Pictured after the Mass with the Rite of Institution of Lectors on Sept. 30, 2023, are, front row, from left: Deacon Walter G. Janoski, Coordinator of Candidate Advisor and Pastoral Formation Programs; Rev. Mark DeCelles, Associate Director of the Permanent Diaconate, Christian D. Saunders; Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton; Monsignor David Bohr, Diocesan Secretary for Clergy Formation; and Rev. John V. Polednak, V.E., Episcopal Vicar for Clergy. Second row, from left: Joel Marte; Michaelangelo J. Colaneri; Ernesto A. Capo; Frank A. Fanelli; and Francisco Castelan. Third row, from left: Fernando B. Alves; Jorge A. Roca; and Rafael Sanchez.


SCRANTON – On the Memorial of Saint Jerome, Sept. 30, the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, designated nine deacon candidates for the Diocese of Scranton as Lectors in the Rite of Institution of Lectors.

The candidates are Fernando B. Alves, Ernesto A. Capo, Jr., Francisco Castelan, Michaelangelo J. Colaneri, Frank A. Fanelli, Joel A. Marte, Jorge Roca, Rafael Sanchez Velasquez, and Christian D. Saunders.

The Rite is a major step on the path to becoming a permanent deacon, allowing the candidates to read the Word of God, except for the Gospel, at liturgical assemblies. The next step will be the Rite of Acolyte.

“How providential that we celebrate the conferral of the ministry of Lector on the Memorial of Saint Jerome, whose life was synonymous with devotion to the Sacred Scriptures and with a deep love for the written word of God,” Bishop Bambera said during his homily. “It is no surprise that Saint Jerome, who was equally known for never shying away from expressing his views on most subjects in a clear and decisive manner, would rightly claim, ‘Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.’”

Bishop Bambera told the men receiving the ministry of Lector that this moment is not merely a stepping stone in their path to becoming a deacon.

“To the contrary, you are being called to a special recognition of the Word of God in your lives that is essential to the life of the Church,” the bishop noted. “What an awesome responsibility to walk with Jesus through your encounter of Him in the Word of God.”

Most importantly, Bishop Bambera explained to the candidates that the Word of God must be “living and vibrant” in their lives and never “reduced to mere symbols on a page.”

“Live with authenticity the Word of God that you will proclaim through love and service to the People of God,” Bishop Bambera said.