Almendralejo, Spain. Fr. Francisco González Izquierdo, CMF has begun a “School for Altar Servers” in the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Almendralejo which is under the care of the Claretians in this community.
The purpose of the school is three-fold: to undergo and develop a catechesis from infancy to pre-teen, to cultivate the spiritual and liturgical life; and in a special way, to foster a climate in which the children and pre-teens are spontaneously encouraged to consider a vocation to the consecrated life, planting in parents the seeds of a vocational culture.
The means are weekly classes of 45 minutes where the doctrinal and practical are alternated. In the practical sessions a complete preparation is undertaken teaching them everything they need to know up to the ‘prosit’, as the final salute in the sacristy. Classes began with five students in October 2011 and practices started in Christmas of the same year.
Important are symbols that accompany their progress and commitment. When they complete their first cycle they receive a white cincture indicating that they have finished this stage of training as they continue their formation. It is foreseen that those who will be mentoring and coordinating the other altar server training classes will receive a red cincture.
In an agreement with the other priests of the area, the School will be open to children from all the parishes who wish to take advantage of this service.