Altar servers were honoured for their hard work in the Vancouver Archdiocese


Altar servers were honoured for their hard work in the Vancouver Archdiocese

October 17, 2011

VANCOUVER — Strong families establish strong vocations. That was the message of Archbishop Michael Miller during the recent Altar Server Awards at Holy Rosary Cathedral.

“The first steps are taken at home,” the archbishop said during his homily.

Miller thanked the parents of the servers while pointing out the importance of strong Catholic families.

“Dear parents: without your help, cooperation, and perhaps sometimes a little coaxing, these young people would not be here in the cathedral today.

“You encouraged your children to become altar servers, and often with some sacrifice to yourselves have supported them.”

The archbishop also thanked the servers, representing all the parishes in the archdiocese, for their commitment and dedication.

“Just as Jesus says in the Gospel that good trees bear good fruit and that each tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 12.33), I consider that you altar servers are indeed the good fruit of your families.”


With the updated English translation of the Roman Missal coming in Advent, Miller asked the servers to be leaders during the changeover.

“Serving, as you know, is a great privilege to you and your families. I understand that the Mass entails giving up things that maybe you’d rather be doing when you’re appointed for your turn.

“Sometimes we would rather sleep, play sports or engage in other activities, but you have learned the important lesson of accepting responsibility, following through with your word and becoming trustworthy.

Joining the archbishop was Father Joseph Phuong Nguyen, the vocations director of the archdiocese.

Nguyen has spearheaded the effort of the archdiocese to recruit more priests. He read the Gospel (Matthew 7.21-27), which tied into the family foundation message.

In the Gospel reading Jesus spoke to His disciples of the importance of building their spiritual foundation on rock instead of sand.


The Serra Club of Vancouver and Fraser Valley West hosted the awards Mass. The Serra Club, founded in Seattle in 1932, is an international organization of lay men and women who help promote vocations. The club also assists priests with their ministries and helps them hold each other accountable to God’s call for holiness.

That motto was illustrated in a story on the final page of the pamphlet handed out to all those in attendance about a father who willingly and lovingly helped his son realize his call to become a priest. The obedience shown by the father was simple and effective.

“Son, the qualities I admire in priests I see in you,” he said to his son while driving home. “I want you to know that I would be honoured if God would choose one of my sons to be a priest.”

The father never uttered another word about this, but soon after, his son entered the seminary and now serves God.