43 Seminarians Receive Ministry of Acolyte

ROME, 24 February 2019 –

On the 24th of February 2019, the Most Reverend Steven J. Lopes, Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, conferred the Ministry of Acolyte during Mass in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, Pontifical North American College, Vatican City State to the following students:

  1. Samuel Augustus Bass of the Diocese of Austin
  2. Dillon Alexander Bruce of the Diocese of Richmond
  3. Alessandro  Calderoni Ortiz of the Diocese of Tulsa
  4. Louis Angelo Cona of the Diocese of Rockville Centre
  5. Nicholas Scott Case of the Archdiocese of San Francisco
  6. Patrick Gordon Costello of the Diocese of Green Bay
  7. Matthew Joseph Donahue of the Diocese of Knoxville
  8. Matthew Steven Duclos of the Diocese of Albany
  9. Timothy Mark Eck, II of the Diocese of Metuchen
  10. Paul Louis Floersch of the Archdiocese of Omaha
  11. Reed Turner Flood of the Diocese of Des Moines
  12. Edward James Godefroid of the Archdiocese of St. Louis
  13. Patrick Michael Hannegan of the Archdiocese of St. Louis
  14. Madison Russell Howard Hayes of the Archdiocese of Anchorage
  15. Michael David Hoye of the Diocese of Worcester
  16. Daniel Paul Holgren of the Diocese of San Diego
  17. Jakob Nicholas Hurlimann of the Diocese of Austin
  18. Lucas Marshall LaRoche of the Diocese of Worcester
  19. Michael Ledesma of the Diocese of Tyler
  20. Seth Mitchell Lemaire of the Diocese of Lafayette
  21. James Edmund Linkenheld of the Diocese of Rockford
  22. Joseph Louis MacNeill of the Archdiocese of Hartford
  23. Michael Joseph Malucha of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
  24. Eric Joseph Mashak of the Diocese of La Crosse
  25. Patrick Shane McCain of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
  26. Nicholas Paul Morrison of the Archdiocese of Washington
  27. James Robert O’Neil of the Diocese of Lincoln
  28. John Anthony Pankratz, Jr. of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings
  29. Alexander Williams Pince of the Diocese of Venice in Florida
  30. Kyle Joseph Poje of the Archdiocese of Seattle
  31. Luke Timothy Powers of the Diocese of Madison
  32. Timothy Matthew Reither of the Diocese of La Crosse
  33. Thomas Sullivan Robertson of the Archdiocese of Washington
  34. Juan Miguel Sanchez of the Diocese of Charlotte
  35. Peter Lee Srsich of the Archdiocese of Denver
  36. Christopher Andrew Trummer of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois
  37. Nicholas John Vetter of the Diocese of Bismarck
  38. Michael Joseph Wanta of the Diocese of Madison
  39. Curtis Carl Weisenburger of the Diocese of Toledo
  40. Joseph Paul White of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
  41. Grant Bradley Wilson of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois
  42. Stephen Andrew Yusko of the Diocese of Albany
  43. Gregory Joseph Zannetti of the Diocese of Metuchen

In his homily, Bishop Lopes stressed the importance of Christ’s love as a measure for our lives noting that Jesus Christ is “a love without conditions, a love without limits, a love that was willing to give all; that is the love that is revealed in God, in Christ.”  He said this love is “the truth of an encounter that transforms us” and he added, “it is an encounter that is experienced particularly today by those who have received the Ministry of Acolyte because we are servants of the Mass, and the Eucharist, which is the principle place of that encounter.”

Bishop Lopes told the newly instituted acolytes that the “acolyte understood in the context of this seminary is a ritual step towards ordination.  It is a ritual drawing near to the altar, to the sacrifice, and to the Lord’s cross.” He concluded by asserting: “The love we encounter at the altar, the love by which you draw nearer today, changes us.  It transfigures us.  It accomplishes in us what you and I, humanly speaking, could never ask or even imagine.  And so we love differently.  We are changed by the sacramental outpouring of grace.  Because at the altar we know ourselves to be loved in a way that is unimaginable.  This is the heart of the Christian faith.  This is the heart of the Gospel itself.”

As part of the rite, the bishop placed the paten, which contains the hosts for the celebration of Mass, in the hands of each candidate. He then said, “take this vessel with bread for the celebration of the Eucharist.  Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of his Church.”

The seminarians, currently in their second year of formation for the priesthood, would have two additional years of theological studies before being ordained to the priesthood in their home dioceses.

The Pontifical North American College serves as the American seminary in Rome.  Founded in 1859 by Blessed Pius IX, the College has formed over 5000 priests near the heart of the Church for service in dioceses around the United States, Canada, and Australia.  The College strengthens the bonds between Rome and local Churches worldwide, and it allows its students a first-hand encounter of the Church’s rich religious and cultural heritage.

A gallery of photos from the Mass may be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/pnac/albums in the coming days. Local diocesan news organizations may contact Denis Nakkeeran (dnakkeeran@pnac.org) for information regarding photo use credits and permissions. All other news sources may contact pnacdc@pnac.org for photo permissions.