ROME – Three seminarians of the Diocese of Lake Charles, studying at the Pontifical North American College, were among 50 instituted into the ministry of Lector recently by His Excellency Bishop Paul Tighe, Adjunct-Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Culture, in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception of the College.
The three were Joseph Calloura Caraway (St. John the Evangelist, Lacassine); Andrew Martin DeRouen, (Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception); and Levi Joseph Thompson (St. Theodore, Moss Bluff). All are in their first year theological studies at the North American College.
Bishop Tighe, in his homily, reminded those receiving the ministry of Lector that their newly given responsibility to proclaim the Word of God publicly is always to be grounded in the interior disposition to give themselves over to the service of others, that the very nature of the word "ministry"means to be a selfless servant, and that while at times trying and demanding, only this disposition allows the Word of God, the person of Jesus Christ, to be received by those whom they will serve. The Bishop noted the joy he felt in bringing 50 men to this place on their journey to the altar, a powerful witness to the vitality of the Church in the United States.
As part of the rite, the Bishop placed the Holy Scriptures, in the hands of each candidate 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 Pontifical North American College serves as the American seminary in Rome. Founded in 1859 by Blessed Pius IX, the college has formed over 5,000 priests near the heart of the Church for service in dioceses around the United States, Canada, and Australia. The College strengthens the bonds between Rome and local Churches worldwide, and it allows its students to study the Church’s rich religious and cultural heritage at close range.