On Saturday (1/28), the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, seventeen Candidates for the Permanent Diaconate from the Diocese of Allentown were instituted as Acolytes.
This Ministry is an important part of their journey toward the Order of Deacon. During this ceremony, at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena, Allentown, the men knelt before Bishop Alfred Schlert and received the unconsecrated elements destined for the Altar to be offered up in sacrifice.
Bishop Schlert enjoined the Candidates to “strive to live more fully by the Lord’s sacrifice and to be molded more perfectly in its likeness…. So that you may offer yourselves daily to God as spiritual sacrifices.” He recalled how they are to “show a sincere love for Christ’s Mystical Body… especially for the weak and the sick.”
Acolytes are instituted for service at the Altar and assist the Priest and Deacon by preparing the Altar and sacred vessels, distribute the Eucharist to the faithful, bring the Blessed Sacrament to the sick and infirmed, and purify vessels used for the celebration of Holy Mass
Thirty-four men are in formation for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Allentown, from all five counties, in a process that includes six years of human, spiritual, academic, and pastoral formation. Classes are slated to be Ordained in 2024 and 2027.