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Patrician Brothers prepare students to serve in parishes

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During the Mass, Fr Bob blessed the vestments which the students subsequently put on with the help of their family members and fellow servers. Photo: Patrician Brothers' College Senior Media Team
During the Mass, Fr Bob blessed the vestments which the students subsequently put on with the help of their family members and fellow servers. Photo: Patrician Brothers’ College Senior Media Team

When Nicholas Esposito donned the altar server’s cassock for the first time, he said it was like receiving a hug from Jesus.

“It was amazing and what stood out to me was the warm feeling I had after putting on the vestments,” the year 10 student from Patrician Brothers College said.

Nicholas was one of 18 students from Patrician Brothers who were commissioned to be altar servers at a Mass on 19 May.

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Our Lady of the Rosary Fairfield parish administrator and college chaplain Fr Bob Bossini concelebrated the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit with Fr ​​Emmanuel Chuntic CS of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mount Pritchard and Fr Andrawes Farag of St Mark’s Coptic Catholic Church, Prospect.

After the proclamation of the Gospel, the students were called up and made promises to perform their service at the altar regularly, with care, reverence and understanding while committing themselves to daily prayer and to their parish and school communities.

During the Mass, Fr Bob blessed the vestments which the students then put on with the help of their family members and fellow servers.

The boys were graduates of the school’s altar servers’ training program and will serve Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary and in their local parishes.

Nicholas had never thought of becoming an altar server but said he felt “compelled to say yes” to an invitation to participate.

Nicholas Esposito, pictured, felt as if Jesus was hugging him after putting on the vestment.  Photo: Patrician Brothers' College Senior Media Team
Nicholas Esposito, pictured, felt as if Jesus was hugging him after putting on the vestment. Photo: Patrician Brothers’ College Senior Media Team

“Some boys from my school altar serve and for a long time that put me off,” he said.

“But since this program was offered and I was able to be trained, I no longer feel that way. It has created a desire to serve my parish which is something I have never felt.”

Year eight student Jean Paul Taala was already an altar server in another parish, and undertook the program wanting to advance his spiritual life in the Patrician Brothers community.

“This program has opened me up to a new side of serving the Mass at my parish,” said Jean Paul.

“The experience was amazing and being surrounded in such a holy environment really brought us boys together in a Christ-like way.”

“It allowed us not just to learn but to explore the faith and act of service to God.”

The program forms boys in the basics of serving at the altar, including recognition of the liturgical vessels and objects used at Mass.

Fr Bob Bossini commissioned 18 students from Patrician Brothers' College at an Altar Server's Commissioning Mass on 19 May.  Photo: Patrician Brothers' College Senior Media Team
Fr Bob Bossini commissioned 18 students from Patrician Brothers’ College at an Altar Server’s Commissioning Mass on 19 May. Photo: Patrician Brothers’ College Senior Media Team

Since starting their training in March, the students have joined a group of senior students on Fridays to serve weekly morning Mass and adoration.

“They are models for others to come to worship with reverence,” said Fr Bob Bossini.

“It is hoped that they will become involved as servers in their parishes and that their participation will encourage other students to be formed.”

Patrician Brothers College Principal Peter Wade supported the altar servers program, acknowledging that it provides an avenue through which the school can contribute to the evangelising mission of the Church.

“It affords our young men an opportunity to be of service and to work in close partnership with our chaplain Fr Bob Bossini, but to also go back to their parishes and build relationships with the local communities in which they live,” said Mr Wade.

“Our mission as a Christ-centred educational institution finds expression in Christ the servant leader.

“As a Catholic school, therefore, we support in a very privileged way the Church and our young men being knowledgeable in the liturgy and working closely with the clergy.

“Serving at the altar is a good step for forming them as Catholics for today and into the future.”

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