There has been great excitement at the community of Sacred Heart Parish in Thornlie following the commemoration of Luke McLachlan’s 25 years as an altar server.
Unknown to the McLachlan family, Parish Priest Monsignor Tim Corcoran arranged to present Luke with a certificate, recognising his service.
Luke, who has Down syndrome, became an altar server when he was 10 years old, and since then has become a prominent figure at Thornlie Parish.
Serving at the altar as Pope Francis says, is a privileged way to draw closer to Jesus, with Luke sharing this privilege with his father Philip, who is an acolyte, and mother Susan, who is an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist.
Helpful by nature, Luke says he serves at the altar as a way of giving back to the parish community.
“It is a way for me to help the priest, with the best part of altar serving being to help all the other kids as the senior altar server, especially with the children’s liturgy,” he said.
His father Philip, says Luke’s dedication and sociable nature has been an inspiration to others around him.
“Everyone’s proud that Luke is up there serving at the altar. It gives parishioners a bit of an idea about people with disabilities and seeing Luke kind of gives you hope for those with disabilities,” he said.
“He’s a really thoughtful guy who has always been caring, and because he’s such a social being he’s really embraced the whole thing. If the kids are having difficulties, Luke gives them a run down on what is needed.
“I thank God I have a child with Down syndrome; he’s been an absolute inspiration to me.”
Luke’s plans for the future are to continue on with his service for the Church, which will no doubt be of great value to the Thornlie parish community.
“I’ll continue altar serving for the next few years. I love doing it and I’m quite happy with the job I have with the two priests; it’s been a great time,” he said.