Practices commenced at 9am on Saturday 14th April at St John’s Church in Dun Laoghaire. Three keen young men learned of the dignity they share when serving at the Altar. They learned how to prepare themselves for Mass and how to prepare the priest’s Vestments. After that they reviewed their Latin pronunciation, making sure that what they speak during Mass is truly the Latin language and not another dialect of goodness knows what.
At 10:35 smoke signals began to rise from behind the Parish Hall. Was it an emergency? No. Fortunately not. It was just the wood and charcoal catching fire in Weber BBQ as reparations for lunch had begun. By now the remainder of the servers were arriving in time for Mass at 11am. In total, 12 young men of varying proficiencies reported for duty.
After mass, the BBQ was stoked one last time before the burgers were set a-sizzling on the grill. In minutes the first batch of burgers were ready to receive the priestly benediction before fulfilling their destiny in between burger buns and salad.
It was a hard choice for some of the lads. Stop kicking the soccer ball against the wall, and have a bite to eat, or keep playing and go hungry. Fortunately, they gave way to common sense and had their fill before an afternoon of activities in the Dublin mountains.
Before heading off to the mountains, Fr Petrucci gave a talk to the boys. We must not underestimate the influence that good serving has on us when we attend at Holy Mass. If we are helped to pay attention, we receive more grace. But if we are distracted, alas, we receive far less.
Croagh Wood was the chosen destination for the Afternoon activities. Although it was misty and cold, the stiff walk to the top had everyone panting by the time they reached the summit. The coast and the city of Dublin were just visible through the haze. A quick detour through the heather, a group picture, and back to the carpark for a game of soccer-ball-netball, without nets, and plenty of mud. “Mud, mud, glorious mud. Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood…” came to mind as we slid around in fierce competition for the victory. Of course, the winning team scored the winning goal, and as the cars left to return to the Church, the dispute remained whether the last goal made the winners, or the winners made the last goal.
Back at the Church by 5pm, Fr Petrucci bestowed the final blessing and all returned home. A rewarding finish to a fruitful day!