By Barb Arland-Fye
RIVERSIDE — Bishop Martin Amos installed 13 deacon candidates into the Ministry of Lector on July 10 as part of their journey to ordained ministry in the Church. One by one they knelt before the bishop during the 11 a.m. Mass at St. Mary Church in Riverside to receive the book of Scripture.
“Take this book of holy Scripture and be faithful to handing on the word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of his people,” the bishop instructed each candidate. At the bishop’s side during the installation ceremony were Deacon Frank Agnoli, director of deacon formation, and Deacon Bob McCoy, newly retired director of the diaconate. Concelebrating the Mass were diocesan priests Fathers Rich Adam and Marty Goetz and Father Brendan Moss, OSB, a monk from St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Ind., who led a retreat for the candidates and their wives the day before.
Having reflected on Sunday’s Gospel of the Parable of the Sower during the retreat, the candidates said they gained a deeper appreciation for the ministry into which they were being installed. Bishop Amos spoke of the parable in his homily, acknowledging God as the sower, “but the sower is also each of us.”
He asked, “Who are you seeding to be caring, sensitive, open-hearted people? With whom are you sharing your faith in God?” And in speaking to the candidates, the bishop said: “Proclaim Scripture in such a way that it can take root. Live it in such a way that your proclamation is authentic.”
“As a class we spent the whole day going over this reading, and yet Bishop Amos gave us still another perspective,” said deacon candidate John Osborne of St. Mary Parish in Grinnell.
Following his homily, the bishop installed the deacon candidates into the Ministry of Lector. “It just really came across to me as emotional. We’re taking a step toward proclaiming the Gospels,” said deacon candidate Bob Glaser of Ss. John & Paul Parish in Burlington. He said Fr. Brendan advised the candidates to make good use of the Bible they would receive from the bishop, to the point that the oil of their fingerprints is evident on its pages. “This Bible is inscribed by the bishop; I haven’t let go of it since,” Glaser said during the reception after Mass.
“I was impressed by the pageantry and being able to share that experience with the men and women I’ve been in formation with for the past three years and the fact that I was at my home parish. That meant a lot, and to see members of my parish here,” said deacon candidate Derick Cranston.
The Ministry of Lector is “a very rich heritage of our Church,” deacon candidate Ed Kamerick of St. Patrick Parish in Melrose observed.
“It strikes me as a responsibility and a privilege,” added deacon candidate Dan DePuydt of Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine.
“As I sat there with the 13 of us, I just reflected on how good God has been. It’s been a great journey and a good blessing,” said deacon candidate Dennis McDonald, also of Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish. “It’s also a moment when the Church allows us to stop and think about the progress we’ve made. We’ve still got a long way to go.”
These 13 candidates have completed one year of inquiry, one year of aspirancy and two years of candidacy. It’s a rigorous process and, God willing, following completion of two more years of candidacy, they will be ordained deacons.
“For us, it’s a very personal moment and it’s also a shared moment within the diocesan community,” said deacon candidate Dan Huber of Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish in Davenport. “It’s a very humbling experience.”
The deacon candidates
These are the 13 deacon candidates installed into the Ministry of Lector by Bishop Martin Amos on July 10 at St. Mary Church in Riverside. Their spouses and parishes also are listed:
Mark Comer, wife, Susan, St. Joseph Parish, DeWitt
Derick Cranston, wife, Kim, Holy Trinity Parish, Richmond; St. Mary Parish, Riverside; and St. Joseph Parish, Wellman
Daniel DePuydt, wife, Linda, Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish, Muscatine
Robert Glaser, wife, LuAnn, Ss. John & Paul Parish, Burlington
Mitchell Holte, wife, Sally, St. Mary Parish, Solon
Daniel Huber, wife, Rachel, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Davenport
Edwin Kamerick, wife, Jane, St. Patrick Parish, Melrose
David Krob, wife, Cheryl, St. Mary Parish, Solon
Dennis McDonald, wife, Linda, Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish, Muscatine
John Osborne, wife, Sherry, St. Mary Parish, Grinnell
David Sallen, wife, Sheila, Holy Family Parish, Fort Madison
Robert Shaw, wife, Laura, St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Davenport
John Wagner, wife, Cheryl, Our Lady of Victory Parish, Davenport