On Sunday, January 10, 2016, Diocese of Raleigh seminarian Austin Faur was one of 68 members of the first year class of the Pontifical North American College who were installed as Readers. This ministry, the first of those given to seminarians in their formation for ordination to the priesthood, gives them the ministry within the Church to proclaim the scriptures at the Church’s liturgies.
His excellency, the Most Reverend Paul R. Gallagher, Secretary for the Relations with States in the Vatican, was the celebrant of the Mass and during the Rite presented each candidate with the Lectionary, the book containing the readings from Holy Scripture which are proclaimed at Mass. While doing so, he instructed them, “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 Gallagher reminded the seminarians that they are to proclaim the Word of God clearly, that it may be heard by all, both literally in the manner in which they speak and also as a matter of integrity as to how they live their lives as a witness to that which they proclaim. He noted that this is an important first step in their public life in the Church, being mandated and charged by the Church for this task of proclaiming God’s Word, and that the other ministries they receive on the way to priesthood build on this first public step.
The Pontifical North American College in Rome, founded in 1859, is a house of formation for the priesthood for candidates from the dioceses of the United States. It also forms candidates from Canada and Australia. There are currently three seminarians attending the College for the Diocese of Raleigh.