Thursday, July 18, 2013

Can You Help With an Informal Study

I'm a math guy...I like numbers.

I need some help with an informal study.

If you are at a parish that has switched to all-male altar servers, what was the increase/decrease in teenagers serving at Mass after the switch was made.

Feel free to leave a reply or send me an email if you have some data for me.  Thanks!


  1. Father, our parish from 2004 to 2005 switched from mostly having male servers to only having males. There are five high-school aged boys who serve regularly at any one time. We have 12-18 boys serving this Mass every Sunday. Three, sometimes four, boys serve as thurifer, one boy handles the boat, two handle the duties of the Missal and offertory, and two assist with the gifts. The rest usually carry a torch in the procession. The vigil Mass, and previously the third Sunday OF Mass, utilizes a team of adults. The boys are welcome to serve during the week, at the EF on Sunday, and on holy days. When Mass was offered at noon on holy days, there has been good teenage participation, and I was really surprised by the turnout from all the boys (especially the high-schoolers) for the Triduum, Confirmation, and the Corpus Christi procession.

    1. Thanks Matthew!
      Could you give me
      1) Parish name and city
      2) number of servers before the switch
      3) number of servers after the switch to all guys

    2. I'm sorry Father, I meant to! St. Martin of Tours Louisville, KY. We have 25-30 servers at the 10:00 OF in total, and about 1/2 serve 48 or 50 Sundays out of the year (literally; the parish could have under 200 people, but as Father said, we don't take a vacation). The rest serve 1-3 times a month. There are 16 adult men who serve on Saturday in groups of four, and an additional 5 who each take a daily Mass. There are about 12 men and boys who only serve the TLM, and two or three who serve the OF Mass as well. Before the switch...I'm not sure. I didn't move here until after the serving was reconstructed. I am of the understanding that the numbers have basically doubled, and remained fairly consistent, with new boys replacing the graduated seniors.

  2. I hope you get lots of responses to your survey, I know my parish has both and it does not seem to work well at all we are always looking for more "bored" servers.

  3. Fr. Z at WDTPRS had posted a story about a parish whose server participation leapt by 500%. The article was about Holy Family Catholic Church in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. The server program grew from 10 to 60 participants. You might want to look them up. The comments add a lot more insights.

    Here's where the article originated .

    This is a fantastic parish! Just look at what they write on their home page on "Who We Are and What We Stand For".


    See comments at the bottom regarding women in the Church. I know you have already addressed his comments on homosexuality, but how about the line: "It is not enough to have altar girls, women readers or women as the president of Caritas," he said, according to the Catholic Herald. "Women in the church are more important than bishops and priests," he said, in the same way that "Mary is more important than the apostles."