Bishop Salvatore Matano, Bishop of Rochester, celebrated a Mass of candidacy for nine seminarians representing five dioceses on Sunday, May 1, 2022.
Publicly answering God's call during the rite of Candidacy has left me with a feeling of excitement similar to when I first began my discernment. From that moment onward, I am more convinced of the vocation I am pursuing. It is now not only a process of discernment, it is a commitment to prepare myself for the next stages of my vocation. My classmates and I publicly expressed this commitment in responding to the Bishop's two questions during the Rite:
- In response to the Lord’s call, do you resolve to complete your
preparation so that in due time through Holy Orders you will be
prepared to assume ministry within the Church?
- Do you resolve to prepare yourselves in mind and spirit to give
faithful service to Christ the Lord and his Body, the Church?
In the Gospel, Jesus said to Peter “Follow me.” I am really struck by those two words at the moment of presenting myself before the community, saying “present.” How fitting is it that we heard this command on the day of being admitted to Candidacy for Holy Orders. For me, these two words contain the cause and the goal of the vocation I am living. It is God, who knows everything, and who says “know that I love you,” who is calling me to follow him in a particular and unreserved way - the priesthood.
May God who has begun the good work in me bring it to the fulfillment in accordance with his eternal will. Amen.
By: Mr. Dong Huy Pham
Archdiocese of Boston