Five men advance toward diaconate, eye 2016 ordination

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted instituted five men to the ministry of lector Sept. 12. The men continue to discern and train for the diaconate. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted instituted five men to the ministry of lector Sept. 12. The men continue to discern and train for the diaconate. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

A handful of men were recently called to an instituted ministry within the Church as part of their path of discernment for the diaconate.

Diaconate cohort 2016

Bishop Olmsted instituted the following men to the ministry of lector as they continue to discern the diaconate:

  • William Chavira, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish
  • Christopher Giannola, Holy Trinity Newman Center in Flagstaff
  • Gary Scott, Resurrection Parish in Tempe
  • Marvin Silva, St. Mary Parish in Chandler
  • Tony Smith, Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral

 

The role of the lector at Mass

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted instituted five men from as many parishes to the ministry of lector Sept. 12 during a special liturgy in the chapel of the Diocesan Pastoral Center. God willing, they will be ordained as permanent deacons for the Church in 2016.

Bishop Olmsted called it a privilege to institute them as brother lectors, because as St. Paul said, faith comes from what is heard.

“Our faith is bound closely to hearing the Word of God,” the bishop said during the English portion of his bilingual homily.

Just prior to their institution, the five deacon candidates heard the most important passage is the Old Testament, Deut. 6:5. It’s the same verse Jesus recited when proclaiming the greatest commandment.

“This passage gives the concrete steps for making these words our way of life,” the bishop said.

He reminded them that God’s word is effective and living, but it needs someone to proclaim it.

“In proclaiming God’s word to others, accept it yourself in obedience to the Holy Spirit,” the bishop said as part of the rite, “Meditate on it constantly, so that each day, you will have a deeper love of the Scriptures. And in all you say and do, show forth into the world, our savior, Jesus Christ.”

Called to be a deacon? Learn more

The Mass was particularly meaningful to Chris Giannola. He works part time at the Holy Trinity Newman Center in Flagstaff and had just taught a class to prospective lectors. He’s exited to work alongside college students who are also eager to dive deeper into their faith.

“Formation has been extremely rich, also rigorous. It’s really opened my eyes and my heart to the tremendous depth of the Catholic faith and really has increased my desire to be a lifelong learner within my faith,” Giannola said.

Televised Mass in Spanish

St. Mary in Chandler, in partnership with KPHE, Tu Canal Familiar, launched a live broadcast of the weekly 8 a.m. Spanish liturgy Sept. 7.

Find it on Channel 44, Cox 405 or 044 Prism. The 9:30 a.m. liturgy in English follows on the parish’s website.

Marvin Silva also feels he has become a stronger Catholic and is excited to give it all back to the community by proclaiming the Word of God. He will continue to serve as master of ceremony for the Spanish liturgy that recently launched a live televised feed from St. Mary’s in Chandler.

Tony Smith greets his wife during a special Mass instituting him and four other deacon candidates to the ministry of lector Sept. 12. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
Tony Smith greets his wife during a special Mass instituting him and four other deacon candidates to the ministry of lector Sept. 12. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

Tony Smith is actively involved in the televised English Mass at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. He is also prefect of the sacristy.

He said diaconate formation has helped him grow in compassion. Smith credits fellow cohort members and their wives for serving as quality examples and a newly established prayer routine that has him saying “Lead me” each morning.

The men will continue formation classes and begin practicums at the county hospital in the spring. A separate diaconate cohort of eight are expected to be ordained in November and have spoken highly of the hospital setting.

“That tends to be a capstone experience,” Giannola said.