Around 110 altar servers attended the event, along with family and supporters. The celebration coincided with the ninth anniversary of the ordination of Bishop Alan Hopes as Bishop of East Anglia. Fr Simon Davies from the Cathedral led the altar servers in a round of applause in appreciation of Bishop Alan’s service to the diocese.
The Mass, on July 16, also fell on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, and Bishop Alan recalled in his homily how St Simon Stock had received the holy scapula.
In his homily Bishop Alan also held up St Stephen as a model for altar servers. The saint teaches us three things, said the bishop. Firstly, he listened to Jesus and listened to the apostles talking about Jesus. “So spend a few minutes in pray each day,” advised Bishop Alan, “and grow in love for the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist.”
Secondly, Stephen heard God calling him to do something and he responded with a ‘yes’. “You have responded to God’s call to serve Him at the altar…God might be also calling some of you to be a priest, a nun or a monk.”
Thirdly, Stephen was not afraid to show everyone that he was a friend of Jesus Christ. “So be proud of who you are as a friend of Jesus Christ. Live close to Jesus seven days a week. You are blessed to be so close to the awesome mystery of the Mass….Thank you for all that you do, and may St Stephen pray for you all.”
Pictured above is Bishop Alan with altar servers at St John’s Cathedral.
You can view of Flickr gallery of the celebration by clicking on the link or the picture below.