Teen makes training video for altar servers

Teen makes training video for altar servers

.- Daniel Deane is a busy young man. As is the case with any 15-year-old, Deane works hard to balance school and extra curricular activities as well as his social and home life. But for the past year the Regis Jesuit High School sophomore in Denver has had something else that’s occupied a majority of his time: making a movie.

Deane, the son of Dan and Cathy Deane, is a member of Boy Scout Troop 361. The film he made was part of a project he undertook to receive his Eagle badge. Eagle Scout is the highest rank one can earn in the Boy Scouts of America program.

All Scouts have to come up with their own Eagle projects, generally something that will serve the community. Deane decided to create a training video to instruct new altar servers at his home parish of St. Mary’s in Littleton.

“I’ve been making movies since I was in the fifth grade,” he said. “So when I began to consider what I could do for my Eagle project, it seemed like a good idea.”

As is the case with many service projects, his idea required much planning and permission getting. Deane first had to take the idea before a Scout review board. With their approval secured he contacted St. Mary’s pastor, Disciples of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary priest Father Alvaro Montero, to get permission to use the church for filming. And he spoke to the parish’s parochial vicar, Father Javier Nieva, D.C.J.M., who is director of the altar server ministry at the parish.

“Father Javier and I traded many e-mails about what should be part of the film,” Deane said, “everything from the proper way to dress to how you should conduct yourself. Where do you stand for certain parts of the Mass? How do you hold the book for the priest and what is the correct procedure for ringing the bell? We wanted a detailed explanation of what all altar servers should know.”

Once Deane got his script approved it was time to produce the film. Deane’s siblings, Dorothy and Dominick, both of whom are altar servers, and friends and members of his troop served as actors and the filming began. Most of the 40-minute video was shot in St. Mary Church with additional footage taken at St. Louis Church in Englewood.

Deane also needed narrators. For this task he sought out St. Mary School teachers William Kehrman and Mayo Watson as well as Principal Mary Cohen.

“Father Montero was kind enough to provide the introduction to the video,” Deane said. “Archbishop (Charles) Chaput did an on-camera talk on the importance of being an altar server and Father Phillip Steele, president of Regis Jesuit High School, did a short presentation about the patron saints of altar servers, St. Tarsicius and St. John Berchmans.”

Deane conceptualized the project last November and the video was finished at the beginning of this school year. It’s already been put to use.

“It was shown at a meeting of all the new altar servers,” he said. “And the feedback I got was that Father Javier was glad he had a new tool to help train the new people.”

The successful project resulted in good news for Deane. He passed his Scout board of review and is set to receive his Eagle badge before the end of the year.

Printed with permission from the Denver Catholic Register.