Altar servers from local parish inducted into International Archconfraternity

WESTPORT, Mass. — On October 15, the altar servers from St. John the Baptist Parish in Westport were inducted into the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen, an international order of altar servers.

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The Archconfraternity of St. Stephen was founded as a Catholic guild in England in 1904 by Father Hamilton McDonald. Initially it was established as a simple society of servers at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in London. In 1905, Pope St. Pius X gave his approval to the canonical establishment of the guild at Westminster Cathedral. 

In 1906, the Sacred Congregation of Rites designated the Guild of St. Stephen an “Archconfraternity” enabling parish branches to be linked with it. In 1934, Pope Pius XI enabled all guilds of altar servers throughout the British Commonwealth to be affiliated with the Archconfraternity at Westminster.  Since then, chapters have also been established in the United States.

At the request of  Father Leonard Hindsley, pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, and with the assistance of Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., His Eminence Vincent Cardinal Nichols, superior general of the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen, approved the establishment of a chapter at St. John the Baptist Church, Westport.

The purpose of the Archconfraternity is to encourage the highest standards of serving at the Church’s Liturgies, provide servers with a greater understanding of what they are doing in the Sanctuary and to unite servers of different parishes and dioceses for their mutual support and encouragement. 

At the induction ceremony, servers were presented the Guild Medal which they will wear each time they serve.

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