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Vocations Update

Vocations Update

Spokane Seminarians Reach Milestones in Priestly Formation

On Nov. 6, 2019, Spokane seminarians Andy Kelly and Nicolas Castoldi reached key milestones in their journey of priestly formation. Andy and Nicolas are Spokane’s two “theologians” (seminarians in the midst of master’s-level theological studies) at St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, California. During a ceremony at the seminary, the Most Reverend Joseph Vincent Brennan, Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno, installed Andy, Nicolas, and 19 other seminarians to special liturgical ministries—lector and acolyte.

The ministries of lector and acolyte find their origin in the “Minor Orders” that once marked steps in preparation for the “Major Orders” of the diaconate and priesthood. Other Minor Orders included porter, exorcist, and sub-deacon. While we also use the terms lector and acolyte to describe lay ministers in our parishes tasked with reading and altar serving, seminarians who are installed to these ministries receive a special mandate and responsibility to carry out these functions.

For American seminarians, theological formation is typically divided into four years of study. Nicolas, who is in his first year of theology, was installed as a lector. Andy, who is a second-year theologian, was installed as an acolyte.

We pray that these visible, ministerial milestones reflect the hidden, spiritual milestones of responsiveness to God’s will. May Andy and Nicolas continue to grow in trust of the Lord and in fervor for the care of His people.

In Christ,

Father Ratuiste