Altar

Altar Servers

Cathedral Altar Servers assist at weekend Masses, weddings, funerals, Stations of the Cross, and other liturgical services. New server orientation and training sessions are held several times a year. The Cathedral Parish needs committed, reverent servers to assist at the altar.

Are you interested? Email Fr. Peter

St. John Berchmans, for whom our Cathedral is named, is the Patron Saint of Altar Servers. Notice that Saint John is wearing his black cassock and carrying the white surplice & his bible, and standing in front of an altar.

View the Altar Server Schedule Here

Please notify us in advance if you are going out of town.

Letter to Parents

Parents of Cathedral Altar Servers,

The Altar Server is an important minister in the Church, serving at the altar of God.n fact, Blessed John Paul II said to Altar Servers: You are far more than mere ‘helpers of the parish priest.’ Above all, you are servants of Jesus Christ, the eternal High Priest. Thus you altar servers especially are called to be young friends of Jesus. Strive to deepen and foster this friendship with him. You will discover that in Jesus you have found a true friend for life.

Read Pope Benedict words to the Altar Servers Pope Benedict said to a gathering of Altar Servers: “When you take part in the Liturgy by carrying out your altar service, you offer a witness to all. Your absorption, the devotion that wells up from your heart and is expressed in gestures, in song, in the responses: if you do it correctly and not absent-mindedly, then in a certain way your witness is one that moves people… You are very close to Jesus in the Eucharist, and this is the most important sign of his friendship for each one of us. Do not forget it…. May you always be friends and apostles of Jesus Christ!” 

I appreciate your service and commitment to your child’s ministry. I know of your dedication and time commitment, making the Cathedral Parish a true faith community and helping your child be close to God and a “young friend of Jesus.” Please convey to your children the importance of serving God as an Altar server. Being an Altar Server is not something to take for granted. It is a great privilege to be able to serve in the Sanctuary, the most sacred part of the Church.

Please, get them to Church on time (at least 15 minutes before the service begins). Their cassocks and surplices must be put on, censor and candles lit, etc. before Mass.

Please explain to your children the importance of good conduct while serving. The Sanctuary is very sacred, and serving there requires the utmost respect. They are models to others in the
congregation.

Please have your children attend any practice sessions for the special Masses of different liturgical seasons. This is especially important for the younger children.

Our preferred means of communication is email. Please let us know as far in advance when you know your child is not about to serve so that we can make the schedule with that in mind (and you will not have to find a replacement) Finding replacements or swapping Mass times is the responsibility of the parent and server.  Please do not call the office.  Tell you child to feel free to ask the priest questions before or after Mass.

Thank you so much for your family’s support in the life of the Cathedral Parish.

Cathedral Altar Society

The  Altar Society was organized in 1902 to provide for the needs and maintenance of the altar, sacristy, and sanctuary of the parish church of St. John Berchmans.  Now, the Cathedral Altar Society  provides for the altars of both the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans and the St. Michael the Archangel Chapel.

Meetings

The Cathedral Altar Society members gather each week in the Cathedral to accomplish the following tasks:  cleaning of the sanctuary and the vessels used in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, laundering the altar linens, preparing candles and candleholders, assisting with the upkeep of the sanctuary.

Several times a year we have additional seasonal meetings.  Throughout the year, other Altar Society tasks include:  making of altar linens, purificators, corporals, setting up the Cathedral at Christmas, Easter, and other special occasions, such as Chrism Mass, caring for articles used by priests during liturgical services.

Call as Needed List

Want to help, but are unavailable to complete an ongoing commitment right now?  We have several volunteers that are “on call” at various times of the year for special tasks, such as cleaning of the palms for Palm Sunday.  Let us know if you are interested in joining the Altar Society in that capacity.

If you are interested in joining the Cathedral Altar Society contact the Cathedral office 221-5296.  Being an Altar Society member brings fulfillment in working together to make the Cathedral and Chapel spaces thoroughly prepared for both sacred and communal events.

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