Altar girl ban at SF parish draws mixed reactions from Filipinos

SAN FRANCISCO – Eleven year old Alyssa Bautista is passionate about her role as an altar server at St. Patrick’s Church in San Francisco. She shared, “It makes me feel honored because I’m a part of the spiritual community.”

But other girls won’t have the same religious experience at another San Francisco parish – Star of the Sea, which recently made national news after its parish priest announced that the church will only allow boys to serve as altar servers. In an official statement, Rev. Joseph Illo, pastor at Star of the Sea, argued that it makes sense to have only altar boys because it prepares boys to consider the priesthood.

But David Jimenez, who served as an altar boy at Star of the Sea, disagreed. He said, “If I may be very frank, as an altar boy, I didn’t think about being a priest. Going back and looking at my friends that were in the altar boy program, historically, none of us have become priests.”

Rev. Piers Lahey, who once served as associate pastor at Star of the Sea, said Illo’s decision does not mirror modern times. “I myself would not do this in a parish. I would want to have altar boys and girls because that’s the way society is,” he pointed out.

But Dem Z., a Pinoy who has served the Church for 30 years now and even went to seminary school, agreed with sticking to tradition. He said, “Females can also do it but as far as I’m concerned, majority of the servers and the head – the sakristan mayor – should be males.”

For Bautista, there should be no discrimination within the Church. The altar girl reasoned, “Gender doesn’t really matter. Gender is not an issue, as long as you serve with compassion and love for the Lord.”

Star of the Sea is now the only parish in the Archdiocese of San Francisco to exclude girls from serving at the altar. Such a decision, the archdiocese said, is ultimately, the pastor’s call.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at for more information.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Mario
    8 February 2015 at 2:04 am - Reply

    Banning altar girls server is part of Leftist Liberal Democrat agenda on the destruction of religious belief.Keep away girls from church , away as altar girls server, so that in the future they will believed on killing their babies(abortion). Where are the women rights movement, they are quiet about it.What political party sponsored the the legalization on abortion in your State.

  • Delia
    8 February 2015 at 8:44 am - Reply

    To all libturds demons-rats , i hope your all proud and happy now that our freedom are slowly decimatimg .Facts to a liberal are those that are pulled out of thin air and or provided by lame stream media to swathe their ineptness on all things rational.

    We are on the cusp of a dictatorship now , America is only a memory a shadow of what it once was . “progressiveness” has ruined our “free” Republic and we have become slaves of the establishment. We are lied to and robbed repeatedly and have become apathetic to these injustices because few realize we have been slowly boiled and failed to realize it.

    As a result you wander about functionally illiterate only receptive to liberal politically correct BS and blindly obey the commands of your masters and repeat what you are told.

  • emariotto
    9 February 2015 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    As A graduate of Star and Saint Ignatius and currently a University professor, this is like reading something from the 13th century. Dear Father, this the 21st century, and in that century is in San Francisco. You and Arch. Cordelone have a lot in common. Perhaps you are vampires from the 13th century and might want to return.