From the Catholic News Hearld | SueAnn Howell and Kimberly Bender
CHARLOTTE — Seven seminarians of the Diocese of Charlotte stood before Bishop Peter Jugis July 20 at St. Patrick Cathedral during a livestreamed Mass and affirmed their desire to advance along the path toward the priesthood.
In the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders, each 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 each 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.
During the special Mass, celebrated privately at the cathedral due to public health restrictions, each of the seven seminarians came forward when called by Father Christopher Gober, diocesan vocations director. They then stood at the base of the sanctuary steps, waiting for the questions to be posed to him by Bishop Jugis.
The seven men include: Matthew Wayne Dimock Jr. of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte; Christian Joseph Goduti of St. Mark Church in Huntersville; Matthew Philip Harrison II of Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury; Kevin Ruben Martinez of St. Joseph Church in Asheboro; Elliott Cade Suttle of Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury; José Alfredo Palma Torres of St. Joseph Church in Asheboro; and Kevin Michael Tran of St. John Neumann Church in Charlotte.
“Our brothers come today to this Mass and they request to be admitted as candidates for holy orders,” Bishop Peter Jugis explained in his homily. “It’s a very important declaration that they are making today. I ask them two simple questions: Do you resolve to complete your preparation for the sacrament of holy orders – in other words, is holy orders your goal? We just want to make sure that you know why you are here today. You’re requesting to be admitted as a candidate for ordination to the diaconate and eventually to the priesthood.”