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Philip Gillespie is installed as lector at Pontifical College Josephinum

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Seminarian Philip S. Gillespie of the Diocese of Charleston was installed into the ministry of lector at the Pontifical College Josephinum Nov. 19.

Gillespie was one of 22 theologians installed as lectors and acolytes by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix. The Mass and installation were held in St. Turibius Chapel in the company of visiting priests, families of the candidates and friends of the Josephinum.

Once termed minor orders, the ministries of lector and acolyte are conferred to first- and second-year theology students prior to their diaconate and priestly ordinations.

Once installed as lectors, the first-year theology students are commissioned to read the word of God in liturgical assembly and to participate in religious instruction to prepare the laity to receive the sacraments.

During the ceremony, the candidates knelt before Bishop Olmsted, who held the Lectionary out for them to touch, and 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.”

The candidates for acolyte are second-year theology students and are entrusted with the duty of attending to the altar and assisting the deacon and priest in Mass as well as distributing Holy Communion as special ministers.

They may also expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration and have the authority to instruct any laity appointed to assist in Mass.

The candidates approached the bishop and knelt before him as he held a paten with bread in it and said, “Take this vessel with bread for the celebration of the Eucharist. Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of his church.”

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