by Resurrection Parish youth
VASAI-MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 23, 2013: The annual Salesian event of the Altar Server's Rally was for the first time held in the suburbs of Mumbai at Mary Help of Christians Church, Naigaon.
It was a privilege to welcome 240 altar servers and animators from different parishes, namely Don Bosco - Nashik, Don Bosco – Borivali, Don Bosco – Lonavala, Dominic Savio - Andheri, Our Lady of Dolours – Wadala, Dominic Savio - Antop Hill, Mary Help of Christians - Naigaon, Jyoti Mata Church – Virar (W) and Resurrection Church – Virar (E).
After the registration at 8 am, breakfast was served, followed by a Praise and Worship session at the School hall conducted by Fr. Allwyn Misquitta and his team. The comperes Juliana and Reuel welcomed each group and began the inaugural prayer service, during which the traditional lamp was lit by some of the Salesians and animators of the parishes. Fr. Orville in his inaugural speech extended a warm welcome to all the altar servers gathered for the rally.
The team from Dominic Savio – Antop Hill presented the theme song: "Shout to the North and the South" setting the whole place buzzing with joy. Fr. Cleo Braganza then explained the theme "I am God's Field," which was based on the message of Pope Francis to the youth in July 2013 at the World Youth Day in Brazil. The altar servers then had a discussion and sharing about the theme in groups.
The presence of 9 priests at the altar for the celebration of the Eucharist was a rare but gracious sight, along with the privilege of having Fr. Glenn Lowe, who celebrates the silver jubilee of priestly ordination and Fr. Reggie Gracias who celebrates the silver jubilee of religious profession as a Salesian. During the homily, Fr. Orville asked the altars servers to be attentive to God's call. He mentioned that all the priests present were once upon a time altar servers, and that he hoped that many of them would also generously respond to God.
The children enjoyed the delicious lunch, after which followed the Bible Quiz. The Resurrection parish youth ably animated the quiz with lots of creativity and meticulous organization. For the cultural moment, each parish presented an action song. It was a great delight to see the young altar servers placing their abundant talents on display. Every parish group was rewarded with a few mementos and a set of Altar Servers' Posters for their parishes.
The day concluded with the vote of thanks by Fr. Glen, who expressed his gratitude to all those who contributed to making the Altar Servers' Rally a success. The Altar Servers returned home bubbling with joy and enthusiasm, after an enriching experience together.