75% of newly ordained priests say that they served as altar servers before entering seminary.
From time immemorial, serving at the altar has been the most common entry points for boys and young men into the imagination of what it would be like to be a priest. Their close proximity to the priest and to the Sacred Mysteries, the ability to talk to the priest before or after Mass on a regular basis, and the brotherhood of altar servers that made the serving at the Lord’s altar and the consideration of the priesthood something ‘normal’ among boys, all have led and continue to lead to the nurturing of priestly vocations.
There are two specific programs we recommend that are anchored in these realities. You can choose which best fits your situation. The first needs to have a handful of interested servers and, in addition to the priest, one or two committed laymen, who would make good mentors. The second can be done in nearly any parish by the priest himself and one or two servers. We have young men who have or are entering seminary this year out of both of these programs.