On 29 October Bishop John Wilson instituted Mark Dunglinson, Daniel Herrero, and Jonathan Stogdon (Westminster), Laurence Bryce (Cardiff), Ian Cornford (Portsmouth), and Chinedu Enuh (Congregation of the Mission) as Acolytes.
This year we were particularly blessed that our annual institution of Acolytes also fell on the Solemnity of the Martyrs of Douai – the 158 martyrs of our College. In his homily Bishop John reminded us that the martyrs are not distant figures or pious stories – they are real people. They lived real lives and each of the 158 names read out at the beginning of the Mass is a person with their own story, and each of them had a vocation just like the six men who had been put forward for institution as Acolytes. He reminded those being instituted that as Acolytes they have a specific service, and that by this service they are re-orientated towards the eucharist in a new and deeper way. That eucharist is the same eucharist that the Martyrs of Douai willingly died for.
Bishop John finished his homily by inviting the Acolytes to meditate upon the ordination rite of a priest, which like the institution of an Acolyte includes the giving of a paten containing bread to the new priest or new acolyte. In the ordination rite the priest is told to ‘model your life on the mystery of the Lord’s cross.’ This modelling on the mystery begins in part now for our new Acolytes and they should increasingly seek to die and rise with Christ each day, and lay down their lives in the service of others.
Please pray for our newly instituted Acolytes as they continue their discernment and preparation for priesthood.