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Twenty years later, I return to the altar

in Apolitical/Peter by
Yesterday was a special birthday for me for more than the obvious chronological reasons. That’s because I began the day in a place few would imagine me: the altar at St. Mary Our Lady of Grace church. I was the second lector, charged with reading a chapter from a Letter from St. Paul to the Ephesians. I was extraordinarily nervous during the reading, and I’ve spoken before some pretty big audiences before. I was just so filled with the Holy Spirit, so close to God, doing his work, that I was all but overwhelmed.
This was the culmination of a spiritual journey that was jump-started a year ago by my Aunt Judy in New York, but almost never began because of what happened exactly 20 years ago. It was then, on my birthday, that I served as an altar boy during a Mass performed by Father Alan Webber. I was honored to serve as an altar boy on my birthday and took the position very seriously. Too seriously it turned out, as I pretty much knocked over or spilled everything on the altar…candles, communion wafers, holy water; it was like a Chevy Chase sketch. I was so disheartened by my performance that day that I never served as an altar boy again. Consqequently, I gave up on taking an active role in the church. My faith remained, but I wasn’t going to stray too far from a pew ever again.
So I was pretty nervous yesterday. In preparation, I rehearsed the previous week, including a dry run on the altar on Friday. When I arrived at church yesterday, my palms were a little sweaty, but I just got up and did my thing. The Holy Spirit was definetly looking over me because my voice did not crack, I didn’t stumble over any words; in fact, I think I did a pretty good job.
After 20 years, I’m finally back where I should have been a long time ago: in the service of the Lord. Just don’t ask me to carry the holy water up to the altar.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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