Corrupting Altar Servers?

I have been an adult altar server at my parish for quite some time. Over the past few weeks I have been training a male college student to be an altar server. He was very serious about learning how to do things right so we spent plenty of time on the training.

This morning was his first chance to serve by himself (I was not present.) Another (very questionable) adult altar server immediately cornered him and said we are to STAND as altar servers during the consecration. This notion was introduced (and finally retracted) in the past by the woman in charge of altar servers at my parish.

Next, the lady in charge of readers and EMsHC told him we are to omit things like the lavabo because when we DO do it on Sunday, it makes the Mass “more special.” Obviously both pieces of advice are incorrect. I’m well aware of what the GIRM says, etc.

I am posting all of this to ask two questions. First, why do people push this sorta garbage? In this day and age it’s simply too easy to reference the truth. Do they do it out of malice or ignorance?

Second even when my pastor is in town, he turns a deaf ear to such things, as does our bishop who is currently a lame duck. Is there anything else one can do? Obviously the Holy See is not going to get involved in a case like this, but to be honest, their actions almost feel evil to me.

They won’t try to foist their erroneous notions on me, but it sickened me to see how they attacked the brand-new server. I’ll let you know how things work out. He serves tomorrow as well.

Sorry for the long posting.

You’re a good man, AltarMan. Let that young man know that he should do things just the way you instructed him and he should tell anyone that questions him to speak to you. You sound like the type that these radicals don’t want to confront.

Maybe you could make it a point to be in the congregation when you know he’s serving, if that’s possible? It will lend him moral support if he knows you’re there.

As for whether they’re malicious or just ignorant, who knows? Seems to me a case could be made for either. Or both.

I’d venture to say ignorance (coupled with poor instruction recieved themselves).

Pray for them.

Then show him the sections of the GIRM and hand him a printout of valuable resource links/books and help him find the answers for himself. Teach him to read as much as he can from authentic sources so that he will be able to recognize when others try to guide him astray and better yet, help to correct the erroneous teachings.

Teach him to be a responsible servant of God, not only through the rituals but through the sharing of the truth with charity and kindness. As you are already aware, and justly protective of, this is the future of the Church, so teach him the knowledge tools of the trade as well as the technical.

Bless you for your service.

[quote=AltarMan]I have been an adult altar server at my parish for quite some time. Over the past few weeks I have been training a male college student to be an altar server. He was very serious about learning how to do things right so we spent plenty of time on the training.

This morning was his first chance to serve by himself (I was not present.) Another (very questionable) adult altar server immediately cornered him and said we are to STAND as altar servers during the consecration. This notion was introduced (and finally retracted) in the past by the woman in charge of altar servers at my parish.

Next, the lady in charge of readers and EMsHC told him we are to omit things like the lavabo because when we DO do it on Sunday, it makes the Mass “more special.” Obviously both pieces of advice are incorrect. I’m well aware of what the GIRM says, etc.

I am posting all of this to ask two questions. First, why do people push this sorta garbage? In this day and age it’s simply too easy to reference the truth. Do they do it out of malice or ignorance?

Second even when my pastor is in town, he turns a deaf ear to such things, as does our bishop who is currently a lame duck. Is there anything else one can do? Obviously the Holy See is not going to get involved in a case like this, but to be honest, their actions almost feel evil to me.

They won’t try to foist their erroneous notions on me, but it sickened me to see how they attacked the brand-new server. I’ll let you know how things work out. He serves tomorrow as well.

Sorry for the long posting.
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I can understand your frustration…let’s look at this plan

  1. Count to 10 and always remember to exercise charity.

  2. Share the GIRM with the new guy so he understands where these practices come from. Help him to understand what the GIRM is and while you are at it, introduce him to Redemptionis Sacramentum so he can see what liturgical abuses look like.

  3. Show him the part in the RS that tells people that they have a right to report abuses to the local Ordinary and the CDF.

  4. Then, both of you use this as an opportunity to teach others.

However, first and foremost I would approach the pastor and explain the dilemma. Make sure you have the GIRM in hand with you and tell him you simply want to follow it and so do the others (if they agree with you). Let him deliver the bad news to the good lady.
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[quote=Lux_et_veritas]I can understand your frustration…let’s look at this plan

  1. Count to 10 and always remember to exercise charity.

  2. Share the GIRM with the new guy so he understands where these practices come from. Help him to understand what the GIRM is and while you are at it, introduce him to Redemptionis Sacramentum so he can see what liturgical abuses look like.

  3. Show him the part in the RS that tells people that they have a right to report abuses to the local Ordinary and the CDF.

  4. Then, both of you use this as an opportunity to teach others.

However, first and foremost I would approach the pastor and explain the dilemma. Make sure you have the GIRM in hand with you and tell him you simply want to follow it and so do the others (if they agree with you). Let him deliver the bad news to the good lady.
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He was introduced to (and read) both the GIRM and RS while I was training him.

Sadly both documents are discounted around here by many as being “only guidelines” (that apparently can be altered locally as some see fit.) Obviously that’s not true, but it’s a fight none the less.

Our pastor becomes visibly angry if one attempts to discuss there sorts of matters with him – even if one make an appointment and is extremely charitable.

What I find chilling is how they cornered this young man as soon as he was on his own – they didn’t dare say anything when I was training him. In short, there people are sleazy and they are the reason that this sorta stuff continues.

I think all that’s possible is to do things right, even if that means being dismissed from the ministry. (I was dismissed some time ago for kneeling during the consecration. I was finally scheduled again, but that was under our old pastor. The current one could care less.)

In the end I can pray that we get a teriffic new bishop (it should happen in 4-6 months) and that we receive a pastor ASAP that is as nice as our parochial vicars.

Where abouts are you?

All the more reason to counsel your protege wisely of the errors he will be led to make. Teach him to nod his head respectfully when poorly instructed, but then to do what he knows is right according to Rome when the time comes. With respect he allows them to teach him erroneously. With devotion he performs his duties properly. The ones doing the bad teaching will eventually get the message and stop trying.

The young man is well-trained and he is showing a great deal of resolve in not giving in to the pressures that be.

Sadly, it appears that the person that demanded he stand during the consecration is not just another altar server, but a deacon-in-training. This man was a horribley abusive altar server or “mini-priest” for years before being rejected for the diaconate formation (that had just begun in our parish.) A month later however, he was “accepted” – so much for the Holy Spirit.

This whole process has made one thing very clear to me. With enough time, determination and sacrifice, orthodox Catholics could slowly fill the ranks of readers, EMsHC, altar servers, etc. and it would have a profound impact on the Mass at our parishes.

This is a sacrifice we should all consider…

[quote=AltarMan]The young man is well-trained and he is showing a great deal of resolve in not giving in to the pressures that be.

Sadly, it appears that the person that demanded he stand during the consecration is not just another altar server, but a deacon-in-training. This man was a horribley abusive altar server or “mini-priest” for years before being rejected for the diaconate formation (that had just begun in our parish.) A month later however, he was “accepted” – so much for the Holy Spirit.

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:ehh: ahem…never dis’ the Spirit. :wink:

Have faith, AltarMan. The person is not a deacon - yet.

We must keep praying the rosary for the faithful followers of the Church who have volunteered for such honorable positions, and keep praying that those who are not of the correct heart and mind either experience a conversion during their service, or find it not fulfilling enough to continue ministering (then they’ll bow out, leaving room for a more qualified person).

My apologies for not being more clear.

It was remarkable to see the Holy Spirit reject this man for the diaconate formation given the local politics. The fact that he was rejected underscored the power of the Holy Spirit to me. It was a remarkable showing to me.

When this was later changed due to political manuevering, it showed me that the Holy Spirit is often ignored – often due to secular pressures. That’s what I meant by “so much for the Holy Spirit.”

I will never again believe that all those that are ordained were actually called by God to serve…

[quote=AltarMan]My apologies for not being more clear.

It was remarkable to see the Holy Spirit reject this man for the diaconate formation given the local politics. The fact that he was rejected underscored the power of the Holy Spirit to me. It was a remarkable showing to me.

When this was later changed due to political manuevering, it showed me that the Holy Spirit is often ignored – often due to secular pressures. That’s what I meant by “so much for the Holy Spirit.”

I will never again believe that all those that are ordained were actually called by God to serve…
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OOOooohhhhh! That’s much different, then.
I understand and agree completely. :thumbsup:

I learned late last week that my pastor got sacked. He’ll be replaced but we have no idea when. Thankfully we have a nice parochial vicar and other priests to pick-up the slack.

The lady who is in charge of altar servers called me last night to tell me the person I trained would not be allowed to serve Mass at our parish. She said he “chose not to serve because he insists on kneeling throughout the Eucharistic Prayer.” During our conversation she apparently “found out” (she knew) that I kneel as well so I was given the same advice – that I had chosen not to serve any longer at my parish because I insisted on kneeling during the EP. When I told her others knelt as well she got flustered.

Thankfully 15 minutes later she called back and reversed herself, after having phoned the other “kneelers.” With my bishop a lame duck (his resignation has been accepted by the Pope), no pastor and a parochial vicar who is new and dosen’t need to experience combat, how do I go about dealing with this whack-job? I am tired of her treating us like infants (she teaches grade school.) I am also upset at her corrupting altar servers with her “vision.”

Any advice would be appreciated.

I’d like to know why a woman is “in charge” of the altar servers at your church.

I’d also like to know what the point of the permanent diaconate is, but that’s another thread, I suppose.

[quote=Pentecost2005]I’d like to know why a woman is “in charge” of the altar servers at your church.

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I’d like to know what your objection is to having a ‘woman’ in charge of altar servers? :ehh:

I certainly understand questioning why this woman was left in charge of anything at that church…but to question any woman being in charge of altar servers comes across as rather sexist.

[quote=AltarMan]I learned late last week that my pastor got sacked. He’ll be replaced but we have no idea when. Thankfully we have a nice parochial vicar and other priests to pick-up the slack.

The lady who is in charge of altar servers called me last night to tell me the person I trained would not be allowed to serve Mass at our parish. She said he “chose not to serve because he insists on kneeling throughout the Eucharistic Prayer.” During our conversation she apparently “found out” (she knew) that I kneel as well so I was given the same advice – that I had chosen not to serve any longer at my parish because I insisted on kneeling during the EP. When I told her others knelt as well she got flustered.

Thankfully 15 minutes later she called back and reversed herself, after having phoned the other “kneelers.” With my bishop a lame duck (his resignation has been accepted by the Pope), no pastor and a parochial vicar who is new and dosen’t need to experience combat, how do I go about dealing with this whack-job? I am tired of her treating us like infants (she teaches grade school.) I am also upset at her corrupting altar servers with her “vision.”

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Oh but you’re doing so well just standing firm on the Truth with her. Be kind, be patient, be calm and the Holy Spirit will protect your parish…it’s already in the works as you can see…patience and prayer will get you through. I will certainly keep your diocese and your parish in my prayers. Remain strong and have peace knowing the tide is turning.

[quote=YinYangMom]Oh but you’re doing so well just standing firm on the Truth with her. Be kind, be patient, be calm and the Holy Spirit will protect your parish…it’s already in the works as you can see…patience and prayer will get you through. I will certainly keep your diocese and your parish in my prayers. Remain strong and have peace knowing the tide is turning.
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Thank you for the kind comments. It was awesome to see how resolute the young man I trained was in dealing with this whack-job of a woman.

I think your comments are very insightful and accurate. I’m used to the real world though and if this woman pulled this sorta stuff with me in business, I’d make sure she never did it again to anyone else…

Thanks again.

UPDATE:

Now the woman in charge of altar servers has supposidly “contacted the bishop” (who has tendered his resignation and is a lame duck) to ensure her mandate of altar servers standing throughout the Eucharistic Prayer is followed (we currently have no pastor.)

The bishop supposidly said something like " I would prefer they stand", but only God knows how she couched the question. She likely suggested there were space issues, safety issues, old-age issues etc. (which there are not) connected with servers actually kneeling during the consecration. In all the other parishes in our deanery the servers kneel.

I have two questions.

1.) What would make someone act the way the way this woman does? Extreme insecurity? Pride? Could it be that she is actually evil? This is turning out to be an obsession with her – she can’t “lose” it seems.

2.) Should I pack it in, or try to survive until we have a new pastor (and bishop) so that I could actually complain to someone if I am directed to do something that goes again the Church’s directives?

Thank you all. This is most troublesome – for me, but especially for the young man I trained to serve at the altar.

[quote=Dr. Bombay]You’re a good man, AltarMan. Let that young man know that he should do things just the way you instructed him and he should tell anyone that questions him to speak to you. You sound like the type that these radicals don’t want to confront.

Maybe you could make it a point to be in the congregation when you know he’s serving, if that’s possible? It will lend him moral support if he knows you’re there.

As for whether they’re malicious or just ignorant, who knows? Seems to me a case could be made for either. Or both.
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I was under the destinct impression we were the radicals, while the people that water down the faith are mediocre at best.

[quote=AltarMan]UPDATE:
2.) Should I pack it in, or try to survive until we have a new pastor (and bishop) so that I could actually complain to someone if I am directed to do something that goes again the Church’s directives?

Thank you all. This is most troublesome – for me, but especially for the young man I trained to serve at the altar.
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IMO, I’d say stay, so as to not allow the Parish to slip into farther abuse. If she directs you to one thing, could you not instruct your servers to do otherwise? If she questions you on it, have the Church Documents on hand stating how what you did was indeed correct.
Don’t see how she could argue that.

If the Bishop has confirmed that you are to stand, maybe it would be best to stand? I’m pretty new to the faith, but it seems like the best way to show respect to Christ is by submitting to the authority He has established.

In insisting on kneeling and causing discord, you’re really taking the attention off of Christ and off of the mass and making it about yourself and your disagreements. Wouldn’t it be better to submit to authority, offer the suffering up to God if you feel so strongly,and focus on worshipping Christ in the way that causes the least trouble? Being so resolved on this, it would seem that you are stronger in your faith than many people, and by kneeling and sewing discord you are creating a disagreement and a distraction to the mass that will almost certainly discourage those who are weaker in their faith…

Just my $0.02,
John

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