Mandaue altar boys thrilled by sacristan San Pedro

Posted on October 22, 2012

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FOR altar boys Arman Lumapas and Seth Caballes, yesterday’s canonization of Pedro Calungsod in Rome was a big deal.

Still dressed in his Sunday best – white polo shirt, black slacks and black shoes – Arman rushed out after Mass in St. Joseph’s Shrine to watch the live telecast of the Rome event in the Mandaue City Sports Complex.

“I look up to Pedro Calungsod because we’re both sacristans and catechists. He’s the patron of the Ministry of Acolytes,” said Arman.

He was among 3,000 Cebuano youths who watched the live video streaming of the canonization rites.

They wore shirts printed with Calungsod’s face and cheered whenever the young martyr’s portrait flashed on the screen.

Arman became an altar boy at 11. The high school senior said he seeks inspiration from Calungsod.

“If I were in his place, I would have also sacrificed my life for God’s service,” he said in Cebuano.

For Seth Caballes, a first year Psychology student of the University of San Carlos taking, his role as an altar boy includes learning about Calungsod, who was 12 or 13 years old when he left Cebu to join a Jesuit mission to the Marianas Islands.

During one Mass at the Church of Birhen De La Regla in Lapu-Lapu City, said Seth, he told his mother he wanted to be like the altar boys he saw assisting the priest at Mass.

He became an altar boy at 10.

In an activity of the acolytes at the Archbishop’s Palace in Cebu City he encountered the image of Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

He was a part of the Virgin of the Rule delegation that was awarded with a frame bearing the image of Calungsod.

“I’m happy that Calungsod has become a saint after all these years,” said the student.

Two brothers aged 14 and 11 also serves as altar boys. Their youngest brother ,9, is waiting to follow in their footsteps.

Their parents, Adeodatus Caballes who works in Cebu City Hall and mother Bernadeth, a teacher in St. Alfonso’s Catholic School, are proud of the boys.

Seth serves on Sundays and one weekday. He also attends obligatory service on Saturday at 8 a.m.

Last year he was elected president of the acolytes known as the Virgen De La Regla Knights of Acolytes Service Ministry.

As acolytes, he said they have to lead good example of Christian values. They can’t sport tattoos, body piercing and long hair or join fraternities.

He said he’s undecided, though, about becoming a priest and that he’s thinking of having a girlfriend.

As a devotee of San Pedro Calungsod, Seth said prays for guidances and motivation to finish schooling.

“I’m not dreaming of being a saint but I will do my best in serving God,” he said. /Jucell Marie P. Cuyos and Norman V. Mendoza, Correspondents

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