ST. BENEDICT — At a Mass celebrated Feb. 11 at Mount Angel Abbey, 14 seminarians took a step forward in their journey to ordained priesthood.

Fresno Bishop Joseph Brennan was principal celebrant and instituted five men from Mount Angel Seminary into the ministry of lector and nine into the ministry of acolyte. The seminarians represent eight dioceses.

In his homily, Bishop Brennan reminded the seminarians that titles are given much attention in our society, whether corporate, political or ecclesial. “But,” he said, “we can’t take any of those titles to heaven.” He invited the future priests to reflect on the First Letter of John, Chapter 3: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.”

“That is the title we must cling to, the title we can take to heaven: ‘Child of God,’” he said. “And remember, this passage was not written for children, but for adults.”

Bishop Brennan continued, “Acolytes, serve well with the strength God gives you. Lectors, proclaim God’s word well with the speech that God has given you.”

He concluded, “Never forget that the best ministry is often done without words.”

Instituted into the ministry of lector were: Marc Andrew Gandolfo, Diocese of San Diego; Marc Robert James Jenkins, Archdiocese of Seattle; James Patrick Webb Ladd, Archdiocese of Portland; Anthony Scott Shumway, Diocese of Salt Lake City; and Michael Tyrell Williams, Diocese of Las Vegas. All are in their first year of theology and will be called on to be ministers of the word of God and proclaim it during the liturgy in the coming months.

Instituted into the ministry of acolyte were: Sylvester Musonda Chanda, Archdiocese of Seattle; Michael Thomas Evert, Diocese of San Diego; Ian Michael Gaston, Diocese of Orange; Anthony Hoangphan, Archdiocese of Portland; Hun Chae (Mark) Jung, Diocese of Orange; Efrain Razo Jr., Archdiocese of Portland; Timothy Josef Segert, Diocese of Boise; James Joseph Tasy, Diocese of Fresno; and John Paul Tomassi, Archdiocese of Seattle. All are in their second year of theology and will be called on to be ministers of the Eucharist and serve at the altar during Masses in the coming months.