Caitlin O’Rourke on Girl Altar Servers

I didn’t mean to throw the alarm clock at Cousin Chelsea and hit her on the head  I only meant to scare her but then it slipped out of my hand when I was pretending to throw it and I’m not lying I really didn’t mean to hurt her and I’m sorry she got a cut over her eye but she made me mad because she was teasing me because at her parish where she lives in California she is an altar server and we don’t have girl altar servers at St Bridget’s and I don’t mind because I don’t want to be one anyway and Cousin Chelsea who Aunt Margaret says is big for her age in more ways than one was saying that I was only pretending to not to want to be an altar server because I was jealous of her and I’m not and it’s not true and I really don’t want to be an altar server because Father Florsheim says it is for boys because boys might become priests one day and girls can’t be priests so why should they be altar servers and I said to Flora that Cousin Chelsea makes me so mad because she always comes for Christmas with Aunt Jules her real name is Julianna but she doesn’t like it because she’s a lawyer and  anyway whenever Cousin Chelsea comes to visit she teases me about something and last time she kept saying I loved Jimmy Pochowski which is also not true and then she always leaves early to go skiing with Leonard who is her father but she calls him Leonard because they’re divorced and I got mad at her because I was trying to explain why I didn’t want to be an altar server but it was hard because she said it was equal rights and Father Florsheim was a mail shovenist whatever that is but I think it means he doesn’t like girls which isn’t true because he is always very nice to me and Flora and I said that not only was altar serving for boys but I didn’t want to do all the dumb stuff boys do all the time anyway like who wants to be a boy and never wash and pick your nose and run around playing army and fighting all the time and anyway why is it always that the girls have to do all the boy stuff but the boys never want to do the girl stuff  like you never hear of boys who want to join the girls scouts do you so if you always want to do the boy stuff then that means you think they are better than you which they are not except at some things then Chelsea said girls should have choice and I said it was stupid to have the choice to do something wrong and why should I choose to do something I didn’t want to do anyway and then I said that when I see Jimmy and the other boys up there being altar servers it makes me feel more like a girl too and I like that and if I was up there with them I wouldn’t feel so much like a girl and then she said that was dumb and that I was in love with Jimmy Pochowski and I should just admit it and she said it in that stupid grown up way she has even though she’s only eleven and she pretended like I was her little sister and she started to talking to me like she was the school nurse or something about what boys and girls do and kissing and other stuff that Jules told her about so then I blushed and she laughed at me and said it was true I really did love Jimmy Pochowski so I got mad and threw the alarm clock at her and I’m sorry she was hurt at least I wish I was sorry that she was hurt and when  I had to go to my room I took my mom’s phone and called Aunt Margaret and she told me not to listen to Chelsea or Aunt Jules because they were just poor ignorant feminists who had more between their shoulders than on their shoulders I don’t know what that means but it made me laugh and Aunt Margaret always makes me feel better then she promised to come over and take me and Flora out for ice cream on Tuesday.

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  • Rachel B


  • Karen

    Caitlin rocks!

  • Donna C.

    I'm exhausted after reading that.

  • truthfinder

    Caitlin, hang in there!

  • doctoreric

    That was the greatest run on sentence of all time!I agree with Karen, Caitlin rocks!

  • Bad Catholic

    Very funny! Father Longnecker should consider writing a comic novel! However, on the underlying issue, John Paul the Great said that female altar servers are OK. That should settle the issue once and for all. Period. I personally find the argument that "girls can't be priests so they shouldn't be altar servers" unpersuasive. God might use being an altar server to call a girl to religious life. Since I'm one of them "neo-Catholic" former Evangelical converts that doesn't know anything about "real Catholicism" i.e. Pre-Conciliar, I guess I should keep my mouth shut, but I wanted to put in my 2 cents for what it's worth.

  • Staten Pilgrim

    Get rid of the altar girls. The prevalence of altar girls is one of the main indications of how frivolous the modern American church is. Being an altar boy, i.e. an acolyte, is practically an internship in the priesthood. A boy sees what a priest does, he wears vestments and takes an active role in the Mass, second only to the priest's. The priesthood becomes familiar to him. I was an altar boy from 6th grade until my teens. And although we certainly didn't always behave like perfect little angels up there, I still felt I was doing something important, glorious and magical. If my path in life hasn't taken me to the priesthood, it's not because it wasn't made attractive to me or I didn't consider it as an option. But what about today's boys? The sanctuary is no longer a male preserve. The altar girl craze began in the 1980s, as feminists and radicals came up with a novel way of assaulting the all-male priesthood. Why else would you admit girls into the anteroom of the priesthood, if not to use them as a battering ram through the parlor door? And what has been the result? I hardly see altar boys anymore. When I do, they're always in conjunction with a female partner. The forced integration must leave the ones who are left with a view of the altar service as something sissified and effeminate. And that view must surely extend to the priesthood itself and the Church.Just because Pope John Paul II- out of all the Popes in our history- allowed altar girls, doesn't mean that it's ok. He also allowed pagan worship at Assisi, turned a blind eye to heretical bishops, and generally oversaw the breakdown of the Church. His acquiescence doesn't make it right.

  • Annette M. Heidmann

    Brilliant! :-D

  • Maureen

    There are plenty of things that are okay, not sinful, but not useful.Like building a computer out of pipe cleaners. You could do it, there's nothing wrong with it, but lots of other things work better.Shrug.

  • Joe Wetterling

    Am I the only dummy that Googled "Caitlin O'Rourke" and search for around fifteen minutes before the lightbulb went on?Brilliant and funny, Father.I think I went to school with this girl in New Jersey – the cute irish lass that talked a mile a minute and without punctuation.

  • Steve

    Staten Pilgrim,I read your comment… "The sanctuary is no longer a male preserve."And my initial reaction was, yes, good, very good! My second reaction, of course, was mild mourning that some folks in 2010 DO share your belief that having women in the sanctuary is a problem. (Yet another example of Cafeteria Catholicism: Reject those ideas of JP2 with which you happen to disagree, in this case, equal roles for boys and girls as altar servers.) Believe it or not, girls and women do not pollute the sanctuary. True, you did not say that, but there is an "Aww, gross!" connotation to your line about preserving the sanctuary for males. When I was in fifth grade– my first year as a server–I'm sure I would have felt similarly. Then, well…I grew up.

  • chiralcapers

    St Thomas Aquinas argued against the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was the Universal Doctor of the Church, and he was wrong about a dogma.If St Thomas can get that wrong, then Ioannes Paulus Magnus can also have been wrong to permit the substitution of girls for boy altar servers in times of necessity (which is all he did, no more).Anthony OPL

  • Aaron

    I use to be an Altar Boyi think girl's should be able to serve masses as well as boys. There was altar girl servers at the time i was anAltar boy but during masses i served the other Altar servers were boys i didn't mind to serve masses with girls it justdidn't happen witch i was ok with that there are a lot of girls out thier that would love to serve god at church and i think that is good altar boys could serve mass to learn about being in Priesthood and girls if they really want to serve the altar for the love of god i think they should be aloud girls love god just as much as boys do now i Know Priest Bishops are for men only and I read something online that thier are only a few Churches tha Forbid Girls from being Altar servers so really it is up to the the Bishop of that certian church to ok it. So according to what i read thier are a lot of churches that allow Girls to serve in masses and i would love to see girls serve masses along side boys.