- Candace Neff Director
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Altar Servers from Throughout Diocese Will Gather in Gaylord
Final plans are being made for the fifth 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 Bernard Hebda, approximately 1,000 invitations were mailed to altar servers inviting them to gather in Gaylord on August 1. The event will begin with Mass at 1:00 p.m. St. Mary Cathedral, followed by a picnic in the parish hall prepared by the Knights of Columbus Council #6593 in Roscommon. The group will then travel the short distance to the Otsego County Sportsplex for swimming, ice skating, and a variety of other activities such as pickle ball, basket weaving, rosary making and enjoying the outdoor Energy Park. The first altar server event, held in Traverse City, brought over 550 altar servers together for fun and fellowship. The event is held in different regions of the diocese each year. Everyone always seems to have a great time, stated Candace Neff, Director of Communications. One of my fondest memories of the 2007 altar server event -- the last time it was held in Gaylord -- was watching the kids teach then-seminarian Gerald Okoli to ice skate. (Ordained to the priesthood this past June, Fr. Okoli is from Nigeria and had never been ice skating before.) This is the first year the altar server event has begun with a Mass, Neff added. I think for our altar servers to be all together in the Cathedral, with Bishop Hebda presiding, will be really special and a wonderful way to start the day. Theres certainly going to be good food and plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy at the Sportsplex. Were all looking forward to a great event in recognition of the ministry of altar servers. Funded by gifts to the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) and many of the Knights of Columbus Councils throughout the diocese, there is no charge for altar servers to attend. Parishes provide transportation and chaperones. For more information, contact the Vocations Office at the diocese at 989.732.5147.