Bishop Mark conferred the Ministry of Acolyte on three candidates for the permanent diaconate on September 17 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.
The Ministry of Acolyte marks an important step in formation for men pursuing vocations to the Permanent Diaconate. The word “Acolyte” comes from the Greek and means “Attendant.” After receiving this rite, the candidates can formally assist ordained priests and deacons in a liturgical service or procession.
An acolyte’s duty is to serve at the altar and to assist as needed in the celebration of Mass and purify the sacred vessels. He may also act as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at Mass and distribute the Eucharist to the sick.
An acolyte may be entrusted with publicly exposing the Blessed Sacrament for adoration.
[Photo (left to right): Acolytes Charles (Chuck) Williams, Richard (Rick) Messina, Bishop Mark, Acolyte Nelson Lowes, and Deacon Michael Russo, Director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate.]