Altar Servers Camp in Province of Chennai by DBYES  by Fr. Mani Lazar SDB
    Chennai, May. 2. 2017 An another important and essential camp was organized for the Altar Servers of our Province of Chennai by DBYES (Youth Services) and Deepagam (Catechetical Services) with the motto `Serve the Lord with Gladness.` The camp was started on 25th of April and ended on 27th of April 2017 at Camp Don Bosco, Yelagiri Hills, Vellore Dt. The aim of the camp was to help the young altar servers to know the Altar service, to understand its methodology and to serve the Lord with Gladness. We also wanted to initiate the senior Altar servers to be a Lector, to be active member in Youth groups and to involve themselves into other pious groups of their own Parishes. The camp was filled with 137 energetic and passionate altar servers from 13 different parishes of Chennai Province. These young altar servers were accompanied by 15 enthusiastic mentors from their parishes and they also joyfully volunteered to assist the servers in the camp. These Altar servers were animated in depth with lots of fun and frolic way by Fr. Antony Christy and Fr. Mani Lazar. Dn. Jeyaraj and Bro. Clement were the guardian angels of this camp and coordinated the other moments of the camp.
    View More Photos The Altar Servers reached the Campsite on 24th evening and had a peaceful rest. On 25th morning, we had the introductory session and we divided the servers into eight smaller working groups and appointed two volunteers per team as mentors. We distributed booklets both in Tamil and English as a guide to the Altar Service. Memory prayer cards and identification test cards were also distributed to them to learn and memorize the basic prayers in order to use them effectively during the liturgy and other prayer moments of the Church. Sessions on the objective and history of the Altar service, qualities of an Altar server, liturgical seasons, and instruction on vestments, articles and gestures of the liturgy were dwelt by Fr. Antony Christy and Mani Lazar. Quiz, creative night events and camp fire were the highlights of the camp in late evenings of the each day.

    The last day of the camp we had a procession by praying the rosary and concluded with the solemn thanksgiving Eucharist. Then we had a photo session with each group and awarded the Altar servers who had finished the prayer test and identification test successfully. We also had an hour of leisure boating at the boat house at Athanavoor and departed from Camp Don Bosco, Yelagiri to our own parishes after the grand lunch.

    We experienced the providence of the Almighty throughout the entire days of camping and could identify the holy young souls who are eagerly waiting to serve in the vineyard of the Lord with gladness in future. We believe that these young holy souls will munch this memorable experience always and live like a leaven amidst their peers in their own parishes.
    Posted by MATTHEWS Dominic