Lord God of Hosts,

Please bless sacristans all over the world.
They change the linens, the candles
and the flowers on our altars,
wash the sacred vessels used at Holy Communion, keep the votive lights always burning,
and in many other ways keep our churches
and our sanctuaries ready for ceremonies,
and at all time reflective of our reverence
for the Eucharist retained in our tabernacles.

You know, Lord, that in Sacred Heart Parish, Leavenworth, Kansas, where I was raised,
two dear unmarried ladies, Ella V. Carroll
and Mary Agnes Carroll, were daily communicants,
and faithful sacristans who worked diligently
to insure that all was always in perfect order at our altar.

Daughters of our town's banker, Ella was thin, with black hair pulled back and glasses,
Mary Agnes was heavier, with auburn hair
and a quiet smile.

They came to our school on special occasions
with "treats": big boxes full of the kinds
of candies young children love: chocolate, butterscotch and cherry, licorice, orange
and peppermint.

Thank You, Lord, for these sweet memories.

Thank You especially for the gift of these two precious, gentle, selfless, saintly souls,
whose charitable and pious example inspires me
even to this day. Please bless sacristans
all over the world who, with loving care,
ready our churches for divine service.

All this I pray in the name of Jesus,



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