John Lilburne's journal about Vocations Offices and the ministry of instituted lector.



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1129 L Fri 15 Mar 2002

The Code of Canon Law has a section on diocesian bishops, including canon 385:

He must in a very special way foster vocations to the various ministries and to consecrated life, having a special care for priestly and missionary vocations.

One of the "various ministries" I am particularly interested in is that of instituted lector. The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions them:

903. Lay people who possess the required qualities can be admitted permanently to the ministries of lector and acolyte.[Cf. CIC, can. 230 # 1.] When the necessity of the Church warrants it and when ministers are lacking, lay persons, even if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply for certain of their offices, namely, to exercise the ministry of the word, to preside over liturgical prayers, to confer Baptism, and to distribute Holy Communion in accord with the prescriptions of law.'[CIC, can. 230 # 3.]

I did some searches on for Catholic Vocations Offices and institued lectors. The numbers of results today were:

"Vocations office" Catholic about 1250

"Vocations office" Catholic priest about 597

"Vocations office" Catholic lector about 33

"Vocations office" Catholic "instituted lector" none

"Vocations office" Catholic "instituted reader" none

The only site I found that mentioned instituted lectors and Catholic vocations was a cached one. It had a calendar of events including the plan for 5 Nov 2001 for the institution as lector of Rodolfo E. Serrano at the St Charles Borromeo Seminary.

Canon 1035 requires that before people become priests they must be instituted as lectors. But very little seems to be done to foster vocations to this ministry. I think that if bishops did more to foster this lay ministry there would be more vocations to the priesthood.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 15 March 2002.


Searches on

"Vocations office" Catholic

"Vocations office" Catholic lector

"Vocations office" Catholic priest

"Vocations office" Catholic "instituted lector"

"Vocations office" Catholic "instituted reader"