Virtual Retreat success with over Fifty Altar Servers Recommissioned

Saturday 6th March 2021

On Saturday 27th February 2021, over 50 altar servers took part in the online retreat organised through the Vocations Team. The theme for the day was: Serving God and Neighbour in the everyday.

The day began with Fr David Featherstone thanking the altar servers for accepting the invitation to take part in the online retreat.

Following the Opening liturgy, Bishop John spoke to the altar servers and thanked them for what they do. He asked them to think of three things throughout the retreat:

Service – He reminded them that their service is close to the heart of the Gospel.

Gratitude – During these challenging times, we all need to be grateful and show gratitude for the many good things in our lives.

Prayer – When we pray, we should speak to God as a friend.

The young people had the opportunity to visit 3 workshops based on the ‘Challenging and Opportunities for an Altar Server’, ‘Prayer – A friendship with Jesus’ and Called to Serve’ which were led by the Vocations Team and supported by Mark and Carmine (Seminarians) and Alex (Salford Young Adults Co Ordinator)

A time of prayer (Adoration) was livestreamed from the parish of The Good Samaritan, Burnley and thank you to Fr Damien, Mike and Daniel from the parish for leading the Adoration.

During the recommissioning of the altar servers, Bishop John asked them two questions:

  • Do you promise to grow in your personal friendship with Jesus Christ through being faithful to the Gospel?
  • Do you also promise to carry out your role as a Server within the Diocese of Salford by being reliable, reverent and growing in understanding of the Mass?

The altar servers responded with a resounding ‘I do’.

The day finished with the altar server’s prayer and a blessing from Bishop John.

Fr David shared his highlights from the day: “The best part of the day for me for was hearing  the children and young people who serve at the altar in the parishes across the Diocese of Salford, speak proudly and enthusiastically about this important role.”

Here’s just some of the feedback we received from the retreat:

“I loved the retreat on Saturday and it was nice to see different altar servers from different parishes. I learnt many things about prayer and lent and hearing from Bishop John speak. I really hope that when this pandemic is all over we can all see each other in person and get to know each other” (CB)

“The retreat was good and fun. I did new things I’ve never done before. I’ve never been to exposition. Quiet prayer is a challenge but its good to talk to God.” (DW)

“I thought it was really well organised and enjoyed being able to talk to others not from my church about what we think about how masses and the church will look like after the pandemic.

I really liked using the break out rooms and listening to Bishop John when he recommissioned us as altar servers.

It was good that they were able make the retreat work despite the COVID restrictions and not being able to meet face-face. 

I also enjoyed joining in with the hymns and prayers during the retreat.

Thank you” (CJ)

“It was a good event because we got to see each other and talk to other servers. I really liked the different activities in the break-out rooms. I found the Bishop’s talk very helpful. I will always remember the lovely music at the start and end of the retreat”. (LH)

Our thanks to all the altar servers for taking part in this retreat and for their parents/carers for their support and for those who helped to make this happen.


Altar Servers Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you for inviting me to serve at the altar in my parish within the Diocese of Salford.

May I always carry out my duties as an Altar Server with respect and love for you.

Help me to remain faithful and reliable as I serve your people in the Church.

May being close to you at the altar allow my friendship with you to grow more deeply each day.

Through Christ Our Lord.


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