by Oswald Aranha
KUWAIT, JANUARY 3, 2014: With preparations for the Christmas season well underway, the Altar Servers Ministry also planned some activities to reiterate the message that "Jesus is the reason for the season".
Three special events were organised for the altar servers – a crib competition, Thanksgiving Adoration and a year-end meeting themed on the Holy Family.
The Crib Competition was held on Saturday, 21 December 2013 and was attended by over 100 altar servers. This on-the-spot was organised by Elvis D'mello and received an overwhelming response.
The four groups put their creativity and team work to the test, unfolding their beautiful and thoughtfully designed nativity scenes. The St. Dominic Savio group walked away with the first prize for their ingenious and stellar team efforts.
Next, the Altar Servers animated an hour-long session at the parish's year-end Thanksgiving Adoration service on Saturday, 28 December 2013. Over 30 boys presented a meaningful and serene session for the congregation, supported by a melodious choir and eloquent lectors. A special thanks to Oswald Aranha, Clara Aranha, Pascal Fernandes and Elvis D'mello for training the altar boys to lead the adoration.
That same day, they also had their year-end meeting. As is customary, the meeting opened with a collection of points followed by the Opening Prayer led by Ralph Serrao. Fr. Blany Pinto, Parish Priest and Spiritual Leader for the Altar Servers welcomed the boys warmly, greeting them with a spiritual message.
The main coordinator Oswald Aranha then delivered a very enthusiastic speech and briefed the boys on the upcoming events:
-New altar server induction program in Jan 2014
-Altar Servers rally on 1stFeb 2014
-Vocation tour in July 2014.
-Mass serving and discipline measures
-Fortnight roster based on the group
This was followed by a brief yet informative presentation on the Feast of Christmas, Holy Innocents and the Holy Family by Melroy Barboza, Tony Joseph and Mark Namory. Special thanks to Lakshmi Pereira for guiding this eloquent team of presenters.
The much awaited "high achievers" (based on the points accumulated) for December were announced – Benson Daniel and Abel Cris were felicitated with trophies for securing the highest points for the month of December. The points system has been extremely effective in motivating the altar servers and bringing them closer to Jesus as they strive to serve more masses and adorations, participate in the Saturday oratory program, retreats, monthly meetings and special events and seminars organised by the school or church.
After a closing prayer by Joshua Dsouza, snacks were distributed by the logistics team. Spiritually nourished all the boys returned home to continue the festivities with their families and friends."All these programs helped us keep our focus on Jesus as we celebrated Christmas with our family and friends" remarked Tony Joseph at the end of these celebrations.