On Sunday, November 6, 1:30pm, Most Rev. Andrew P. Wypych presided at the institution into the Ministry of Acolyte at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. Thirteen candidates were instituted into this ministry. An additional four candidates, already instituted as acolytes, received a special blessing from the bishop.
As is noted in the words of the Rite, instituted acolytes “have a special role in the Church’s ministry.” The Rite notes the following responsibilities:
- Assist priests and deacons in carrying out their ministry at the Eucharist;
- As special ministers, they are to give Holy Communion to the faithful at the liturgy, and to the sick;
- Because they are specially called to this ministry, they should strive to live more fully by the Lord’s sacrifice and to be molded more perfectly in its likeness;
- They should seek to understand the deep spiritual meaning of what they do so to offer themselves daily to God as spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Him through Jesus Christ.
Regarding the Ministry of Acolyte, Canon Law also notes that newly instituted acolytes must regularly exercise their ministry from this point forward if they are to be considered for the possibility of Holy Orders.
In this second year of the Candidate Path, Cohort 2018 candidates continue to be involved in multi-dimensional study, prayer and preparation for possible Holy Orders. Academic and formation courses include Sacramental Theology, Christology, Soteriology, Homiletics, Spiritual Theology, Presiding at the Rites, Moral Theology, and a retreat for candidates and wives; they meet regularly for theological reflection; they continue monthly Spiritual Direction; they attend a retreat prior to the institution to the ministry of acolyte; and they have been involved in a series of field education and internship experiences. Thus, they continue the four-year preparation as candidates for the diaconate.
Presently, there are nearly 500 active deacons in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and 65 men currently participate in the Institute for Diaconal Studies.
Please keep our Year 2 candidtes, their wives and families, and all those in formation and their families, in your prayers that they might continue to answer God’s call in their lives.