Institution to the ministry of acolyte at Mater Ecclesiae

Source: Catholic Star Herald

Institution to the ministry of acolyte at Mater Ecclesiae

, February 25, 2016

Institution to the ministry of acolyte at Mater EcclesiaeBishop Dennis Sullivan stands with John Rotondi, left, who he called to the ministry of acolyte, and Father Robert C. Pasley, rector of Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin. Photo by James A. McBride

On Feb. 18, Bishop Dennis Sullivan called John Rotondi, a 36-year old married father of five, to the Ministry of the Acolyte at Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, allowing him to assist the priest and deacon during the solemn high traditional Latin Mass.

During the vespers (Evening Prayer), Bishop Sullivan began the rite by reciting in the Traditional Latin, “Accedat qui instituendus est in ministerio Acolythorum” (Let him who is to be instituted into the ministry of Acolyte approach).

Rotondi was instructed by Bishop Sullivan to “be a help” to both priests and deacons in their ministry. “Accompany with a sincere love, Christ’s mystical body, the people of God, especially the weak and the sick, and may you be conformed to the command he gave to His Apostles at the Last Supper: ‘Love each other, as I have loved you.’”

Presenting to Rotondi a vessel with bread, Bishop Sullivan concluded the rite by saying to the new acolyte, “May you be worthy to serve.”

A resident of National Park and full-time accountant, Rotondi has a “long familiarity with the traditional liturgy,” he said, dating back to when he was a 10-year-old boy serving Mass in the Bronx, New York. For the past decade, he has attended Mass at Mater Ecclesiae and been a member of its schola choir. For four years, he taught Latin to high school-age home schooled youth.

In his new ministry, in addition to assisting the priest and deacon, he will be responsible for such tasks as lighting the candles on the altar, and carrying them in procession, and during the solemn singing of the Gospel; and to prepare the water for the sacrifice of the Mass.

“I’m happy to be called to higher service,” Rotondi said after the ceremony. “I hope to help the greater good of Mater Ecclesiae.”

A mission of the Diocese of Camden, Mater Ecclesiae Church offers a full sacramental and spiritual life using the Ancient Liturgy of the Church, The Extraordinary Form. Since Pope Benedict issued Summorum Pontificum in 2007, the Extraordinary Form is now open to all, and Mater Ecclesiae welcomes anyone from throughout the Diocese of Camden. The rector is Father Robert C. Pasley.

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2 comments on “Institution to the ministry of acolyte at Mater Ecclesiae

  1. I get it. Married acolytes and deacons can wash their own daughters’ feet on Maundy Thursday. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    God was merciful in confining the wantonness of the destroyers to the Novus ordo. But now they will chip away at the beautiful Mass. Do we deserve better? “A wicked and perverse generation demands a sign.” And we shall have it. The pope will endorse contraception, adultery, sodomy, and will trample on the remaining vestiges of the old Church. Fasten your seatbelts.

  2. [Liturgical innovation at a “traditional” Latin-liturgy parish]

    Bishop Sullivan “instituted” (i.e., installed) him into the Novus Ordo “minstry of the altar” of acolyte (albeit in Latin from the Novus Ordo ritual “De Institutione Acolythi”). His Excellency did not ordain him to the minor order of acolyte according to the traditional ritual, which would have included the bishop having the ordinand touch a candlestick and candle, saying to him the while, “Receive the candlestick with the candle and know that you are bound to the lighting of the lights of the church, in the name of the Lord” and then making him place his hand on an empty cruet, at the same time addressing him thus, “Receive the cruet for ministering wine and water for the Eucharist of the Blood of Christ, in the name of the Lord.”

    For the complete text of the traditional rite of ordination to the minor order of acolyte (mostly in Latin), see MINOR ORDERS, BY REV. LOUIS BACUEZ, S.S. (B. Herder, 1912), pages 377-379 @

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