Fr. ChasDear Parish Family,
You will notice something a little bit different with our altar servers. Do you remember when Mark Martin, our seminarian intern, was here last year before he went into his first year of sem-inary? A number of you commented how good he was in helping the other younger servers in guiding them on how to serve. Wouldn’t it be great if they still had that assistance?

Well, we can try to give them the next best thing and promote priestly vocations while we are at it! You will notice a small group of servers of high school age and above (so small that we only have one right now!) who will be wearing a cassock and surplice when they are serving. A cassock is a long black robe, and a surplice is the shorter white garment that our seminarian intern would wear over the cassock when he was serving.

These young men will be the dean and assistant deans of servers, and they will be selected among the experienced servers due to their dedication to serving and their potential interest in a priestly vocation. They do not even have to want to be a priest (I didn’t when I was their age!), but they would at least be open to it if they discovered God was calling them. Even though it wasn’t until I was in my late twenties when I really sensed the call and entered seminary, I believe the seeds of my priestly vocation were planted back in those early days of altar serving at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Columbia, Missouri.

DSC_0073 (1)Our first “dean of servers” is Clay Waterbury (pictured here), who attends Northwest High School. He has already assisted Jeromy Alexander and me in training our newest servers. The dean and assistant deans will also be doing some remedial training of our present servers in the brief twenty minutes before Mass by which they are expected to arrive.

To encourage participation in altar serving after the sixth grade, those interested and have the sufficient experience will be named “senior altar servers.” You can spot them by the cross that they will be wearing over their alb. They too will help guide the younger ones in knowing what to do next. We hope all of this will improve the quality of our altar serving and even more teach them to appreciate what is going on during Holy Mass. I encourage you to get your elementary or middle school-aged children to get involved by contacting Jeromy at the parish office.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Chas