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Thursday, June 4, 2015
Star of the Sea Catholic Church: Altar Boy Policy Update

Source: Matthew (A Catholic Life) copyright 2018

Earlier this year on January 31st I contacted the pastor of Star of the Sea Catholic Church in San Francisco, as they had been under liberal attacks for restoring the practice of male-only altar servers.  Yesterday I received an email response from Father that I wish to make known:

My Original Message:
Hello Father, 
I just wanted to send you a note of support to thank you for taking this tough stand.
I go to a parish in Chicago that only has male altar servers.  We've seen a large increase in vocations in the parish.  It's important to note, as you have explained, that altar boys is the long standing tradition of the Church.  It is vital for our Church's future vocations that boys be trained in altar serving.  I know that you do not need reminded of this. 
I just wanted you to know that you are very much supported by many.  And I hope that despite the pressures you may face, that you will stay true to this position. 
May Almighty God protect you and may our Blessed Mother intercede for you amidst those who wish to attack you.

Father's Response:
Dear Matthew,

Thank you for your email in support of Fr. Driscoll and me, and for your prayerful support of our dear Archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone. Since the altar girl controversy broke out in January, I have received hundreds of emails from around California, the entire country, and even several dozen from foreign countries. I cannot respond to all of them personally, so am sending this general letter to you.

Archbishop Cordileone is working hard, and suffering personally with resolute magnanimity, to bring the light of Christ’s Gospel and the beautiful teachings of our Church to his people in San Francisco. He is widely misunderstood and even attacked for it, but accepts this with graceful patience. He is a good father. We at Star of the Sea want to share in this mission, and so have accepted also a part of this suffering. Please pray for us, that we accept the wisdom and perseverance that God, through Our Lady, is offering to us. Personally, I hope that this experience will truly purify me and many others, so that we may all be holy and bring glory to God. All of Jesus, through His Holy Mother.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Joseph Illo
The San Francisco Community of St. Philip Neri at Star of the Sea Parish

Please join me in praying for the parish and those who suffer so much for remaining true to the Church.  May the Crucified Lord protect them, inspire them, and sustain them.


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