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At a solemn celebration of Mass on 29 October 2014, 15 students nearing their completion of Theology 2, were installed to the ministry of Acolyte by Archbishop William Slattery of the Archdiocese of Pretoria.
In his homily, Archbishop Slattery encouraged those who were going to be installed acolytes, that in their ministry they must have a “methodology”, as even our master Jesus had his own methodology, which we find in Matthew 5: 1-11, the Beatitudes. This kept Jesus going, and that is how Christian life must be lived. Jesus is calling those who are called to this ministry of acolyte to serve others, as he did. We are all called to give ourselves to others, and are called to be humble, and to lay down our lives for others. Being an acolyte is part of the mission of the Church to reach and to inspire people, for the people of God will follow them – therefore it is important to ask God for guidance, for “wherever you go the people of God will follow you, so make sure you go to the right places!” The Archbishop also encouraged them especially to familiarize themselves with the Eucharist, as all seminarians and priests ought to be regular visitors to the Eucharist, because sometimes the journey can be lonely and difficult, but when we come before our Lord present in the Eucharist we get comforted for nothing and no-one can support us like Jesus who is always full of mercy, and is a friend who is always available – we just have to avail ourselves.
The ministry of Acolyte marks a stage in the Seminarians journey to the priesthood, helping to prepare them to serve at the altar as a priest in the future. Their Institution as Acolytes will also equip this group to exercise this ministry as they will spend 6 months outside of the Seminary doing their Pastoral Internship in their Dioceses’ from January to June 2015.
By Tshepo Maseko – Philosophy 2 Student