Two Laymen Installed as Readers in AMS Permanent Diaconate Formation Program on Korean Peninsula

Left to right, Roy Mellon, Bishop F. Richard Spencer, and Joe Pak following installation of the two laymen as Readers. Photo: Brother John Villanueva.

Left to right, Roy Mellon, Bishop F. Richard Spencer, and Joe Pak following installation of the two laymen as Readers. Photo: Brother John Villanueva.

YONGSAN, SOUTH KOREA – The Most Reverend F. Richard Spencer, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS), USA, and Episcopal Vicar for Asia and Europe, installed two men to the “Office as Reader” at the United States Military Chapel here. Joe Pak and Roy Mellon are the first two candidates in a pilot program for the formation of permanent deacons in the Archdiocese.

The discipline for ministry of Lector was established by Pope Paul VI on August 15, 1972 through the “Motu Proprio” Ministeria quaedam. Prior to that document, seminarians were ordained to the Minor Order of Lector in the course of their formation. Only the ministries of Lector and Acolyte were maintained in the preparation for the deaconate and priesthood.

An appointed “reader” proclaims the Word of God in the liturgical assembly. Accordingly, the reader is to proclaim the readings from sacred Scripture and recite the psalm between the readings when there is no psalmist. The reader may also take responsibility for preparing other faithful who are appointed on a temporary basis to read the Scriptures in liturgical celebrations.

Bishop Spencer said:

“The permanent diaconate is of immense value in our ministry to the men and women who serve our country as well as veterans and active military personnel throughout the United States. As readers and, God willing eventual deacons, Mr. Pak and Mr. Mellon serve as ‘ministry extenders,’ supporting AMS outreach to U.S. military and government families living and serving in Korea.”

Bishop Spencer noted that Pak and Mellon have been in formation development since 2009. Their formation has included academic studies towards a master’s degree in Pastoral Theology as well as growth in spiritual, pastoral, and human development. Following satisfactory completion of their formation program, it is hoped that Pak and Mellon will be ordained by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services.

As the nation’s only archdiocese without geographical boundaries, the AMS endorses priests for on-site ministry at hundreds of locations throughout the country and around the world to Catholics and their families in the U.S. armed forces, VA Medical Centers and overseas civilian posts. Worldwide, an estimated 1.5 million Catholics depend on these priests to serve their spiritual and sacramental needs.

For more information on the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, visit http://www.milarch.org .