Welcome to Our Newest Altar Servers
On Sunday, October 27, at our 9:00 am liturgy, 17 altar servers were installed, bringing the number of our grade school and high school altar servers to 103. With over 50% high school students, it is one of the largest parish altar server ministries in the archdiocese.
We pause today to express our gratitude to our altar servers, their parents, and their families. Each week parents adjust their schedules and provide transportation to ensure that our altar servers enhance our liturgies; as a community, we express our heartfelt gratitude to them.
Likewise, we express sincere gratitude to our altar server leadership team: Terri Alleruzzo, Raelynne Lorenz, Bryan Lorenz, Frank Bifulco, Michelle Hatch, Christopher Nichols, Kathy Quantock, Clare Sadnik, Terry Tong and Bob Shadduck.
Congratulations, and thank you to all our altar servers, especially the 17 recently installed servers.
Also visit: Altar Servers
1964 - 2019
Friday, November 8, 2019
Padre Serra Parish
5205 Upland Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012
Dear Friends, Reflecting on our lives as Catholic Christians, I have come to the conclusion that during our liturgies we are a people who are always moving toward someone or someplace with enthusiasm and joy. The use of parades for civic occasions and of processions for religious motives is common to all peoples. The Hebrew Testament and the Christian Testament provide biblical bases for the Judaeo-Christian practice of processions. The Christian procession is tied closely to the idea of pilgrimage. Life for us is a journey from one place to another. A journey becomes a pilgrimage when it is undertaken for God and seeks God as its ultimate goal. The great example of all this is, the pilgrimage of the People of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt through the desert to the promised land.
What does this insight have to do with altar servers? Are the altar servers involved in processions? Absolutely! At each liturgy, our altar servers are involved in both functional and special processions. The functional processions include the entrance and closing processions, procession of the gifts, the Gospel Procession, minor processions to the altar to bring up the chalice, the Sacramentary, communion cups, purificators and bread plates. And of course the Communion Procession which is the ritual expression of our identity as fellow pilgrims on a journey together to the heavenly banquet, singing as we walk.
Servers serve the prayer life of the assembly. They remind us of our journey toward the Lord. They know how to walk in the sacred space. They know the direction and they have a sense of purpose. They do not call attention to themselves. They facilitate worship with focus, moving from one place to another, making it happen easily with care and grace. By their actions they point to what is important and they lead the processions by example.
Altar servers are the youthful members of our community, they energize us and remind us of our journeying toward the Lord. They lead us silently, providing focus as to what is important in our liturgies.
Today’s readings are among several that deal with persistence, an aspect of character that can be seen as a defect or as praiseworthy, depending on the circumstances and who the target of the persistence may be.
In the case of the first reading, Moses is persistent (with the help of Aaron and Hur when he gets tired) in holding up the staff of God. While he does so, Israel has the better of the fight against Amalek (who came and waged war). There was nothing magical about the staff itself. It was a symbol of Moses’ faith in a faithful God’s promises. It could be valuable to reflect upon who helps us with our persistence? Who is our Aaron? Our Hur? What is symbolic of our faith in God’s promises?
In Luke’s gospel, we have another story of a judge who fears neither God nor respects any human still deciding to render a just decision for a widow simply because of her persistence. I remember when I first heard this passage (many years ago) I thought that the judge in the story was a metaphor for God when we pray. It was only later that I realized that the judge in the story actually functions as a contrast to how God responds to our persistence. Again, when what we ask is in accord with God’s nature (kindness, love, beauty, truth, mercy, wisdom, justice), “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
One can almost feel Jesus’ weariness when he asks that last question. C.S. Lewis has said: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”1
Perhaps if we had a better sense of what God wants to give us, it would influence what we asked for, and how persistently we did so.
In our second reading, St. Paul exhorts us in proclaiming the word to “be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage [emphasis mine] through all patience and teaching.”
It seems to me that persistence is also called for in our efforts to evangelize. To dispense with the million-dollar word, I could put it this way: persistence is also called for in looking constantly for the opportunity to introduce others to our faith by building relationship with them, and inviting them to come with us to Padre Serra – whether it’s to Mass, to an educational gathering, or to a purely social event.
Liturgy and Music Minister
1 The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses
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