Cindy and Peter Troiano, a 12-year-old altar server, pray the rosary after Mass at St. Maria Goretti in Scottsdale Oct. 4. Peter wrote, “A Servants Heart: Rosary Meditations for Altar Servers” and is an inspiration to many, including his mother. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN)

Local eighth-grader Peter Troiano has always wanted to be an author. Now, at 12 years old, he’s had his first book published. “A Servant’s Heart: Rosary Meditations for Altar Servers” is the fruit of his summer vacation.

Peter began serving at the altar three and a half years ago, after he received his First Communion and was confirmed.

He asked his mom, Cindy, who’s on staff at the family’s parish, St. Maria Goretti, if she would home school him so that he could continue serving the daily morning Mass. “How could I say no to that?” was Cindy’s reaction.

Peter is at the altar for the 8 a.m. Mass Monday through Friday and said he received his inspiration for the book during the Holy Hour he and his mom pray each Thursday at St. Maria Goretti.

“Whenever I was stuck or didn’t know what to write, I would look at the Eucharist and the Eucharist would inspire me to write more and give me ideas,” Peter said. “I looked to the Eucharist for all my inspiration.”

Although Peter has long dreamed of becoming an author, he’s had other dreams that call him to more service for the Church.

“I’ve known since I was about 3 or 4,” Peter said. “I went up to my mom and I said, ‘I want to be a priest.’ At the time, I didn’t even really know what a priest was, but God was calling me at that time. And I’ve wanted to be a priest ever since.”

“He hasn’t varied from that one iota,” Cindy said. “As parents, we wanted to do the most we could to nurture that vocation.”

So how is it that a 12-year-old boy who loves to read and play the piano could write a book about the rosary?

“Almost every day in the morning, I’ll try to get up and say the rosary with my dad or read the Bible with him before he leaves for work,” Peter said. In the evening, father and son read about St. John Vianney or St. Padre Pio.

People who pray the rosary, Peter said, will feel closer to God.

“At Fatima Our Lady said, ‘Pray the rosary,’” he said. “I think if more people prayed the rosary, they would have that intercession and that feeling of connection with God. I think it would ultimately help them to be a better Catholic and a better person.”

“We are so proud of him,” Cindy said. “He’s been an inspiration to me.”

Peter’s book is part of a series on the rosary published by Caritas Press. Earlier installments include “A Mother’s Bouquet: Rosary Mediations for Moms,” by Sherry Boas and “A Father’s Heart: Rosary Meditations for Dads,” written by Fr. Doug Lorig.

Boas, who heads up Caritas Press, said Peter represents a growing segment of young people who are the future of the Church.

“It is an honor to be able to publish Peter Troiano’s rosary book,” she said. “He has a love for true discipleship, like we see in so many devoted young people who are emerging in the life of the Church right now. All of this should give us hope.”

Book for altar servers

“A Servant’s Heart: Rosary Meditations for Altar Servers” is available at,, and Catholic bookstores.