ROME – Diocese of Lake Charles seminarian Michael Caraway was one of 63 men studying at the Pontifical North American College conferred the Ministry of Acolyte in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at the College by His Excellency, The Most Reverend David Kagan, Bishop of Bismarck, North Dakota.
Caraway, one of four men studying for the priesthood for the diocese in Rome, is in his second year of theological formation and a parishioner of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Jennings.
Bishop Kagan, an alumnus of the College and the celebrant of the Mass, reminded the students in his homily for the Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time, that their new responsibility of serving at the altar, their second-to-last step before being ordained priests, is one to be taken on with a spirit of humility.
“Remember that your service is never to be about you…..for the people of God whom you will serve look to you to model fidelity, devotion and humble joy in your service to Almighty God, and what a privilege you have in this vocation,” the Bishop said.
The seminarians, currently in their second year of formation for the priesthood, would have two additional years of theological studies and spiritual formation before being ordained to the priesthood in their home dioceses.
As part of the rite, the Bishop placed the paten, which contains the hosts for the celebration of Mass, in the hands of each candidate 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.”
The Pontifical North American College serves as the American seminary in Rome. Founded in 1859 by Blessed Pius IX, the college has formed over 5000 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.