I’ve written glowingly in the past about the altar servers at my parish—and even posted some advice from an expertabout how to launch a thriving program—but I’m pleased to see some attention being given to our neighbors upstate, who are having similar success.
From The Evangelistin Albany:
Immaculate Conception parish in Glenville is bursting at the seams with altar servers. While some parishes struggle to get girls and boys to volunteer as altar servers, Immaculate Conception currently has more than 50 young people trained to assist Rev. Jerome Gingras, pastor, at Masses. Ministry coordinator Tom Bigos told The Evangelist that the community Father Gingras has created among the servers is a big reason the ministry is so popular. “A lot of our young people really enjoy being with Father Jerry,” Mr. Bigos said. Father Gingras explained that he checks on the servers before a liturgy even begins: “I always make it a point to talk to them and ask them if they’re all set.” He doesn’t reprimand them for making mistakes, either. “I always try to be calm with them,” he said. “There are a lot of little mistakes; they’re kids.” The altar servers, who are between the ages of eight and 17, understand that they aren’t always perfect. Carrie Watkins, a sixth-grader from Iroquois Middle School, noted that, when a fellow server makes a mistake, others have to notice it immediately and fix it, without missing a beat. “We have a lot of jobs,” she said.