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Cowan Instituted as Lector


On Sunday, 16 January 2011, fifty-four seminarians of the Pontifical North American College in Rome were instituted to the Ministry of Lector during a celebration of the Eucharist. Matthew Cowan, a seminarian of the Diocese of Gaylord, who is his first year of theological studies, was among those instituted. Matt and his family are members of Cross in the Woods Parish in Indian River. His parents are Al and Kathy Cowan of Petoskey.

The Most Rev. Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, celebrated the Mass and instituted the new lectors. Handing the book of Sacred Scriptures to each seminarian, 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.”

In his homily, Archbishop O’Brien explained, “Today you are commissioned by our Church to be men of the Word, His Word. From this day forward we expect you to grow in a knowledge and love of the Word until that day, please God, when through the laying on of hands, you will be empowered to speak that Word that will—literally, sacramentally—move Heaven to earth.”

The institution as lector is one of the ministries seminarians receive as they proceed towards diaconal and priestly ordination. As the rite indicates, a lector is charged with proclaiming the Word of God in the liturgical assembly, instructing children and adults in the faith, and preparing them to receive the sacraments worthily.

The Pontifical North American College just completed its 150th anniversary celebration. Founded in 1859 by Blessed Pius IX, the college serves as the American house of studies in Rome, where over 5000 of priests have been formed near the heart of the Church for service in dioceses across North America and around the world. 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.

(Photo courtesy of Pontifical North American College.)

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