Permanent Deacon Candidates Receive Ministry of Lector

Candidates for the Permanent Diaconate received the Ministry of Lector Jan. 2 during a Liturgy of the Word at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown, presided over by Bishop Alfred Schlert.

During the service the candidates knelt before Bishop Schlert at the Cathedra (Bishop’s chair) and received the Sacred Scriptures into their hands, said Father Eugene Ritz, Director of the Office for Permanent Diaconate Formation.

Those given the Ministry of Lector are entrusted with reading the Sacred Scriptures at Mass, during the Liturgy of the Hours and during other liturgies of the Church. They are also instructed to teach children and adults in the Faith, prepare them to receive the Sacraments worthily, and as instructed by Bishop Schlert, “bring the message of salvation to those who have not yet received it.”

You can view the service by clicking here.

To prepare for the ministry, the candidates worked with their Spiritual Directors to deepen their meditation on the Word of God. Also to prepare, the candidates and their wives participated in a retreat at St. Joseph’s in the Hills Retreat House at Malvern.

The next major step for the candidates will be institution to the Ministry of Acolyte, late next year.

Permanent Deacons may baptize, witness marriages, conduct funeral services, and preside at prayer services and devotions. They may also preach at Mass, give instructions to people wishing to become Catholic, be involved in religious education, and conduct marriage and family enrichment programs. Deacons also serve in special ministries, such as soup kitchens, nursing homes and prisons.

For more information about becoming a Permanent Deacon, contact the Office for Permanent Diaconate Formation, 610-332-0442 or


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