SALT LAKE CITY — The Most Rev. John C. Wester, Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, welcomed the Diaconate Class of 2010, and their wives to the Cathedral of the Madeleine as they requested to be installed as lectors April 5. The Candidates for the permanent diaconate received the Rite of Lector.
The wives of the deacon candidates are an integral part of the diaconate program. They support their husbands through prayer, sacrifice, and by assuming added duties of home and family.
The candidates are in their second year of formation. Becoming a candidate was the first step toward becoming a permanent deacon, and receiving the Rite of Lector was the second step.
The lector receives formal training in the scriptures, along with additional spiritual formation. The lector also receives grace that helps strengthen him in spreading the Word of God.
The Rite of Lector was celebrated during a Mass concelebrated by Bishop Wester and several priests from throughout the Diocese of Salt Lake City.
In his homily, Bishop Wester said Holy Cross Sister Patricia Riley, director of deacon formation, and Deacon Forrest Gray, director of ongoing deacon formation, must be very proud of the Class of 2010. They replied they were very proud.
Bishop Wester told the deacon candidates being instituted into the ministry of readers, the ministry of the Word is a very important step in their journey to service in the Catholic Church. They are being called to make known the Word of God through their words.
"God has placed the Word in your hearts and in my heart through the gift of the Holy Spirit through the action of his son crucified in weakness, risen in glory," said Bishop Wester. "The Word is a part of us."
Bishop Wester told the candidates not to worry about what they will say, but be reassured the Lord will give them the words to say.
"We are called to share the Word by giving completely of ourselves," said Bishop Wester. "In giving completely of ourselves, the Word is to be efficacious. That means we have to be completely present to the Word. Christ is calling for a complete yes to his invitation to serve.
"Also to proclaim the Word of God, you must be one with the people to whom you proclaim that Word," said Bishop Wester. "Your proclamation of the Word is grounded in your love for the people you are called to serve.
"You proclaim the Word as one who is united intimately with Christ," said Bishop Wester. "The proclamation is calling for you to be in an intimate relationship with Jesus. You must constantly be living the Word in everything you do.
"The pulpit is a glorious and transcendent place," said Bishop Wester. "Every time you stand there to proclaim the Word, remember that God has begun his good work in you and God will bring you to fulfillment."