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Aspirants take another step toward the priesthood

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The Mass for Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders marks an important milestone for seminarians preparing for the priesthood.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrated the Mass for four seminarians — Emmanuel Carreño-Garcia, James R. Joseph, Kevin C. Kelly II and Sean-Michael V. Nypaver — at Our Lady of Hope Church in Potomac Falls July 26.

The Mass for Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders is celebrated after seminarians finish their philosophy studies (after two or four years depending on if they graduated college) and as they enter into theology studies.

The Rite of Admission is a formal recognition by the church that there are no known impediments to the seminarians’ ordination. It reflects a commitment by the seminarians — called aspirants at this stage — to prepare themselves for ministry. 

During the rite, Father Michael C. Isenberg, director of vocations, calls the aspirants by name, each reply “present” and then stand before the Bishop to make a sign of reverence. The Bishop asks the aspirants a series of questions, including, “Do you resolve yourselves in mind and spirit to give faithful service to Christ the Lord and his Body, the Church?”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020