Holley teen fighting leukemia honored as altar server of the year

Photos courtesy of Emily Kwiatkowski: Evan Valentine, left, is pictured with Bishop Richard Malone and Carter Neumann, another altar server at the St. Mary’s & St. Mark’s Parish. Valentine on Saturday was recognized as altar server of the year for the parish. Neumann won the award the previous year.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 February 2019 at 5:36 pm

Evan Valentine is pictured at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Franklin Street in Buffalo with his parents, Diane and Neil Valentine.

HOLLEY – Evan Valentine was honored on Saturday as altar server of the year for the St. Mary’s & St. Mark’s Parish.

Evan, 16, has been an altar server since he was 8. He is a role model for the youth and the adults in the parish, said Emily Kwiatkowski, pastoral associate for the parish.

“Evan is such a good kid,” she said today. “He is always smiling, even during his recent challenges.”

Evan was diagnosed with leukemia on Oct. 20. He has completed three rounds of chemotherapy, and soon starts a fourth and final round.

He hasn’t complained about the chemo and has stayed strong in his faith, Kwiatkowski said.

She nominated him for the altar server award last year, before he was diagnosed with leukemia.

He was recognized by the Buffalo Catholic Diocese during an awards program on Saturday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Evan helps train younger altar servers. He also shows up early and stays late getting the vessels and candles ready for Mass and then picking up after the service. He is looking forward to resuming the role once his chemotherapy is over.

“He is always willing to help serve wherever needed,” Kwiatkowski said.

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