Nicholas, Williams, a student for the priesthood (seminarian) for the archdiocese received the Ministry of Acolyte at Oscott College on Tuesday evening. On the journey towards ordination, seminarians pass through three phases through three phases. Nick was admitted to the Ministry of Reader last year and, upon the recommendation of those concerned with his formation, he has taken the next step.
The Ministry of Acolyte
Those men admitted to the Ministry of Acolyte as part of their formation take on the responsibility of serving at the altar, assisting the priests of the Church, and distributing the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Communion as an extraordinary minister (ordinary ministers being bishops, priests and deacons). The difference between an Acolyte and a server/extraordinary minister of Holy Communion you would find within a parish is twofold:
Firstly: Within a parish environment these ministries only apply to people within the boundaries of their parish. For an Acolyte the ministries are universal (can be performed anywhere the Church resides).
Secondly: Unlike parish ministries where the persons involved are normally in place for a fixed time and have to renew their promises, a duly instituted Acolyte retains the ministries for life.
Assisting the priests and deacons by sharing in their function
Ministries are always at the service of God and his Church. By taking on these roles, Nick has promised to assist the priests and deacons in caring for the faithful and assisting in the Divine Liturgy. These roles he fulfils in this ministry will one day, please God, come to their fullness with ordination.
A sign of hope in the diocese
Nick is one of five seminarians for our archdiocese. They stand as a sign of hope following the dark period of no students for the priesthood. Fr. Michael Doyle, assistant priest of All Saints Parish, Newport, was ordained o the priesthood last September – the first diocesan ordination for over seven years! These are signs of great growth for our diocese.
Please pray for our seminarians that they will continue to be attentive to the voice of the Lord in their lives, and that they will have the courage to take up the call that God has given them.
Many congratulations Nick! You are very much in our prayers!
Pictures of the celebration will be available soon.