- Candace Neff Director
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Beach Bums Beckon -- 2009 Altar Server Event
Final plans are being made for the fourth annual Altar Server Appreciation Day. Sponsored by the Diocesan Vocations Advisory Committee, the event brings together altar servers from across the diocese for an afternoon of fun in recognition of their dedicated ministry to the Church. On behalf of Bishop Patrick R. Cooney, more than 1,300 invitations were mailed to altar servers in May inviting them to gather in Traverse City on August 2 for a picnic and attendance at evening baseball game featuring the Traverse City Beach Bums versus the Florence (Kentucky) Freedom, both professional teams in the Frontier League. The first altar server event, held in 2006, brought over 550 altar servers to a game during the inaugural season of the Beach Bums. The first event is still remembered as a spectacular outing, despite some inclement weather, noted Candace Neff. I think everyone just had such a good time being together that the weather issue was really secondary. Everyone seems to remember the event as simply a great time -- and there sure were lots of stories to share. We are all looking forward to returning this year. In order to secure tickets and be seated as a group, altar servers were asked to return a commitment form to their parish in May. However, there are still seats available for altar servers who still would like to attend. Funded by gifts to the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) and many of the Knights of Columbus Councils throughout the diocese, the event will begin at 3:00 p.m. with a picnic on the parish grounds at St. Patrick in Traverse City. Local Knights of Columbus members will prepare the food. Participants will then travel to Wuerful Park, a short distance from the parish, to enjoy the game which starts at 5:00 pm. The young men and women who give of themselves by serving the altar are truly a gift. This event is an opportunity for us, as a diocesan community, to recognize and affirm our appreciation of their answering this call to ministry, noted Bishop Cooney. Its also a chance for the young people to join with others and to see that the Catholic Church is much larger than just their local parish. In 2007, the event was hosted in Gaylord while in 2008, altar servers gathered in Alpena. For more information contact your local parish or the diocesan office at 989.732.5147.