Altar servers honored at cathedral Mass

BOSTON -- More than 500 altar servers from throughout the Archdiocese of Boston were honored at Holy Cross Cathedral on Oct. 13 at a Mass celebrated in appreciation of their service.

Altar servers received a blessing from Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley as well as a small gift of a cross and prayer book.

The cardinal addressed the servers during his homily saying, “At Mass, you are serving the greatest King of all.”

He said he chose the gospel of the miracle of the loaves and fishes because it talks about the first altar server -- the young boy who shared his lunch to feed the multitudes.

“He was there willing to give what he had to God,” said the cardinal.

“Every time you serve at Mass you are helping Jesus to perform a miracle -- He could perform that miracle without us, but he wants us to be a part of it,” he said.

Awards were given to four servers who exhibited exemplary character of service to God and their parish communities. Recipients demonstrated dedication and zeal in their service of others.

Two young men -- one senior and one junior server -- received the Pope John Paul II Award, and two young women -- one senior and one junior server -- received the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Award.

The recipients were Brian McManimon of St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Westford, Shane Walsh of St. Augustine Parish in Andover, Michelle McInnis of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Acton and Sally Barros of St. Patrick Parish in Roxbury.

In addition to these awards, all archdiocesan altar servers received a certificate of appreciation for their dedication and service.

The Vocations Office sponsored the event, and a vocation fair, held at Cathedral High School, immediately followed the Mass.