ALTAR SERVERS HISTORY
The Gaborone Diocese Altar Server started of years ago with a group of young boys of up to 21 years. These boys met regularly to teach each other different ways of serving, built their spirituality and got to know each other more. There were 2 parishes that were involved in this gathering being St Bernadette Catholic Church and Christ King Cathedral. By that time not so many parishes were involved and so during the Church events such as Chrism Mass only these two parishes served. As time went on young girls also began to gain interest in serving and also wanted to join in at their parishes but most Priests couldn’t allow it due to the various complications girls face. As years passed on some priest gained interest in the way the young boys served and offered to assist them to work more on their spirituality and serving.
During that time there were a few Altar boys as it was named by then were the only found in main parishes and the same group would travel with the Priest to serve in outstations. This initiative further built interest in other young boys in outstations and also joined them. As years went on more boys became Altar boys but never met with others. As time went on more parishes would join St Bernadette and CKC for teaching and discussions on Altar serving. They were later adopted by one Priest who would organize meetings, their uniform and by that time they had blue t-shirts with the motto “To server is to reign and to reign is to serve” and logo. As years went more girls showed interest in serving than boys but still wouldn’t serve, afterwards it was made official that also girls would serve. They also started meeting with other parishes from time to time with the same mandate at CKC.
Years later Fr Macloyed adopted the group where now it changed its name to Altar Servers. They began meeting regularly at St Bernadette and started having workshops to fully involve other parishes. There was a camp the following year that more than 5 parishes attended which was a great turn up as it was the first. The camp included games, music competitions and spiritual teachings.Fr Macloyed stayed with them for more than 3years and then handed over to Fr Phala who also continued under the same mandate of serving. He stayed with them for a year and a half and transferred to Pretoria. During his stay with the Altar servers we came up with a new logo and name being “GABORONE DIOCESE ALTAR SERVERS ASSOCIATION” , manufactured new T-shirts and caps with our new logo on it and motto ”TO SERVE IS TO REIGN” . After Fr Phala was transferred in 2017 we were then given a new Spiritual director being Deacon Rev Bakang Malila by that time.
He also an Altar Server shared with us various ways of serving, built our spirituality and made it even more possible for all Altar Servers to fully participate in the association events. We then created a Facebook page, a Facebook group and a WhatsApp group to make communication simpler and faster. We renamed the group to ‘GABORONE DIOCESE ALTAR SERVERS’ as Deacon Bakang make it clearer that we were a ministry not an association. The executive committee together with Deacon Bakang visited what we called “fallen or inactive parishes” mainly to also involve them in the group. The parish visitation made a huge improvement in the meeting and workshop attendances in which even parishes notice change in the discipline and serving of their servers in their parishes.
In 2018 Fr Bakang was Ordained and various Altar servers served with the same line of discipline and serving. On the same year we had one of the most successful camps in Lobatse in St Theresa. Above 20 parishes of the Gaborone Diocese had attended the camp and also organized a picnic in which we played games and interacted more. This year we had 2 leadership workshops the first being of Lobatse and Gaborone Deanery held in Otse and the second one was of the Molepolole Deanery in St Placid. During these workshops there was a huge turn up and more changes in serving and discipline. We regularly have meeting were all leaders together with our Adult Supporting body. Our ASBs are of great help in all ways being advisory, spiritually and also teach us how to handle the complications we as young people face in the community and the church. We are very grateful to have such a group with us and we appreciate them as they have always been with us.