On Nov. 9, the Main Lounge was filled with with priests, professors and students to hear Fr. Vincent Lampert, an exorcist, speak. He provided a glimpse into exorcisms with not an evil outlook, but the innate power of God.
Lampert, a priest from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and a pastor of St. Malachy Parish in Brownsburg, Ind., trained in Rome in 2006.
In 2012, he attended the Vatican course on exorcisms, and in 2014 became a member of the International Association of Exorcists. However, according to Lampert, there is one title that makes him particularly proud.
“I always tell people the most important thing is: follower of Christ,” he said.
He said that he did not seek to become an exorcist on his own, but rather, was selected to become one.
“This was a ministry I entered because I was appointed by my local bishop, so it wasn’t something I sought, it was something that sought me,” he said.
Fr. Lampert was appointed to be the exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 2005 and was confirmed in this role by the now Archbishop of Newark, Cardinal Tobin.
Lampert’s talk explained how the ultimate destiny for humans is their relationship with God, and when one moves away from that, trouble arises. This can be the result of boredom or opening up a portal to evil such as using Ouija boards and black magic.
He touched on how people have preconceived notions about what an exorcism is based on movies and ghost hunting, but not everything you see in media and on the Internet is always true and believable, he said.
‘Exorcism’ is a Greek word meaning to bind with an oath, Lampert explained.
“It is a prayer, bringing peace and allowing a person to be reconciled with God,” he said.
Lampert said when evaluating a person before performing an exorcism he looks for unusual spoken languages, superhuman strength, bodily contortions, change in voice and appearance, foaming out of the mouth, unpleasant odors, hysterical laughter and levitation.
In order for a person to be set free from the bidding of a demon, the person has to want to let Christ in and either re-establish or plant the relationship.
“The void must be filled with the presence of God—it goes hand-in-hand when ridding of the demon,” he said.
According to Lampert, it is easy for the Devil to maneuver his way around our world especially when there is fear within us. When we let our guard down, demons look for an opportunity to take over.
If one experiences some kind of evil, Lampert advised to go to church and Sunday mass, incorporate the rosary to the Blessed Mother and use scripture for prayer and reflection.
“(I) hope, after my talk, that the students would not go away with a greater fascination of evil, but go away with the greater fascination with the presence of God in their lives,” he said. “Because the role of an exorcist is really to help people shift their focus from evil to once again see the face of God in their lives.”
Karina Arceo, a freshman psychology and political science major, attended the event for Campus Ministry Night, held every Thursday on campus.
“I thought it was cool,” Arceo said. “I heard of exorcists and wanted to know more about it.”
Emily High, a freshman public relations major, and Arceo attended the pre-event dinner with the Saint Paul’s Outreach (SPO) program for Women’s Night.
“I wanted to become more informed about exorcisms,” High said.
Lampert receives invitations to speak at many college campuses and he always finds a way to make it a priority.
“I think it’s important to speak to young people about what exorcism really is,” he said, “but to (also) use it as a vehicle to really help bring people into a deeper relationship with God.”
Christina McDonald-Vitale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.