On Monday April 15, 2019, H. E. Bp. Tissier de Mallerais celebrated the annual Lenten ordinations at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary. In a single ceremony, 13 seminarians received the Minor Orders of Porter and Lector, 5 were raised to the orders of Exorcist and Acolyte, and another 4 received the Major Order of the Subdiaconate. Additionally, His Excellency conferred the Order of the Diaconate upon one seminarian. Mr. Dominic O'Hart from Co. Fermanagh was among the 5 who received the orders of Exorcist and Acolyte.
On the morning of April 15th, the somber silence of Holy week gave way to the profound and reverential joy proper to the solemn occasion. The exceptional ceremonies, lasting into the early afternoon, contained a supernatural richness which is not often seen and upon which no one can adequately expound.
Each order, from Porter to the Diaconate, brings the ordinand nearer and nearer to that sacred mystery which is the Eternal Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. While the Minor Orders are not irrevocable (as are the Major Orders) they nevertheless oblige a man to live a life set apart for the sacred, taking God as his portion and his inheritance. By their ordinations, the ordinandi receive the graces necessary to live in accord with their new state as well as to perform the specific duties and responsibilities now placed upon their shoulders.
The Porter is charged with guarding and caring for the church, the Lector with catechesis, the Exorcist with the binding of Satan and expelling demons in the name of Christ, and the Acolyte takes a step nearer to the altar in his participation in the Holy Sacrifice and is specially called to carry the light of Christ to the faithful by his teaching and example.
Just preceding the ordinations, His Excellency exhorted the ordinands to great humility and love in return for the great honors God was soon to give them:
“By receiving these orders, you are forging links in a chain which unite you to Our Lord Jesus Christ in His holy priesthood! Pray always for a humble and generous disposition so that you may fulfill your duties aflame with the love of God!”
Let us pray for Mr. Dominic O'Hart to have this generous disposition to such a noble calling, and may many more follow in his footsteps!