Bishop Richard F. Stika installed 24 men in the Diocese of Knoxville as acolytes on Oct. 10, bringing them one step closer to being ordained into the permanent diaconate.
Accompanied by their wives and family members, the men stood before Bishop Stika, who accepted their petition to receive the Ministry of Acolyte. Two years ago, the men began the process to become permanent deacons with the Rite of Candidacy. Then last year they received the Ministry of Lector.
As acolytes, they now can serve at the altar and can assist the priest or deacon. They will prepare the altar and the sacred vessels and can serve as extraordinary ministers to distribute the Eucharist.
Bishop Stika congratulated them for making this important step on their journey to becoming permanent deacons and he thanked them for taking such a public step in Catholic ministry.
The new acolytes, who will be ordained as permanent deacons next June, are Hicks Armor, Doug Bitzer, Gilbert Campos II, John DeClue, Mike Duncan, Butch Feldhaus, Al Forsythe, Don Griffith, Steve Helmbrecht, Erasmo Hernandez, Michael Humphreys, Bob Ketteringham, Scott Maentz, Barry Maples, Steve May, Dennis Meinert, Peter Minneci, David Oatney, Walt Otey, Steve Ratterman, Larry Rossini, Phillip Talmadge, Tom Tidwell, and Fredy Vargas.