By Tom Maguire | Associate editor


ishop Douglas J. Lucia focused on three important events “in the life of our diocesan church” on Sunday, Oct. 17.

The first was the Mass of Installation of the Relic of Pope Saint John Paul II at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Syracuse.

The second was the Opening Mass for the Synodal Process at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.

The third, at the Cathedral, was the Institution of Lectors and Acolytes—10 men whom the bishop hopes to ordain as permanent deacons next spring.

“It’s nice to see the church of Syracuse so alive,” Bishop Lucia told the congregation in the Cathedral.

Catholic News Service reported on Sept. 23 that Pope Francis is inviting Catholics to voice their dreams, ideas and concerns in preparation for the 2023 Synod of Bishops, which has a theme of “For a synodal church: communion, participation and mission.”

Pope Francis formally opened the synodal process Oct. 10; the bishops of every diocese were to open the process locally Oct. 17. Bishop Lucia has noted that locally, the synodal process reaches its culmination in 2024 “with our own Diocesan Synod which will take the labor of the worldwide synod and apply it to the everyday life of our parish communities.”

According to the Vatican website, the purpose of the Synod “is not to produce documents, but ‘to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands.’”

Bishop Lucia told the Cathedral congregation that the synodal journey begins with the “enthronement of God’s word” and the “exercise of listening throughout the entire Church. This stance of listening is at the very heart of the call to being disciples of mission.”

The bishop said that the 10 men who were instituted as lectors and acolytes are a sign that all baptized Catholic Christians are called to offer themselves “daily to God as spiritual sacrifices. … Now you and I are being invited to take up that mantle of servanthood and foster the Gospel vision of a better future here and now in this place and in this time—a better future found in the name of Jesus.”

Bishop Lucia told each of the new acolytes and lectors: “Take this book of Holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the word of God so that it may grow in the hearts of his people. Amen.”

Then he told them: “Take this vessel with bread for the celebration of the Eucharist. Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of his church. Amen.”

Instituted as new lectors and acolytes
Here are the 10 men who are on a path to be ordained as permanent deacons next spring:

Ade Ademoyo

Parishes of St. Patrick and St. Thomas Aquinas, Binghamton

Michael Carroll

Parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Endicott

Michael Casey

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Syracuse

Louis Delsole

Parish of the Sacred Heart, Cicero

Dale Grey

Parish of St. Bartholomew, Norwich

Paul Heiland

Parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Endicott

Gregory Hrostowski

Parishes of St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Sacrament, Vestal

Stanley Olkowski

Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, New Hartford

Robert Stanhope

Parish of St. Paul, Whitesboro

Timothy Stedman

Parish of St. Mary, Cortland

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