The Secretary for Seminaries in the Congregation for Clergy instituted exactly 53 seminarians to the Ministry of Acolyte April 6 in Rome, bringing them one step closer to the sacrament of Holy Orders. The men, hailing from 42 U.S. dioceses, included Phoenix’s Dan Connealy, who is finishing his second year of theology at the Pontifical North American College.
Archbishop Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong celebrated the Mass and the Rite of Institution in the Immaculate Conception Chapel. The archbishop exhorted the new acolytes and the rest of the community to focus on remaining friends with Jesus, according to the Pontifical College Josephinum.
In the Rite of Institution of Acolytes, which candidates discerning the permanent diaconate also go through, each man kneels before the bishop and receives a paten from him, symbolic of the new role the acolyte fulfills at Mass: caring for the Eucharist and the Eucharistic vessels. The bishop presents them to each man instructing him to make his life worthy of service at the table of the Lord and of His Church.
The new acolytes immediately began serving Mass each day at the College and will perform a variety of other functions related to their new ministry, especially when they return home this summer, according to the seminary.