Members of Permanent Deacon Class XI installed as lectors at cathedral Mass

Deacon candidate Dan Fandel of St. Mary of Lourdes in Germantown Hills places his hands on the Bible as Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, installs him as a lector. The ritual took place during a Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria on Sept. 19. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Members of Permanent Deacon Class XI took another step in their formation on Sept. 19 when they were installed as lectors by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC. He called it a “moment of renewal” for the Diocese of Peoria.

“Let us pray together that the word of God will continue to change our lives,” he said as he greeted the candidates and their families who gathered for the Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.

Also present was Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka; Msgr. Timothy Nolan, episcopal vicar for the permanent diaconate; and priests from the parishes of the deacon candidates.

Newly installed lector Ray White, a deacon candidate from St. Mary in Pontiac, poses for a photo with (from left) Msgr. Timothy Nolan, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Wiillems)

Bishop Jenky presided over the Liturgy of the Word, which included the Ritual for the Institution of Lector, while Bishop Tylka presided over the Liturgy of the Eucharist. They both offered the final blessing.

Before installing the new lectors, Bishop Jenky told them, “The word of God is unlike anything else. It is invincible. It changes the world.”

He reminded them that their ministry is essential because he and Bishop Tylka couldn’t do everything by themselves. In addition to being the hands and feet of service, permanent deacons must also proclaim and preach the Gospel well, according to Bishop Jenky.

“Take this ministry seriously,” he said, calling the men his “dear lectors-to-be, dear deacons-to-be.”

“Announce the word of God. Read it wisely,” Bishop Jenky said.

After blessing them, each candidate came forward to kneel before Bishop Jenky. He offered them a Bible to hold and charged them to “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.”

The deacon candidates, who were formally received last year, will continue their formation and be installed as acolytes in 2021. Ordination is planned for 2022.

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