were installed on Monday, March 25, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. (Advance photo)

Bishop Carl A. Kemme installed eight seminarians at a Mass of Institution for Readers and Acolytes Monday evening, March 25, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.

Installed as readers were Peter Bergkamp, Kyle Demel, Isaac Hilger, Jacob McGuire, Luke Meyerhoff, and Koby Nguyen. Acolytes installed were Dominic Jirak and Conrad Sissell.

Candidates for Reader were Peter Bergkamp, Kyle Demel, Isaac Hilger, Jacob McGuire, Luke Meyerhoff, and Koby Nguyen.

To those chosen for the ministry of lector, the bishop shared part of St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and dead and by his appearing and his kingly power, proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.”

Later in that same passage, Bishop Kemme said St. Paul urges Timothy “and I urge you – to fulfill your ministry.”

“These words remind us of the power and the importance of the Word of God in the Body of Christ, the Church and if the Word is so vital for our life and salvation, how much should we who dare to proclaim it, do so with humility, selfless love and confidence? To do this well requires of us skill and technique, such as proper diction, balance in speed and delivery, volume, proper enunciation, and preparation,” he said.

Candidates for Acolyte were Conrad Sissel and Dominic Jirak.

“But our ministry of proclamation goes well beyond these technical skills; it demands of us a love, a passion for the Word, a desire to allow the Word to be heard beyond our own voice and mannerisms. How I long for the Word to be proclaimed in our beloved diocese with the urgency and conviction of St. Paul and St. Timothy and all the church’s great evangelists. Join me in bringing about a revival of proclamation that will bring about a preaching that wins minds and hearts for Christ.”

To those to be installed as acolytes, Bishop Kemme shared a verse from Leviticus, “Keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary. I am the Lord.” Quoting from from Psalm 5, he said, “But I, through the abundance of your mercy, will enter your house. I will bow down toward you holy sanctuary, out of fear of you.”

Conduct your work with reverence

The bishop added, “These words remind how you and all of us who cross from the nave of the Church into the sanctuary that our service must be conducted with reverence, that we are in the Lord’s sanctuary, not ours, and that how we minister here is guided by the Church’s desire to offer right praise and worship, a service that helps the people of God offer with the priest or bishop, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”

Acolytes also expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration and take the Eucharist to the sick, both of which, he said, are extensions of the church’s worship and “must be done with reverence and decorum, helping God’s people grow in Eucharistic love and devotion. So much of the revival of the Eucharist that we are longing for in the Church today, can be accomplished I am convinced by deeper reverence before, during and after the Sacred Liturgy. You, my dear sons, now can help in this revival.”

The bishop closed his homily by asking the faithful to pray for them “that these ministries will ignite in them a greater love and desire for the ordained ministry, which if God so wills it, will crown the ministry of word and altar entrusted to them this day.”

Both ministries are transitions to the permanent diaconate. Canon 1035 states: “Before anyone is promoted to the permanent or transitional diaconate, he is required to have received the ministries of lector and acolyte and to have exercised them for a suitable period of time.”