Congratulations to Diocese of Venice Seminarian James G. Gates Jr., who was among a group Admitted to Candidacy for Ordination to the Priesthood was well as being Instituted as Lector.
Presided over by Bishop Frank J. Dewane, the Rite of Candidacy took place on Sept. 23, 2023, during Solemn Vespers at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach.
Surrounded by faculty, staff, and friends, Gates was among a group of 17 seminarians from across Florida and other Dioceses in the U.S. to enter candidacy.
The Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Ordination is celebrated when a seminarian has reached a maturity of purpose and is shown to have the necessary qualifications. The intention of receiving orders is expressed publicly by the candidate. Then the Bishop accepts the publicly proclaimed intention.
The Institution to Lector and Acolyte then took place during Mass at the seminary on Sept. 24, and was also presided over by Bishop Dewane. Seminarian Gates was among the 17 to be instituted as a lector, while 20 others were instituted as acolyte.
During the Mass, Bishop Dewane told those who were to be instituted as lectors and acolytes that God is calling each of them forward in a particular way and that they should see themselves as closer to the Lord, responding to the power of God.
“We do nothing without the power of God,” Bishop Dewane said. “Be aware of the ministry that is placed before you and live it to its fullest.”
Bishop Dewane encouraged the lectors to seek to understand the meaning of His Word, growing closer to the Lord in that process. Called to build up the Christian community they accept it in obedience to be the word they will live more fully.
As part of the Rite, the candidates were individually called by name to be presented to the Bishop. Following the homily, the Bishop recited a prayer of blessing on the candidates – granting that, as they meditate on the Word of God, they may grow in its wisdom and faithfully proclaim it to His people. Then each candidate came forward to be presented the Holy Scriptures by the Bishop, as he said: “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.”
According to the Church’s Law and practice, the instituted lector is charged with proclaiming the readings from the Sacred Scriptures (except for the Gospel), announcing the intentions in the Prayer of the Faithful (in the absence of a Deacon), and reciting or singing the responsorial psalm if there is no cantor. As distinct from the typical Parish reader, these men will now exercise this ministry in a permanent way.
The next steps for Diocesan Seminarian Gates will Institution to Acolyte, then Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate, before being Ordination to the Priesthood.
Please pray for Seminarian Gates and all Diocese of Venice seminarians as they continue their own vocation journeys.
If you are young man (high school age or above) and sense that the Lord is calling you to the priesthood, St. John Vianney College Seminary is hosting a free Vocations Weekend at the end of October.
Join with other discerners from around the state of Florida to experience a glimpse of seminary life, meet the young men who are already studying for the priesthood as seminarians, and join with them in prayer and fraternity during this awesome weekend retreat. (The typical schedule for the weekend includes adoration, spiritual talks, daily Mass, personal testimonies from seminarians, meet and greet with the professors, a campus tour, games and sports.)
The event begins with pizza and night prayer on Friday evening, Oct. 27 and ends with Holy Mass and brunch on Sunday, Oct. 29.
For more information and to RSVP, please visit venicevocations.org or email Father Shawn Roser, the Director of Vocations at the Diocese of Venice at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or 941-486-4720.
Prayer for Vocations
God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons, religious, and consecrated persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help us respond generously and courageously to your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.