Wednesday, August 14, 2019

TLM Altar Boy Camp in Slovakia

Our thanks to Fr Radovan Rajčák, a priest from Slovakia, for sharing with us this account of a camp held earlier this summer to teach altar boys about the traditional Mass. It seems like this is a kind of initiative that could easily be reproduced elsewhere, and be very useful for introducing the young to the beauty of our Catholic liturgical tradition.

From July 1-6, the first traditional camp for altar boys took place in the village of Motyčky, which is located near the Marian pilgrimage shrine of Staré Hory in Slovakia. The whole camp was accompanied by an intensive liturgical course on the traditional Latin Mass, meditations, prayer of the Holy Rosary, catechesis about the Mass, and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The camp was attended by 20 altar boys and 5 priests who coordinated the whole program, and also added some trips, sporting activities and games to the spiritual program, helping to build and strengthen friendships between the boys.

The main idea for the camp was based built on the Catholic altar boys organization Legio Angelica, which was founded before World War II in Bohemia (1929); because of its popularity, German and Slovak branches were also established. The main goals were to encourage the boys to grow in virtue, knowledge of Catholic doctrine and practice of the liturgy; a lot of “legionists” (as they called themselves) became priests. In Slovakia, the organization brought together about 1,500 boys, but in 1948, the whole project was shut down by the Communist authorities.

This new camp took over the basic idea of the Legio Angelica, so that altar boys could become acquainted with the grandeur and importance of their ministry, as many of their predecessors had done, during the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass. Every single boy was deeply affected and, as they themselves attested, captivated by the beauty of tradition.

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