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    Sunday

    Is the Catholic Church serious about promoting priestly vocations? Then it needs to get rid of female altar servers. Now don't get me wrong: The girls who have stepped up and served (especially in my parish) have been a real blessing. We have troubles getting enough altar servers period, using both sexes. If we didn't have the girls, we wouldn't nearly have enough altar servers. Probably. Because here's the thing: Boys are boys, and boys like to be with boys, and boys like to do boy things. As soon as the Catholic Church started inviting girls to be altar servers, it told the boys, "This isn't a boy thing." Then poof! One of the natural draws to altar serving vanished. I know this for a fact, because I used to be a normal boy, with lots of boy friends (not "boyfriends," loyal reader), and we liked to do boy things. We liked girls (heh heh heh), but we liked, first and foremost, to be boys and we, first and foremost, pursued boy things (as we got older, we pursued girls, heh heh heh). And I still remember being an acolyte at my Lutheran church. There was something special about it because only my guy friends and I were allowed to do it. Once girls were admitting to that club, boys lost interest. As boys lost interest, vocations suffered. Now, I have no doubt vocations have suffered for other reasons as well, but as pointed out in this story, altar serving is the biggest common denominator background fact of today's priests.
    Of the 365 men surveyed this year, a whopping 80 percent had been altar boys during their formative years. In comparison, only 52 percent of ordinands had been lectors, less than a third had been youth ministers and only 15 percent had ever attended a World Youth Day or a Steubenville Youth Conference.
    By weakening interest among boys to serve, it weakened interest in vocations. The decision to admit female altar servers is an example of what Russell Kirk called "defecated rationality." The bishops didn't see an obvious and compelling reason to keep them excluded, so it knee-jerk admitted them, based on the rationale that both genders should be treated equally. It was rational, no doubt, but it was also ham-handed thinking that failed to take into subtleties. It was also arrogant. Only a proud man thinks that, if his mighty mind can't see a reason, then there is no reason.

    7 Responses to “Sunday”

    1. Jerry Says:

      I know a priest who described letting girls serve at the altar as a form of child abuse, because they are made to desire something (ordination) which they can never receive.

    2. Laura Says:

      The first rung on the ladder to the priesthood is broken by not limiting servers to those who can become priests. The bond between priest and altar boy does not develop as it did in the old days of altar boy understanding and respecting the role of the priest in the preparation for and in saying the Mass. Girls may make wonderful altar servers as they may have more experience properly setting a table for a meal and moving gracefully in a space, but that is no replacement for training a future priest.

    3. Michelle Reitemeyer Says:

      Yup. Oldest son loved being a server in VA where they only allowed boys. Moved to GA, and I signed him up again without asking. The girls were bad enough, but when the nun (in plain clothes) started ordering him around, he was DONE. Priest, deacon, no problem, but no woman was going to tell him how to serve. When we moved to FL, he told me upfront that he would not be a server. Hoping our next diocese is different.

    4. Gramma Susan Says:

      Sorry people, Gramma totally disagrees!!! Moody radio just talked about teaching the children. If you teach the kids not to lie; and then they hearing you saying ‘Dad’s not home’ when someone calls, even though dad is sitting in the living room(!) then in effect you are really teaching the kids to lie! There is another story out there about a rich man moving to a new town and looking for a home church. The pastor was hopeful when the rich man kept coming back to his church, and worked endlessly to impress the man with his sermons. When the man finally did join the church, the pastor asked which of the sermons had impressed him. The man said none of the sermons! He was impressed by the friendliness of an elderly man in the back seat who always warmly welcomed him.

    5. Gramma Susan Says:

      “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”

    6. mike Says:

      Our Parish allows girl altar servers, as does the Parish across the tracks. However, the recent few Pastors and Associate Pastors have encouraged young men to serve. In fact, on certain Solemnities, there will be up to 12 or 15 all male servers. These occasions are very reverent, and moving. Guess what? Two of the oldest of the regular servers have elected to enter the seminary this fall.

      As to the other Parish, I see far fewer boy altar servers participating in the Liturgy, also many fewer priestly vocations, although a similarly sized parish. Correlation? Causation?

    7. Gramma Susan Says:

      I like the Solemnities special mass for male servers! My priest assists at coaching at the local Catholic high school. He has a men’s club! Other priests volunteered at the local fire department. Then there are all the book clubs, ‘special’ weekly sermons, youth clubs, mission trips and pro-life trips. There are tons of ways to reach out to the youth; the adults just have to do their job…even if it is just a smile or nod from the pew in church.

     

     

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    Acts of the Apostasy
    After Abortion
    Aggie Catholics
    All Manner of Things
    Belinda’s Brain
    Bethune Catholic
    Betty Duffy
    Book Reviews and More
    Catholic Blogs
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    Charlotte Was Both
    Chesterton and Friends
    Crossroads
    Decent Films
    Digital Hairshirt
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    Godspy
    Happy Catholic
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    More Last Than Star
    National Catholic Register
    New Advent
    Phat Catholic
    Pillar and Fire
    Post Modern Papist
    PowerBlog
    Pro Ecclesia
    Quaffs and Quibbles
    Reasoned Audacity
    Reconnaissance of the Western Tradition
    Roman Catholic Info
    Ruri et Orbi
    Scheske at Catholic Exchange
    Scholium
    Shadow of Diogenes
    Signs of the Times: Salvo Blog
    Some Have Hats
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    St. James Journal
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    Standing on My Head
    Stella Maris
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    Suicide of the West
    Summa Minutiae
    Taki
    The American Conservative
    The Blue Boar
    The Cafeteria is Closed
    The Crescat
    The Curt Jester
    The Dawn Patrol
    The Drunken Dollar
    The Impractical Christian
    The Inn at the End of the World
    The Michiana Blawg
    The Muniment Room
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    The Scratching Post
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    Victor Lams
    Video Meliora
    Vita Mea
    Vox Nova
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    With Both Hands
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    Without Having Seen
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