Thirty-eight men from across the Diocese of Tyler were instituted into the Ministry of Acolyte by Bishop Joseph E. Strickland on Nov. 7 at the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul in Tyler.
Acolytes serve at the altar and aid the priest and deacon. They assist with the preparation of the altar and distribution of the Eucharist when needed, especially to the sick and home-bound.
Prior to their installation on Saturday, the new acolytes undertook a six-month training process led by Deacon Ruben Natera. In addition to possessing the skills necessary for effective service at the altar, a candidate must be a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church, be free of any canonical penalty, and live a life which befits the ministry to be undertaken. The candidates also served in liturgical ministries in their parishes for several years and were recommended by their pastors.
Acolytes are called to “offer [themselves] entirely to God, be an example to all by [their] gravity and reverence in church, and have a sincere love for the Mystical Body of Christ, the people of God, especially for the weak and the sick,” according to St. Paul VI.