They say that our childhood experiences play a big role on who we become as an adult and this holds true for Engineer Elvir Santos. His childhood experience of being an altar boy and active participation in the ministry for 13 years shaped his values and helped him get through life.
“I was too shy before. I learned to conquer that. And the best of all, my faith in God deepened. It helped me face life’s challenges coming my way and go on with life because of the many blessings He is giving me,” says Elvir, who is now working as a Civil Engineer.
Elvir was attending Mass with his mother when he saw an altar boy ringing the bell during the mass. He just wanted to try ringing the bell and that started it. (Read: How to Raise a Pope: Learn about the boy who grew up to be the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic world)
Life as an altar boy
So in 2002, Elvir joined the Altar Servers Ministry. Not only did he enjoyed serving, but it gave him the opportunity to meet new friends who were also altar boys like him.
“We play computer games after the mass. Sometimes we go around, hang out at the cemetery [at the back of the church] and then go home the following day,” he shares. He served for more than 13 years and even became the chairman until the parish priest enforced an age limit to being an altar server.
“We didn’t quit [the ministry]. It’s just that the former parish priest that time enforced the age limit in the ministry, so all senior altar servers were forced out, but we continued to support the ministry and the junior members,” he says. (Read: These 4 Popes Took Family Lessons To Heart And To Their Papacy!)
Elvir is now a civil engineer, working as a supervisor for a water utility company. He is now applying the lessons he learned while being an altar server– proper time management. Elvin can easily juggle work and other activities.
Still in service of the church
At present, Elvir is a member of the Parish Social Communications Ministry (SoCom). He helps the parish during the Facebook online streaming of masses and takes photos during special events and pontifical masses.
Apart from photography, he also plays the drums for the Yahweh Eucharist Spirit (YES).
“The only difference before was my level of maturity. I was childish and a little playful when I was an altar server, but in terms of commitment in doing the tasks, I think I’m still the same responsible person that I am,” he says. (Read: Here’s What the Holy Innocents Teach Us, According to Pope Francis)
As an altar boy, Elvir learned these valuable things that he still applies today:
“Always choose to be a good person. Always be grateful for things you have. Learn how to forgive people who have done you wrong to have peace of mind. Follow your desire to serve the Lord no matter how busy you are with your work or studies. It’ll be hard at first, but eventually, you’ll learn to balance everything.”