We offer congratulations to Second Year Theology seminarian, Ben Pitre, who advanced into the Ministry of Acolyte on March 13, 2016 in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Ben is the son of Benjamin and Suzanne Hebert Pitre, and is sponsored by St. Landry Church in Opelousas.
He is shown above with Joseph Boustany, first year theology student at the NAC, on his right; and Father Joshua Guillory on his left.
Included in a 1972 apostolic letter, MINISTERIA QUAEDAM, given Motu Proprio: On first tonsure, minor orders, and the subdiaconate, Pope Paul VI wrote concerning the ministry of acolyte:
“The Acolyte is appointed in order to aid the deacon and to minister to the priest. It is his duty therefore
to attend to the service of the altar and to assist the deacon and the priest in liturgical celebrations,
especially in the celebration of Mass; he is also to distribute communion as a special minister when the
ministers spoken of in the Codex Iuris Canonicican. 845 are not available or are prevented by ill
health, age, or another pastoral ministry from performing this function, or when the number of
communicants is so great that the celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged. In the same
extraordinary circumstances an Acolyte may be entrusted with publicly exposing the blessed sacrament
for adoration by the faithful and afterward replacing it, but not with blessing the people. He may also,
to the extent needed, take care of instructing other faithful who on a temporary basis are appointed to
assist the priest or deacon in liturgical celebrations by carrying the missal, cross, candles, etc., or by
performing other such duties. He will perform these functions more worthily if he participates in the
holy eucharist with increasingly fervent devotion, receives nourishment from it, and deepens his
knowledge about it.
As one set aside in a special way for the service of the altar, the Acolyte should learn all matters
concerning public divine worship and strive to grasp their inner spiritual meaning: in that way he will
be able each day to offer himself entirely to God, be an example to all by his 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.”