Class of 2020 deacon candidates instituted as lectors

by Lance Murray

North Texas Catholic

October 6, 2017

The 28 deacon candidates who were instituted as lectors are seen with Bishop Michael Olson on Sept. 30 at St. Patrick Cathedral. (NTC photo/Ben Torres)


FORT WORTH — One after another, 28 men knelt before Bishop Michael Olson and placed their hands on the Holy Scripture.

“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 the people,” Bishop Olson told each one.

Each candidate responded, “Amen,” and rose, returning to their seat, instituted into the ministry of lector.

“It’s the first major step for someone who is in formation for Holy Orders,” said Juan Rendon, director of Permanent Deacon Formation for the Diocese of Fort Worth. “Next year, they receive the minister of acolytes.”

Rendon said it is required by canon law that all those in formation for Holy Orders go through the Rite of Candidacy and receive the ministries of lector and acolyte.

Lectors, also sometimes called readers, are assigned to read a biblical text other than the Gospel. That’s reserved for the deacon or the priest. The ministry is perpetual — once a person is instituted lector they are always a lector.

Rendon said the 28 men instituted Sept. 30 at St. Patrick Cathedral in Fort Worth represent a diverse mix of ages, cultures, and ethnicities.

He said the men come from “different backgrounds, but united by one faith, one Lord, one baptism.”

Rendon said their cultural backgrounds include men from the U.S., Mexico, South America, and Vietnam.

Deacon candidate Steve Holton kneels before Bishop Olson as he is instituted as a lector on Sept. 30. (NTC photo/Ben Torres)


Originally 29 men were scheduled to be initiated as lectors, but Francisco Joel Rodriguez was stranded in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

“He was on vacation visiting his parents when both he and his wife, Zoraida, got stuck in this situation,” Rendon said. “He and the family are doing well. I spoke with him last Friday night and he told me that they had to ration water and food.”

He was scheduled to return on Oct. 6 and will be initiated at another time, Rendon said.

Rodney Asebedo, who is assigned to St. Maria Goretti Parish in Arlington, said his family has been very supportive and is proud of his achievement.

“It is significant having an opportunity to serve the Church and sharing this experience with my family, which has been praying for us all the way,” Asebedo said.

Steve Dixon, who is assigned to St. Stephen Parish in Weatherford, said the day had great meaning for him.

“It’s just the meaning of being able to go through the diocese and proclaim the word, and the grace of the institution with me to make my words clear,” he said.

David Poole, pastoral assistant at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in Burkburnett, said being instituted as a lector is a sign of his progress in the formation of the diaconate.

“The significance for me as we move forward is really the recognition of where we’ve come from, what we’ve learned so far, and actually being instilled to be able to share the word of [God] with our parishioners and each other,” Poole said.

Here are the men initiated into the Ministry of Lector: Rodney Asebedo, David Bindel, Ricardo De Leon, Steve Dixon, Thomas Doran, Robert Dubek, Gary Endres, Mark Gannaway, Gustavo Garcia, Michael Genewick, Michael Handler, Magdaleno Hernandez, Steve Holton, Eric Hunsberger, Ralph Lira, Paul Mahoney, Juan Molina, Guillermo Munoz, David Poole, Patrick Quinn, Bradley Samuelson, Jesus Humberto Serrano, Michael Sutton, Thien Ta, Terry Timmons, Manuel Vasquez, Richard Wright, and Daniel Zavala.

FORT WORTH — One after another, 28 men knelt before Bishop Michael Olson and placed their hands on the Holy Scripture. “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 the people,” Bishop Olson told each one.

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