Archbishop Aquila blesses altar servers at first appreciation Mass

On Aug. 27, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila celebrated an appreciation Mass for altar severs. marking the very first Mass of its kind in the Archdiocese of Denver.

“It was a joy to celebrate the first Mass acknowledging the altar servers of the Archdiocese of Denver for the role they play in the Sacred Liturgy,” Archbishop Aquila said. “It’s a testament to the strength of our Catholic faith that has touched the hearts of so many of our young people and who love to serve and encounter Jesus each week at Mass.”

The Mass was celebrated at Christ the King parish, where 20 different parishes were represented. Archbishop Aquila blessed each of the altar servers there. and they were also each given prayer cards featuring either Blessed Mother Teresa or St. John Berchman, patron saint of altar servers.

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 27: Altar server Mass at Christ the King Catholic Church August 27, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

Altar servers representing 20 different parishes attended a special Mass appreciating their service to the Church Aug. 27 at Christ the King parish in Denver. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

 

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 27: Altar server Mass at Christ the King Catholic Church August 27, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

Requirements for being an altar server vary from parish to parish, but in general, the task of altar server is open to boys and girls, men and women, and typically anyone in third grade or beyond can be an altar server. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

 

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 27: Altar server Mass at Christ the King Catholic Church August 27, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

Archbishop Aquila blessed each of the altar servers during the Mass. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 27: Altar server Mass at Christ the King Catholic Church August 27, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

A total of 207 altar servers were in attendance at the Mass. (Photo by Daniel Petty/Denver Catholic)

 

COMING UP: Archbishop Aquila calls school principals to encounter Christ

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At a special Mass for local Catholic school principals Aug. 8, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila challenged the educators to first and foremost pursue a relationship with Christ, that they may have an encounter with him and lead the people they serve to that same encounter in their own lives.

“Each of us are called to encounter Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Aquila said. “Truly knowing him as our Lord, our savior, our redeemer. If we are not convinced of he truth of Jesus Christ, we will never hand on that gift of faith.”

The Mass was held at Christ the King chapel, located at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, one week prior to when kids and teachers headed back to school for the new school year. In his homily, Archbishop Aquila also spoke about St. Dominic and the way he constantly pointed to the truth of Christ in his teachings as a theologian and astronomer. He told the principals to bear these things in mind in their work as educators.

Principal Mass 2016 Selects-3

At a special Mass for Catholic school principals, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila commended them for their work and challenged them to bring those they serve into an encounter with Christ. (Photo by Andrew Wright | Denver Catholic)

In January, Archbishop Aquila and Catholic schools superintendent Kevin Kijewski released a vision document titled “Worthy of the Name.” The vision outlined the ways Denver Catholic schools would continue to provide quality education to its students and form intentional disciples of Jesus Christ, while also sharing plans for improvement. At the heart of the vision lies a strong faith in Jesus Christ, and he stressed that in order for the principals to be effective in their work in Catholic schools, they must first foster a relationship with Christ.

“If we are not convinced that Jesus is the Christ, that he is the word, then we are not worthy of the name Christian, we are not worthy of the name Catholic,” Archbishop Aquila told the principals. “That is why it is so important for us to be those who give ourselves completely to Christ. In the vision we have give for our Catholic schools, it is deeply rooted in the good news of Jesus Christ. [We must] proclaim that truth and [invite] our young people to be worthy of the name.”