. . . who used to kick and scream about going to Mass when he was little and now he is volunteering to go to extra Masses so that he can serve on the Altar.
Statboy used to be absolutely incorrigible when it came to going to Mass. He would fling his little three year old body on his bed and declare adamently he was not going. We've never considered him to be a particularly holy boy, but something has happened to him since becoming an altar server in our parish five years ago. He truly loves to serve. He loves it so much, he heads straight to the sacristy when we arrive at the church to see if there is an open spot on the serving team. He loves it so much, that even knowing we were planning on going to the noon Mass on Sunday, when another boy called and needed a substitute for the 4:30 Vigil Mass, Statnut not only enthusiastically offered to cover for him, he explained to me that he would also come with us on Sunday. Guess what? He served the Sunday Mass too.
There is something to be said about young men serving at the Altar. This service could be the first steps toward a vocation to the Priesthood, absolutely, but even more importantly, serving is a step toward holiness. One cannot serve on the Altar of Our Lord and not be touched by the Mystery of the Real Presence and by profound holiness.
Our parish, its altar boy program, and a particular altar server were recently featured in a lovely article for the Catholic Standard. You can read the article here. If you look closely, you'll see our boy standing in the background.