On Feb. 26, Most Rev. David Kagan of Bismarck, N.D., conferred the Ministry of Acolyte, in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception of the Pontifical North American College in Rome to the following students:

Clayton Bernard Ludwig of the Diocese of St. Augustine was one of the 63 seminarians who received the Ministry of Acolyte on Feb. 26 – the Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Group photo of seminarians recently ordained to the ministry of acolyte. (Photo courtesy of the Pontifical North American College, Rome)

Bishop Kagan, an alumnus of the College was the celebrant of the Mass, which was celebrated in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception of the North American College. During his homily at the Mass, Bishop Kagan reminded the second year seminarians that their new responsibility of serving at the altar, their second-to-last step before being ordained priests, is one to be taken on with a spirit of humility.

“Remember that your service is never to be about you…for the people of God whom you will serve look to you to model fidelity, devotion and humble joy in your service to Almighty God, and what a privilege you have in this vocation.”

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

Seminarian, Clay Ludwig receives the paten, as he is ordained to the ministry of acolyte by Bishop David Kagan of the Diocese of Bismarck, ND. (Photo courtesy of the Pontifical North American College, Rome)

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 and 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 Pontifical North American College serves as the American seminary in Rome. Founded in 1859 by Blessed Pius IX, the college has formed more than 5,000 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 to study the Church’s rich religious and cultural heritage at close range.