Please read this article, http://www.adoremus.org/0302Altargirls.html It refers to the history of altar servers, how permitting girls came about, and what the Holy See has really said on the matter in recent years. After reading this and the letter Congregation's letter linked in the article, please consider asking your girls to offer up the role of altar server to God so one boy may serve more often and answer a call to the priesthood. But first read further on the subject and decide from there. This is a bigger issue than we have been aware of. Thank you.
Here are other related links on th subject:
The first is the USCCB guidelines on altar servers. The first line reads, "Although institution into the ministry of acolyte is reserved to lay men, the diocesan bishop may permit the liturgical functions of the instituted acolyte to be carried out by altar servers, men and women, boys and girls."
The second link is an article about a program development for altar servers, preferably for boys, but possibly for boys and girls separate; and the need for a program for true faith formation in them. This too the Holy See has tried to encourage.
All mothers are extremely blessed with the opportunity to give children life, but also to continue giving Life to them as they grow and become their unique selves. None of us find this journey easy or perfectly followed, but we have a Guide that made a special stop to meet us on the Way. At the Eighth Station Jesus specifically recognized the sorrow of the women and children. Why I ask? Why is it that he stopped to encourage us and ask us to focus on the future generations? What is it that we have been given that makes us so graced with this encounter and invitation? And did the children weep for Christ like the women? No, they wept because they saw their mothers sad. Isn't that how children are? They react as their moms react. So it is with the faith. And Christ draws us from our sins and sorrows and tells us to rise above it, for the sake of the children and future generations.
When my son recently left for college I found myself behaving in different ways than I have noticed before. I began dreaming of reminding him of all those little things that I seemed to have forgotten to tell him, and looking for little minutes to open those important talks about choosing the right friends and the spiritual necessities of avoiding drinking and other bad behaviors. We have had an open conversation all his years, but suddenly I was reacting to an inner desire to help him remember God's Way is the only one to follow, no matter how difficult. I was worried that I had not shown him all I should have. I wanted to make sure nothing was forgotten in preparing him to live his generation of life well and in God's Light. Now, being 18, he got a little annoyed. But I have a son who understands mom needs to be mom. We laugh at it with respect for the facts. I do on to regret saying any of it. It is avoiding the conversations that now frighten me. Why?
Well, recently and unknowingly, my son has shown without words how important it is for me to be Fully Mom, and not apologize for it. I think my behavior before he left may shed some light on the desire of the moms heart to prepare and guide not only the body, but the soul of her children, and the necessity for us to engage in this action with God. It is not by chance, but by a seed planted by Christ into our souls that we mother, whether we have our own children or not. Christ with my son's innocent help has shown me this is a gifted task indeed and one that must be carried out unreservedly if I believe and follow Christ.
God wants us to help Him by prayer and work for the betterment of the next generations. If we become overwhelmed with the sadness in front of us, so will the young. With this seed of mothering, He gives us the ability to move onward and not dwell on what is facing us or the world, but to put all our soul and heart and body into creating a holy generation. He wants us to Live Hope so the young will Hope, too. With the Holy Spirit in our souls and with the Cross upon our shoulders we gather the young ones, pressing onward in hope; witnessing the Way, after Christ, teaching them by our example and words to hope and live by God's grace. Then when they go off on their own, they choose who to follow, and by God's grace, they will follow Him. But never is our task complete, we must keep working with God for our young and all the young.
Women, we have a serious job indeed! A blessed task! Together we raise the world. And if we do it with Him, in His Church, in His Sacraments; we raise it up to Him "in one accord." A planted song of praise brought to fruitfulness in future generations. And no longer will our children weep because we weep, but they will Live because we first Lived with Christ.