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​Bishop Flores celebrates Rite of Candidacy to Holy Orders at Assumption

March 18, 2015 | posted by Praveen K. Lakkisetti

Topics: Vocations

Bishop Flores celebrates Rite of Candidacy to Holy Orders at Assumption

The Assumption Seminary community rejoiced March 14 as eight of its men received Candidacy for Holy Orders during the Holy Eucharist presided by Bishop Daniel E. Flores of the Diocese of Brownsville, representing all the bishops of the candidates.

It was a memorable celebration as the family members and friends of the eight men joined the seminary community in thanking God for the gift of their vocations and for his continued assurance on the journey to priesthood.

The eight men receiving candidacy were: Brian Garcia and Miguel Moreno, Archdiocese of San Antonio; Raphael Majano, Archdiocese of Omaha; Ricardo Flores Chavez and Leonel Rodrigues, Diocese of Brownsville; Rudolfo Rivera, Diocese of Nashville; Fidel Rivero, Diocese of San Bernardino; and Praveen Lakkisetti, Diocese of San Angelo.

Prior to the ceremony, the eight men spent time in retreat as the seminary faculty and fourth year theology men accompanied them through prayer and reflection. It was a time of reflection and as they were helped to understand the significance of the Rite of Candidacy to Holy Orders. After the day of prayer, the seminary faculty hosted the candidates and their families and friends with an informal social.

In his introduction, Father Jeff Pehl, rector, introduced and welcomed the guests who were present to witness an important step to priesthood in the life of the eight men. He acknowledged the candidates for their continued response to the call of God. Father Pehl then thanked the families and friends for offering their sons to God through the gift of the vocation to priesthood and for prayerful assistance on their journey. The rector also welcomed Bishop Flores for presiding at the Eucharist and for representing the respective bishops of the candidates.

Drawing inspiration from the Gospel of the day, Matthew 9:35-38, the bishop exhorted the candidates to manifest the compassion of God to the world. Time and again, he asked the candidates to be prepared to answer the personal questions of Jesus as a preparation for the Holy Orders.

Commenting on the nature of questions Jesus asked his disciples, Bishop Flores narrated the importance of facing the crucial questions of life in relation to one’s response to God in the vocation to priesthood. Explaining the importance of the Rite of Candidacy, the bishop asked the congregation to support men receiving the rite through their prayers. Speaking to the eight men, the Brownsville prelate challenged them to be the harvest that the world can feed upon and be ready to be sent forth to serve the local and the universal Church. He asked the candidates to be rooted in prayer to respond to the challenges of ministry and to become the ambassadors of Christ’s compassion in the world.

A reception was held following the Eucharist for the families and friends of the candidates together with the formation faculty of the seminary and the seminarians.

What is Candidacy to Holy Orders? Canon 1036 of the church law states: “In order to be promoted to the order of diaconate or of presbyterate, the candidate is to present to his bishop or competent major superior a declaration written in his own hand and signed in which he attests that he will receive the sacred order of his own accord freely and will devote himself perpetually to the ecclesiastical ministry and at the same time asks to be admitted to the order to be received.”