FIRST OF ITS KIND IN THE MIDDLE EAST
St. Mary’s Church, Dubai -U.A.E. Altar Servers’ Sodality Feast Day Celebration and Annual Day of the Sodality for the year 2011.
November 26 – Feast of St. John Berchmans – Patron Saint of Altar Servers St.John Berchmans “A Saint who performed ordinary actions with extraordinary perfection” – The saint who made kindness, courtesy, and constant fidelity an important part of his holiness – A true model for the Altar Servers of the World.
Parish Priest Rev Fr Tomasito, Director of the Sodality – Rev Fr Fransquinho Gomes, Provincial Rev. Fr. Varghese and Rev. Fr. Denis [Guest Priest from Mangalore], animators and members of the St Mary’s Altar Servers Sodality (SMASS), Parents of all Altar Servers, Family Members and Well Wishers came together for a grand celebration to mark the feast of St. John Berchmans, Patron Saint of Altar Servers with the Holy Mass at 5 pm.Prior to the Eucharistic celebrations, altar servers actively participated in the Holy Rosary with Litany to St. John Berchmans to offer their thanksgiving to Holy Mother and the Patron Saint and ask for their intercessions for their spiritual lives.
Welcoming the Filipino community altar servers into the sodality was an added joy to the family of Altar Servers and the Filipino altar servers actively participated in the Holy Rosary and the Eucharistic Celebration.The existing 162 altar servers renewed their pledge during the Holy Mass. Yet another inspiring homily from Provincial Rev.Fr.Varghese was the highlight of the feast.
Special thanks were offered to our Rev. Fr. Tomasito, main celebrant of the Feast Day Mass, for conducting the “Renewal of Altar Servers Vows” ceremony and for his address during the evening program.Prayer Cards to St. John Berchmans were printed for the daily use of the altar servers were offered and blessed during the Holy Mass.
After the Holy Mass, the focus of the Annual Day festivities shifted to Main Hall where altar servers, parents, animators and well wishers joined for an evening of entertainment. Nearly 50 altar servers performed to a collection of devotional tunes. The singers and dancers showed their interest in following Jesus through their words and actions.Austin Mendonca, a senior altar server welcomed the gathering followed by the address by the Cordinator Oswald Fernandes.
Nearly 100 newly joined altar servers were present with their family members.In his speech, Rev Fr Frank extolling the virtues of being an altar server and urging the altar servers to remain more devoted and pious in carrying out their responsibilities in the presence of the Lord.
Fancy dress competition with different themes was enjoyed and most appreciated event of the evening. New Testament characters, Saints in general and the Old Testament characters were the three themes for the age group of 10 to 12, below 12 and above 12 respectively. Many saints, people covered in the Gospel and people who lived before Christ were imitated by many lovely children. The participants were very much appreciated for their effort by Fr. Frank, Comboni Sisters and all parents.
48 servers took part in the competition.Sr.Agnes from Comboni convent, Mrs. Jerina Lewis – Coordinator of the JMJ Prayer Group and Sister Emolyn Bucsit – Coordinator of the altar servers from Filipino community adjudged the whole event.The peak of this celebration is awarding the parents. 6 set of parents were honored with their children for the “highest number of attendance-number masses served this year.” The parents deserve this as their involvement is very much noticed in encouraging and bringing the children to serve.
It was also an evening to remember for most of the altar servers, especially those who participated in their day-to-day activities throughout the year. The 10 best altar servers awards were presented to five boys and five girls while those who won the fancy dress competition were also awarded.The Comboni Sisters were present. Sr, Josephine who has been in the service of altar servers for the past 30 years decorated the main guest of the evening and handed over the awards.
Sacristan Adrian was thanked and gifted with a present for offering continuous guidance and assistance to the altar servers sodality.Group Dance and Orchestra by the altar servers under the guidance of Sandra our Animator and Br. Davis from Jesus Youth beautified the whole show.In addition, members of the office staff and at the sacristy of St. Mary’s Church, Dubai, were also specially acknowledged for their support to all altar servers.
Proposing a vote of thanks, SMASS animator Mrs. Stella expressed sincere gratitude to our beloved parish priest Fr. Tomosito for his involvement with the Altar servers sodality and everyone especially all the priests, Comboni Sisters, the parents for making the celebration blessed, meaningful and memorable. While winners of the Fancy dress competition were commended for their efforts, a special token of appreciation was also given to all the participants who made the competition challenging and exciting.Programme ended by the altar servers singing and renewing their pledge “We have decided to follow Jesus”, Thank You Song and song to bid Good Bye marked the ending of the Grand Finale.
Refreshments were served to all.
St Mary’s Altar Servers Sodality (SMASS)
Patron: Rev. Fr. Tomasito, our Parish Priest.
Spiritual Director: Rev. Fr. Fransquinho Gomes –
Coordinator : Oswald Fernandes
Mrs. Stella Mary Michael, Ms.Sandra Mathias, Mrs. Karen Date, Mr.V.A.Sunny & Mr. Richard Dsouza
Brother Cossie, Sister Lucy, Sister Caroline, and Brother Vijay Almeida
Brother George & Brother Edwin
“Gratitude is the mirror of our hearts”
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Report: SMASS Media Release Pics:CNS News Service, Middle East