Thursday, May 2, 2013

A GATHERING FOR WELCOMES AND FAREWELLS–ALTAR SERVERS MEETING

BIS Mumbai                                  
BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 3503
A GATHERING FOR WELCOMES AND FAREWELLS–ALTAR SERVERS MEETING

By: Louie Pereira

NORTHERN ARABIAN VICARIATE MAY 02, 2013:  On Saturday, 27 April 2013, the Altar Servers <![if !vml]><![endif]>Ministry of the St Therese of the Child Jesus Parish of the North Arabian Vicariate organized a special meeting to welcome new members and bid farewell to those leaving.

At this meeting, the Ministry welcomed twenty six new members and felicitated two who are leaving to India for further studies. The high number of new members can be attributed to a special initiative of the Spiritual Director of the Ministry.

On Friday, April 19, 2013, one hundred and forty eight children received their First Holy Communion in our parish. This momentous occasion also deemed them eligible to join the Altar Servers Ministry. Keeping this in mind, the parish priest visited the various classes of the First Holy Communicants and specially invited them to join the Ministry, sharing with them its benefits and blessings.

Many more new members would have been present at this meeting. However, the children from the Don Bosco School couldn't make it to the meeting as they were attending the rehearsals for the annual gathering to be held later that month.

The meeting commenced with an opening prayer and a wide range of action songs, which got all the participants upbeat and elated. Then, the animators greeted the altar servers with a warm welcome, and an audio visual presentation themed on the hymn 'Make me an Instrument, Lord'. This presentation provided deep insights into their purpose as altar servers and members of the Catholic community. It also nourished them spiritually.

Next, Louie introduced the leaders and senior members of the Ministry to the new entrants. After this, each new entrant was invited to briefly introduce themselves to the others.

This was followed by a very inspirational session of testimonies. Franklin D'souza, an altar server who is presently studying in Lonavla encouraged the new entrants to listen to the voice of God in the silence of their hearts. He shared about the growth promoting ambience at Lonavla which has influenced him a great deal. Ralph Serrao shared his journey in the Altar Servers Ministry, from his calling to join through to accepting the leadership. He highlighted the importance of serving with humility and joy. He also emphasized that service is not only restricted to the confines of the church but also outside in our society.

Fr. Blany Pinto then took the stage to welcome the new members and to felicitate the outgoing members, Louie Pereira, Reeve D'souza and Dylan Cornelio. In remembrance and in thanksgiving, the outgoing altar servers were presented with farewell cards, prayers and blessings.

Finally, it was time for some action. A game based on action songs was played and enjoyed by all. After wishing those who celebrated their birthdays that month, the meeting concluded with a closing prayer and distribution of snacks.

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