The night forests of East Durham, spotted with the incandescent glares of flashlights, rang with the shouts of running boys.
For the past half-hour, they had been hunting down seminarians, in search of precious points to win the coveted first prize of the IVE’s annual Altar Boys Camp.
Taking place at the St. Patrick Retreat Center in Upstate, New York, this year’s altar boy camp provided the twenty-five plus attendees from five parishes across the eastern seaboard with a chance to relax, have fun, and of course, serve Mass alongside the seminarians of the Institute of the Incarnate Word. The boys ranged in age from eight to fifteen, and their activities included everything from a trip to Zoom Flume Water Park to camping in the surrounding mountains to a “deer stalk” in the midnight woods. Accompanied by IVE Fathers Signorelli, Delfin, and Librado, the altar boys served Mass daily, having as well an afternoon catechesis and regular opportunities for confession, concluding each day with a rosary procession in the company of a statue of our Lady of Fatima.
The nine seminarians of the IVE chaperoned the entire event and helped guide the boys, broken into four competing teams – St. Francis’ Wolves, St. Patrick’s Shamrocks, St. John’s Eagles and St. James’ Knights – as they struggled for the title of victor over the course of the camp. Soaring above the rest of the competition, St. John’s Eagles took home first place, followed by St. Patrick’s Shamrocks in second.
A special thanks to all who made this retreat possible, particularly to our servers who sacrifice of themselves and their time to serve Our Lord at his altar. May St. John Berchmanns, patron saint of altar servers, intercede for us all.
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