Greetings to all of you in Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine in Doylestown. As you are viewing this I am in Sydney, with the young people of the world gathered, and so happy that you’re gathered in Doylestown, in union with so many of your brothers and sisters who are gathered for this World Youth Day. You know, this was a wonderful idea that Pope John Paul II had to gather the youth of the world together, time after time, in order that together you might express your faith, you might proclaim your faith, you might celebrate the Eucharist and celebrate the sacrament of penance you might build expression to your holy catholic faith.
The altar server occupies a privileged place in the liturgical celebration
"The altar server occupies a privileged place in the liturgical celebration. He, who serves at Mass, presents himself to a community. He experiences firsthand that Jesus Christ is present and active in every liturgical act. Jesus is present when the community comes together to pray and render praise to God. Jesus is present in the Word of sacred Scripture. Jesus is present above all in the Eucharist under the signs of bread and wine. He acts through the priest who, in the person of Christ, celebrates the holy Mass and administers the sacraments.
Therefore, in the liturgy, you are much more than simple "helpers of the parish priest". Above all, you are servers of Jesus Christ, of the eternal High Priest. Thus, you, altar servers, are called in particular to be young friends of Jesus. Be determined to go deeper and to cultivate this friendship with Him. You will discover that in Jesus you have found a true friend for life."
America Unites with the World in Youth Day 2008 Celebrations
On Saturday July 19th, 2008 until Sunday July 20th, 2008 the Archdiocese of Philadelphia organized the Local World Youth Day which was to bring a little taste of the celebrations in Sydney to the youth of America that could not go down-under! All activities would be held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, whose caretakers are the Pauline Fathers and Brothers (OSPPE), in beautiful Bucks County, PA. The organizational team for Bucks County was led by Mrs. Kerri Bernatowicz, and on the side of the Pauline Order was Fr. Tadeusz Lizinczyk OSPPE. The youth amounted in the hundreds coming into check-in! At 3pm on Saturday, we began our journey, our pilgrimage, to our Blessed Mother’s home meditating on what it means to be a witness. Deacon John led us in prayer before we started out! With God blessing us on our journey as witnesses to the faith, we were off! The youth of the Czestochowa Shrine led the way with the WYD cross. With the help of the Pauline Seminarians br. Rafael Kandora, br. Przemyslaw Sobczak, and br. George Hanna, Fr. Tad led this flock to the house of Mary in prayer and meditation.
The altar servers kicked off this great and holy Advent season with an awesome retreat this past weekend, 12/01 – 12/02 2007, at Our Lady of Czestochowa. It was a relaxing and reflective experience as we prayed, attended talks and spent time together at the Retreat House.
Prayer was interwoven throughout the retreat. During the morning and evening, we said the Liturgy of the Hours, which combines scriptural quotations, reflections and common prayers and is recited throughout the day. Intriguing, yet easy to say, this is a meaningful prayer. Other times of prayer included recitation of the Rosary and the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy, Confession and Mass.