September 19, 2021

Dear parishioners and friends of our parish,

You may have noticed with delight that there are now Altar Servers at our Holy Masses. Their presence adds reverence to the liturgy and is appreciated by all. We are happy that many families have responded positively to our recruitment and encouraged their children to volunteer for this important ministry in the Church. This effort is a testament to your strong faith and religious commitment. It also shows the extraordinary dedication of our Religious Education Coordinator Nelly Gutierrez and her team of volunteers, who spent many hours organizing and preparing those children for this public role. I cannot tell you enough how inspired I am when seeing that our priests are assisted by these wonderful boys and girls at the Altar. We are truly proud of them.

As someone who served at the Altar for fourteen years at my home parish in Saigon prior to my family’s resettlement in America, I can affirm that such a unique ministry had given me so much in life. It allowed me to grow in the understanding of the Eucharist. It trained me to be a responsible and committed person. I learned many fantastic life skills such as teamwork, attentiveness, organization, punctuality and self-confidence. The service literally changed my experience of the church community, from a group of random people I stood next to at Mass, to a large and diverse family that I could relate to and made me feel at home. As time went on, I ended up having many friends who shared my faith and interests, leading to many unforgettable memories of childhood.  Best of all, serving at the Altar helped me discern my vocation more clearly. While every vocation, whether marriage, religious life or priesthood, is awesomely beautiful, being an Altar Server has given me a unique opportunity to see that beauty more fully in the priesthood.

As I said to the children during their instruction, the “job” of the priest at Holy Mass is to help the people to pray better, and the “job” of the Server is to help the priest to do his “job” better. With so many great reasons for becoming an Altar Server, I hope that your son/daughter will be able to participate with us. Please let me or Father Hung Tran know of your interest. We will commission the new Servers at the 11:15am Family Mass on Sunday, September 26th. They will be given their Crosses and receive a special Blessing. Please encourage these wonderful children by thanking them for sharing their gifts with our parish.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Msgr. Cuong M. Pham