The altar servers at St. Michael’s Church, Mahim, have St. John Berchman as their patron saint.
St. John Berchman was born in Belgium on March 13, 1599. As a child, he had a quick temper, but under the careful religious training of his mother, grew to be a gentle and loving person. In fact, his whole time was taken up with study and prayers, which he knew well how to combine. He did not take part in the games in which boys of his age usually engaged. He sacrificed sports in order to have more time to study and to pray. He always prepared himself for Holy Mass by many and fervent prayers. When in the act of receiving Holy Communion, there was something heavenly in his countenance. His deep recollection, the modesty of his downcast eyes and his sweet devotion were subjects of admiration for all who chanced to see him. His love for our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament was remarkable even from his earliest years. When only seven years of age, he worked hard to master the rudiments of learning. He was sometimes known to leave his bed before daybreak, and when his grandmother asked him why he did so, the little fellow answered with great simplicity: “I want to have the blessing of God on my lessons and so I serve two or three Masses before I go to school.” St. John is called the “Saint of the Common Life,” but Pius IX gave him the title, “Patron of Altar Boys.”
He is the model for the altar servers of our Parish. By following St. John Berchman in his devotion to the altar and in the simple and faithful discharge of their ordinary duties at home, in school and in the church, they may be sure to obtain graces like to those which made him such a great Saint.
The altar servers attend training programmes and rallies regularly. At the meetings they have quizzes and games which help them develop their knowledge of the Mass and the Catholic faith.
Altar servers have their monthly meeting on the first Sunday of every month. Children of St. Michael’s parish, who have received their First Holy Communion, are welcome to join and may contact the Parish Priest, Parish fathers, their Sunday School catechists, or the sisters in-charge.