On Saturday, May 7, 2016, Marlon Mendieta, 2nd Year Theology seminarian from the Diocese of Raleigh, was instituted in the Ministry of Acolyte during Mass at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia.
The Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., Bishop of Trenton, NJ., served as Principal Celebrant and Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior, Rector and Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, concelebrated the Mass and Rite of Institution. Fr. Ned Shlesinger (Director of Spiritual Formation, St. Charles Borromeo) and Fr. Bill John Acosta-Escobar (Director of Vocations, Diocese of Raleigh) were also in attendance. Thirty candidates received the ministry and 16 of those were from the permanent diaconate program.
An Acolyte is charged with assisting at the celebration of the Eucharist, purifying the sacred vessels and, when needed, to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion. These seminarians, now completing their second year of theological studies, have received both the Ministry of Lector and Acolyte in anticipation of their diaconal, and then priestly, ordination.
"I was happy because in bestoying on me the Ministry of Acolyte, the Church is recognizing my vocation by advancing me towards sacred orders,” reflected Mendieta. “Receiving the Ministry of Acolyte is significant because I get to assist the priest and deacon in the serving of mass and I also get to work closely with the Holy Eucharist and inspire devotion to it through my role on the altar."
Marlon Medieta’s home parish is Transfiguration in Wallace, NC.