Acolytes Step Up to Serve Parish

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Acolytes Step Up to Serve Parish
L-R Acolytes Don Mills, Don Day and Laurie Newman serve at the Bellerive-Lindisfarne Parish.

Three acolytes at the Bellerive-Lindisfarne Parish are proving that it’s never too late to get involved with a new parish ministry.

Acolytes Don Mills, 82, Don Day, 86, and Laurie Newman,71, have all had a long association with their parish but were only instituted as acolytes in 2000, 2003 and 2012, respectively.

Don Mills says his journey to becoming an acolyte was a several-step process. Fr Denis Allen initially approached him to be an altar server once Mr Mills had retired from work.

“He talked me into it and eventually when Fr Terry Southerwood came, he asked me if I'd be an acolyte. Fr Peter O’Loughlin arrived before my official function to become an acolyte and agreed to go ahead with it,” Mr Mills said.

Mr Day says he was accosted by Fr O’Loughlin one day while he was working on the parish finances and banking.

“He asked me and I sort of stood back for a minute. And he said, ‘Well, don't answer me straight away. Go home and talk about it with your wife.’ Anyway, I did that and she thought it was a good idea, and I did too,” he said.

Mr Newman says that the request to become an acolyte was similarly ‘sprung upon him’ by Fr O’Loughlin but that the opportunity to be of service to the parish community was appealing.

“I think you gain a deeper appreciation of the Mass. Quite often you go to Mass and you can sit there and drift off. You can't afford to as an acolyte, you've got to be alert all the time, because you get called to do this, that, and the other. I think it just gives you a greater appreciation of the Mass and an awareness of what's going on,” he said.

Having three acolytes has meant that all three churches of the Bellerive-Lindisfarne parish are covered during the weekend services.

Mr Day says that serving as an acolyte has strengthened his faith.

“It makes your faith more living,” he said.

“People know that you're a Catholic. When you say that you're an acolyte, and they say, "What's that?" And you explain, it tells them that you're deeper into your faith.”

Mr Mills, whose uncle was part of the carpentry firm that made the church pews at Corpus Christi Church in Bellerive, says that his faith is central to his life.

“It’s the meaning of my life I suppose. I try to live the life as I believe Christ meant us to live and to do the role of acolyte gives me the chance to be practical in living that life,” he said.