It occurred to me that I have never written about Paul Feasel becoming an officially installed acolyte in the Catholic Church, although we did acknowledge and congratulate him the weekend he was installed this past September. Earlier in his formation Paul was installed as a lector in the Church. Although both of these roles are carried out by ordinary lay people in most of our Masses, when a man is heading towards diaconate (permanent/not headed towards priesthood, or transitional/on his way to priesthood), these two roles are actually treated like “minor orders”.
In my seminary days, once a man was installed officially as an acolyte, he was allowed to prepare the altar – especially laying out the corporal (the cloth under the paten and chalice to catch any particles or drops), taking the veil off the chalice and, in this way, preparing the altar for the priest. The acolyte also could clear the altar and purify the paten and chalice after Communion time. So, since last September when you have seen Paul serving at any Mass, I have asked him to do all of those things. You will notice that our altar servers do not set up the corporal, chalice and paten; nor do they purify the vessels after Communion.
After Paul's installation as an acolyte, I received a letter from the Diocese describing what the instituted acolyte can do. In addition to all I have mentioned in the last paragraph, the Diocese encouraged that Paul be given opportunities to preach (outside of Mass), teach, lead prayer services and wake services, lead programs, etc.
So, there you have it: what our installed acolyte Paul Feasel has been up to at Mass, above and beyond the gift of himself in worship to God, which we all seek to accomplish at Holy Mass! God-willing, Paul will be ordained to the permanent diaconate on Saturday, September 18th. This will take place at the Cathedral in Toledo. This comes after four years of formation, including one weekend a month for intense classes. Please keep Paul and the rest of the permanent diaconate class in your prayers in these last couple of months leading up to his ordination.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu, Mariae et Iosephus,