By Barb Arland-Fye
Jacob Greiner, a seminarian from the Davenport Diocese, has achieved a milestone in his discernment of a vocation to the priesthood. Greiner and 11 other seminarians were instituted as acolytes Oct. 12 in St. Mary’s Chapel at The St. Paul Seminary, School of Divinity in St. Paul, Minn.
Greiner, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Keota, felt honored to have Bishop Martin Amos of the Davenport Diocese preside at the Mass. Among the concelebrants was Msgr. Aloysius Callaghan, rector of The St. Paul Seminary, where Greiner is a second-year theology student.
Church documents state that the acolyte serves at the altar to assist the priest and deacon. The acolyte’s specific responsibility is to prepare the altar and the sacred vessels and, if necessary, to serve as extraordinary minister to distribute the Eucharist to the faithful.
“When Pope Paul VI reformed the Minor Orders he said of the acolyte: 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 to strive to grasp their inner spiritual meaning,” Bishop Amos said in his homily.
By following that advice, “the acolyte 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 the weak and the sick.”
While this rite focuses on the bread and wine and what it becomes, it is also important to focus on “what we will become,” Bishop Amos said.
“My prayer,” he told the acolytes, “is that as you exercise this ministry and come to understand its meaning more and more you will find the personal fulfillment that brings real happiness. I hope that you will share the Eucharistic bread as well as be Eucharist to your sisters and brothers.”
In reflecting on this milestone, Greiner said: “My journey towards the priesthood has taken a very important next step, and the presence of Bishop Amos at my acolyte institution made this event extremely special for me.
“However, it is very clear that I now have additional responsibilities to fulfill in my formation program and in service to the Church. It is my prayer that I will fulfill the sacred duties of the acolyte worthily, so I may continue to deepen my knowledge and love of the holy Eucharist.”