Tuesday, August 23, 2011
BANNING ALTAR GIRLS; THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY
The Cathedral in the Diocese of Phoenix will no longer allow altar girls. There are many who think if this ministry was once again the exclusive domain of boys, that we would have more interest from them to become priests. There's also a fear that girls serving will want to become priests.
I don't buy it! We've had altar girls ever since I was ordained in 1980. At the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Augusta, which by the way has the world's best trained servers, we had both girls and boys and we had a tremendous number of the altar boys become priests.
Girls serve very well and when trained properly pose no threat to boys serving. What poses a threat to boys serving is improper training or training that does not take seriously the role of the server, either male or female. If a boy or a girl feels as though they are looking foolish at the altar, they will not serve.
Well trained servers who take their role seriously will remain serving throughout high school and some even into college.
What we need for vocation promotion to the priesthood are priests who are willing to promote it and live their vocations joyously.
We need a culture of Catholicism in the home, meaning a strong Catholic identity. There needs to be prayer in the home and a respect for the clergy cultivated. Banning girls from serving will leave a bad taste in the mouths of many.