National Directory



of married candidates. The ministry of lector is to be conferred first. “It is appropriate that a certain period of time elapse between the conferring of the lectorate [rite of lector] and acolytate [rite of acolyte] in such a way that the candidate may exercise the ministry he has received.” 44 247. After the reception of the ministry, a certificate indicating the ministry received, date, place, and conferring prelate should be prepared and signed by the chancellor of the diocese and officially sealed. This doc ument is to be kept in the candidate’s personal file and noted in the diocesan book of ministries and ordinations. 248. An interval of at least six months must elapse between the conferring of the ministry of acolyte and ordination to the diaconate. 45 Further, a canonical retreat of at least five days must precede the ordination. 46 It will usually be helpful to wives to participate in the retreat, although during portions of the retreat it will usually be helpful to provide the opportunity for separate treatment of the respective roles of each in the vocation of the husband to the diaconate. Prior to ordination to the diaconate, the ordi nand must make the Profession of Faith and the Oath of Fidelity in the presence of the diocesan bishop or his delegate and must sign them by his own hand. 47 He must take the Oath of Fidelity and make a personal dec laration concerning his freedom to receive sacred ordination, as well as his own clear awareness of the obligations and commitments implied by that ordination. For married candidates, this includes an understanding that if his wife were to die, he would live a life of celibacy. An unmarried candidate must make a declaration regarding the obligation of sacred celibacy; this declaration must be written in the candidate’s own hand writing and expressed in his own words. A married candidate, should his wife predecease him after ordination, is bound to the celibate state for the remainder of his life. 48 Prior to ordination the diocesan bishop will issue a formal letter of call to ordination. All of these documents are to be carefully preserved in the candidate’s personal file. 49 Rite of Ordination to the Diaconate

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