Friar Don Miller. OFM
I am a Franciscan priest. I spent my early years of ministry in New Mexico working among the Pueblo Native Americans and the Hispanics. In 1978 I began my years in academics working as a chaplain, faculty member, and administrator at various universities in the southwest and the midwest. I taught various course in theology, especially in my area of specialty which is moral theology. I have been the Vocation Director for the Province of Saint John the Baptist since 2003.
 
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Brother Colin King, O.F.M. reflects on being Installed as an Acolyte

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"Take this vessel with the bread for the celebration of the Eucharist. Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of His Church."

Institution of Acolyte: “God of Mercy, through Your only Son You entrusted the Bread of Life to Your Church. Bless + our brothers who have been chosen for the ministry of acolyte. Grant that they may be faithful in the service of Your altar and in giving to others the bread of life; may they grow always in faith and love, and so build up Your Church.”

 

This past academic year eight of us brothers living at St. Joseph Interprovincial Friary in Chicago were installed as Acolytes by the Rev. William Spencer, OFM, Provincial Minister of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Province. In the past, Acolyte was considered one of the four minor orders and generally conferred only on those preparing for ordination to the priesthood. As the General Instruction of the Roman Missal says, "The acolyte is instituted to serve at the altar and to assist the priest and deacon. In particular, it is his responsibility to prepare the altar and the sacred vessels and, if it is necessary, as an extraordinary minister, to distribute the Eucharist to the faithful. In the ministry of the altar, the acolyte has his own functions, which he must perform personally."

 

The term "instituted acolyte" is used in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal to distinguish those on whom the ministry has been conferred with the prescribed rite from others who, while sometimes called acolytes, could also be referred to as altar servers. While in the absence of an instituted acolyte an altar server (male or female) may perform most of an acolyte's functions, some are reserved for an instituted acolyte alone.

 

During his homily Fr. William encouraged us to not take the Eucharist for granted.  As men who receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ on a daily basis we can become complacent and take this privilege for granted. Instead we were encouraged to follow the example of St. Tarcisius, a martyr who lived in the Third Century and is the patron Saint of Acolytes, and bring the Eucharist to people, especially those who are on the margins and not as fortunate as us.

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