SCRANTON – Seminarian Michael J. Boris stood before the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, on Aug. 19 and affirmed his desire to advance along the path toward the priesthood.

Bishop Bambera served as presider, principal celebrant and homilist for Solemn Vespers with the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders as well as the Celebration of the Eucharist with the Institution of Acolyte for Michael J. Boris at the Cathedral of Saint Peter.

In the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders, a man who aspires to ordination publicly declares his will to offer himself to God and to the Church for sacred ministry. During the rite, the bishop asks the candidate two questions about his resolve to complete preparations for the priesthood. If the candidate answers these questions affirmatively, he is accepted as a candidate for holy orders.

Acolyte is the last step before ordination. Acolytes serve at the altar, assisting priests and deacons during liturgical celebrations. They may also purify the sacred vessels after Holy Communion.

In his homily, Bishop Bambera reflected on a Gospel passage of Saint Luke (Luke 5:1-11) which finds Jesus beginning his ministry by calling a simple fisherman, Simon Peter, to be one of his most trusted friends.

“Today, he calls you to walk with him in a very special way,” Bishop Bambera said to Michael J. Boris.

The bishop said that Jesus accepted Simon Peter as he was, taking him as he found him with a heart that was open.

“Michael, remember that Jesus accepts and calls us as we all are also,” the bishop noted.

Bishop Bambera emphasized that Jesus is able to see beyond the brokenness of our lives and invites all of us to trust at a deeper level.

“Jesus responds to you Michael, in the very same way that he responded to his first followers. He calls you to cast the net of God’s love and mercy upon the waters of this time and place. He calls you to extend your hands and grasp the lives of those who struggle to find a way forward. He calls you to embrace them with compassion, mercy and forgiveness.”