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550 Enjoy Altar Server Appreciation Day
Over 550 altar servers, chaperones and seminarians gathered for the 4th Annual Altar Server Appreciation Day. Sponsored by the Diocese of Gaylord and Knights of Columbus Councils, the event brought altar servers from 42 parishes to Traverse City from throughout the diocese for a picnic followed by attendance at a Traverse City Beach Bums baseball game. Participants came from every corner of the diocese, some travelling more than three hours (one way) to join the celebration. The primary purpose of the event is to celebrate and affirm the ministry of these young people, stated Fr. Don Geyman, Director of Vocations. It also brings them together to see that they are part of a much wider church, to meet others who share their ministry and just to have a lot of fun. Knights of Columbus Council 13432 prepared the food while many other councils from across the diocese donated funds to help offset the cost of the event. Other funding comes from gifts to the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA). Fr. Geyman welcomed the group, adding words of appreciation to the Knights of Columbus and issued an invitation for men to consider joining the organization. He also expressed gratitude for the chaperones as well as St. Patrick Parish for their roles in making the event possible. Bishop Patrick R. Cooney was also on hand at the picnic to offer his thanks to the altar servers and encouragement to enjoy the day. We really are happy you are here and I hope you have a wonderful time, Bishop Cooney said. Of course, we also hope that at least 30 of you will one day become priests for our diocese, he added. This years schedule reprised the inaugural Altar Server Appreciation Day slate of activities which is fondly remembered despite rain delays. However, this year, the sun shone brightly the entire time and the day included a Beach Bums homerun and ultimate game victory. Prior years included events in Gaylord and Alpena.