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By Rebecca Teti

Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti


  • At your parish, what age/grade do you have to be to be an altar server??

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 10:20 AM by Jay

  • In my parish growing up, it was 6th grade. I think it's 5th at my current parish and I've been to small parishes where the kids started after First Communion.

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 11:31 AM by Alice

  • Sorry, you're asking if kids have to be servers. In the smaller parishes, I've seen everyone over 3rd grade serving. If your child is being forced to serve, you can say no, although you might want to figure out if it's a battle you want to fight.

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 11:37 AM by Alice

  • At our parish, Father expects every boy over 3rd grade to serve. I wish I could let my 6th grade boy serve, but I don't care for the way he trains them. He calls them "morons" if they forget something, flicks them in the head or kicks at's very disheartening since my son has mentioned wanting to be a priest...and I don't have a good one he can look up to...hopefully next year he'll get moved!

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 12:01 PM by Lynnea

  • Headache cures? I suffer from migraine/awful headaches that cause nausea and worse...I feel they are getting worse and more frequent. I have a prescription for Tylenol with codeine but I only take them once in a while. I was in the hope that someone might have an idea for me? Thank you in advance!

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 12:03 PM by Donna L.

  • I didn't read the 1st comment by Jay as implying that the children had to serve, just what the minimum age was to serve. In our parish, children are eligible to train the September after their FHC, so usually 3rd grade, and they begin serving in late October. For the first year or so (dictated by how many times they are on the schedule), they are limited to Candle Bearers and Cross. There are additional training sessions for Book and Thurifer. We just had almost 100 children receive FHC this month, I can't imagine what would happen if they were all forced to serve, each server would probably only get 1 Mass a year.

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 12:06 PM by Danielle M.

  • Apparently I can't read today. :P Anyway, as I thought about it, I remembered that when we were going to the EF, all our servers were in high school or college. So, it might have something to do with that. Lynnea, have you talked with the bishop about that? A priest flicking and kicking at servers seems like something he ought to know about.

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 12:20 PM by Alice

  • In our parish, currently they ask 5th graders to begin lessons in serving and go on the schedule. This past year, only 1 joined, so they're considering going to lower grades. Donna--have you considered food/environmental allergies as possible causes for your headaches? No suggestion on cures, other than finding the source of what causes them in the first place. Hope you can find something soon--I know that can be miserable!

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 12:40 PM by Mary Therese

  • Thank you ladies. Yes I was wondering what the norm was for minimum age. I think my son will enjoy serving when he is older:)

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 12:47 PM by Jay

  • At our parish, boys must be at least 6 years old before serving at the altar. Asking prayers for my father-in-law, Joe, who was placed on a ventilator in ICU today because his heart & lungs are not functioning properly. God's will be done. Thank you.

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 12:52 PM by Patricia

  • Hi Alice-no, I haven't brought it up. I mentioned it to a friend of mine and she said I should not bring my boy up to be a "wuss" and that it is just the way this particular priest trains them. So, I did mention it to this priest in a short meeting when he asked why my son did not serve, and he was astonished that I would think that he would ever do that to *MY* son...when I had witnessed it with other boys during the training last year. I just pulled him out.

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 12:54 PM by Lynnea

  • :) Headaches? Drink water. It is healthy.

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 2:45 PM by unknown

  • Donna L - The most important thing is to figure out your triggers for your migraines. For me, it is lack of sleep, alcohol, stress and certain other foods. So I try to avoid those and get regular sleep. I can't always avoid stress (in fact, recently, I can't seem to ever avoid stress :) ). Also, dehydration, exposure to heat, exercise etc seem to trigger headaches. Some supplements like CoQ 10 and magnesium seem to help prevent migraines if you take them everyday (talk to your doctor). Also, there are prescriptions meds that you can take everyday to help prevent headaches if they are bad. If you get a headache, take your medicine immediately. The sooner you take it the better it works. Finally, caffeine really helps treat migraines (that's the main ingredient in Excedrin) I just drink a cup of coffee with my ibuprofen if I get a headache. Good luck!

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 3:58 PM by JM

  • Lynnea-- Good for you for not putting your son in a potentially abusive environment. Your friend is dead wrong on this point. I agree that a note to the bishop would not be out of line. We would not stand for a teacher treating students this way... why is it ok for a priest to do it?

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 6:20 PM by MR

  • I agree. In addition to being abusive, it is also a terrible witness to the vocation of the priesthood, and to Christianity in general. I would never expose my son to this, and I would definitely contact the bishop. Lynnea, I'm very glad that you did the right thing for your son rather than taking your friend's advice.

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 7:57 PM by Claire

  • Donna L, migraines are really tricky because there are so many possible triggers. There can also be a hormonal component, so if you're approaching permenopause, that could explain why you're getting them more often.

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 at 8:01 PM by Claire S

  • I get migraines that respond well to over the counter meds (exceed rain for migraines). I believe it's pain reliever, aspirin, and caffeine. Water helps. Mine are hormonal and have worsened over my mid to late forties. You're not raising a wuss because you didn't condone name calling and mistreatment. I'd call my bishop in a skinny minute. At the very least, it's a poor, poor witness. Good gravy.

    Posted on May 22nd, 2013 at 1:01 PM by Kelly