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Fourteen Diaconate Candidates Instituted into Ministry of Acolyte

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Fourteen men enrolled in the Diocese of Raleigh Deacon Formation program were instituted into the Ministry of Acolyte by Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge at a Mass celebrated at St. Mary Catholic Church in Goldsboro on June 13.

The men are completing the fourth year of a five year commitment and discernment process that will lead them to ordinations as permanent deacons.

An Acolyte is appointed to aid the deacon and to minister to the priest at the altar and as special ministers to give Holy Communion to the faithful at the liturgy and to the sick. Acolytes may also expose the Eucharist for public adoration in the absence of a priest of deacon. During the institution ceremony, candidates are reminded that they will have a special role in the Church’s ministry, since the summit and source of the Church’s life is the Eucharist, which builds up the Christian community and makes it grow. The candidates are asked to show a sincere love for Christ’s Mystical Body, God’s holy people and especially for the weak and the sick.

In his homily, Bishop Burbidge noted that the Acolyte ceremony was taking place on the weekend of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. He spoke of the journey they on which they were embarking and the fact that they had to lose themselves in order to find the true meaning of life. “As men who have been called by the Lord,” the Bishop said, “you must renew the promise to lose yourself -- your will, your desires, your plans, your ambitions -- and entrust yourself anew to God’s Providence.”

Extending congratulations to the Deacon candidates and their families, Bishop Burbidge added, “We pray that through the intercession of Mary our Mother, Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint John Vianney, you will lose yourselves to the Providence of God; be men of prayer filled with Eucharistic amazement, and ambassadors of Christ who bring Him to others and assure the most needy in our midst that the Lord is always there to carry us!”

The fourteen candidates for Deacon are:

Michael Boyd Alig

Walter Calabrese

Michel du Sablon

Joseph Pius Gabriel

Frank Taft Jones, III

Patrick Gerald McIlmoyle

Emilio Mejía

Vincent Joseph Mescall

Patrick Daniel Pelkey

Ronald Soriano

Gary Cole Stemple

Juan Alexander Vicent-Martínez

Bradley Evans Watkins

Mark Alan Westrick