Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
My primary purpose with this letter is to put out a call for more altar boys. The beginning of the academic year, with everybody returned from summer break, is a pretty common time to add to the ranks of servers. Before going further with more detail, however, let me express my gratitude for how smoothly the servers have served in this past year. A disciplined, on-task, attentive, prayerful server adds so much to our experience of the Holy Mass. I really hope that every young man in the parish gives serving a try. As I have said before, serving is also a great help as a young man asks the Lord about his vocation in life.
Who is eligible to step forward for serving in our parish? Any young man who will turn nine years of age within this 2015 fall/winter semester can present himself for servers’ training. We will continue to allow families to suggest those Masses at which their boys can be scheduled: a given campus, a given Mass. I would hope, however, that on those rare occasions when we are really desperate for servers on a given weekend – e.g., when a basketball team goes to state and most of my parishioners go with the team! – families might be willing to be flexible and bring their boys to a Mass they ordinarily might not attend. (The mechanics, the choreography of the serving is almost identical at each campus now.) The norm, however, will be to schedule boys for Mass when and where their families usually attend.
If you are interested in becoming an altar server, you can contact the following people, who are helping me with server training at each campus: for Antwerp, Tam Pollock (419-258-2872); for Payne, Kenny Stabler (419-203-5573); for Paulding, Jason Koenn (419-796-9901).
You will notice that the name “Dave Santo” does not appear as the Paulding trainer for altar servers. After leading up the servers’ program at Paulding for some 30 years, Dave Santo has handed the baton to Jason Koenn. I am very, very grateful for Dave’s dedicated service for so many years. Dave will still be around to help out some with the program.
I am hoping that the current structure and regularity in the altar servers’ program will be inviting for any young man in our parish. Any parents with questions regarding the possibility of their boys serving could call one of the trainers above, or me.
There still exists the possibility of sacristan duties for any young women of the parish. Any young women (or their parents) interested in sacristan work to help us prepare for each Mass could inquire as follows: anybody at the Antwerp campus could contact Tam Pollock (419-258-2872). Anybody from Paulding or Payne could contact the parish office. At Payne’s Campus last year nothing really took off as far as a sacristans’ program. At Paulding the already-existing sacristans took on the extra work of immediate Mass preparation that I was adding, rather than creating any new sacristans’ program there. Overall, things are running pretty smoothly for immediate Mass preparation at all of our campuses, but we certainly would have room to add some more sacristans to help with immediate Mass set up, such as setting out the priest’s vestments, the altar vessels, the wine and hosts, etc. I am very appreciative of the work the sacristan’s have done over the past year. I think the overall system in the sacristy now before Mass has really increased the preparedness of all of the ministers, and the awareness of the mystery into which we are about to delve when we enter into the Mass.
In addition to this call out for new servers and sacristans, there is attached in this bulletin a reminder of all of the other service opportunities available in our parish. Within the near future, the staff and I will be reviewing the various volunteer programs/ministries for any improvements that could be made.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,