Saturday, November 8, 2008

Installation of the new Pastor of St. Henry's, Melville

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of installing Fr. Antoni Degutis as Pastor of St. Henry's Parish, Melville. Fr. Antoni is a member of the Assumption Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Assumption Province provides priests to care for three parishes in the Archdiocese: Lestock, Sturgis and Melville.

Here we have the newly installed Pastor, Fr. Antoni Degutis OMI

We were blessed with good servers who carried out the responsibilities of Acolyte with great diligence. I am always promoting this ministry of Acolyte in our parishes. It sometimes takes second place to the ministry of Lector, which is indeed an important ministry in our Church. But the ministry of Acolyte provides for a dignified and well ordered celebration of the liturgy. And so it is a very important ministry if our celebrations of the liturgy are to be well carried out.

During the ceremony of installation, we move to different spots in the church which illustrate the duties of the pastor in his parish. Here the station is at the Altar. The rite here as is follows;


Lector: Listen to the words of St. Paul written to the Corinthians: “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

Bishop: It is the duty of the Pastor to bring the faithful together to celebrate the Eucharist of the Church. When you do this, make them as sign of the Lord’s enduring presence among God’s People.

Pastor: I will do so, with the help of God.

Another stopping point is at the Chair from which the pastor presides over the Community during the Liturgy.

Lector: Listen to the words of St. Paul in the second letter to Timothy: “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable.”

Bishop: It is the duty of the Pastor to preside over the community of faith. When you do this, lead the People of God in the prayer of the Church with diligence and devotion.

Pastor: I will do so, with the help of God.

When the pastor has gone to each of the places in the church which are symbolic of his duties, he then stands before the Bishop and makes his Profession of Faith by reciting the Nicene Creed along with the faithful who are present and then he takes the Oath of Fidelity to the Church and its teachings.

He and I then sign a copy of this oath and the new pastor is officially installed. We then proceed with the celebration of the Eucharist which is the source and the summit of our life as Catholic people, the disciples of Jesus in our communities.

Fr. Casimir Krystkowiak who is also in residence at St. Henry's, concelebrated the Mass with us. Fr. Chris is recovering from back surgery and preparing to celebrate his 50th Anniversary of Ordination this month. We wish him God's continued blessings in his life and together with him we thank God for the gift of the ministerial Priesthood through which Jesus continues to care for his Church.


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