Saturday, April 15, 2017

EUROPE : Shortage of altar boys in Germany’s Catholic Church

Image result for altar boysGrey-haired altar boys, while not yet common, are an increasingly frequent sight at masses served in Germany’s many Catholic churches, according to figures for 2015 compiled by the church.

Around 2 per cent of the servers no longer fit into the “classical” age group of 9 to 19 years, Alexander Bothe, who reports on servers to the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said on Thursday.

Priests were turning to adults, many of them already engaged in church work, to fill the gaps when no boys or youth were available, said Jody Anthony, who until recently worked for the diocese of Limburg to the north-west of Frankfurt.

“For that reason, you could say that there are more these days,” Anthony said.

Konrad Haschke, a 60-year-old Frankfurt resident who has returned to serving at mass after a long interval, is content with the trend.

“I felt 50 years younger immediately,” he said.