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(Editor’s note: Following is the first in a series featuring the winners of the 2008 Indianapolis Serra Club Vocations Essay Contest.)
Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters respond to the call of God by speaking about God’s acts and following in his footsteps.
They are normal men and women who hear God’s call and follow it. They spread his love through missionary trips in faraway places and right here at home through caring for the poor and at Mass. They never cease to do God’s will, and they spread his love in so many ways.
Priests spread God’s word in the Mass because they want everyone to know about God. They feel a great love for him and want others to experience it, too. Priests and deacons preach to congregations about God so that the people can pass it on.
Many missionaries travel to faraway places and teach people about God. They spread the news of his salvation and teach about God’s forgiveness. Some visit the poor and teach them about God’s great love, and that he will never leave their side. They never cease to share God’s love.
Priests and nuns also help people in their times of need. They will listen to people when they need to and give advice in God’s name. People can tell them all their troubles, and the priest or nun will keep it to themselves. If a person has a guilty conscience, they can come to confession and be given penance and absolution for their sins.
Many nuns and priests serve at food pantries and provide love, care and hope for the poor. They also provide medical care to poor people. They never tire of helping others because they love God so much that they will do whatever pleases him.
They could become teachers to teach religion or nurses to show his love for his people. They always share their faith and stand up for God.
The priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters love reading the Bible because it talks about God and all of his loving deeds. They share Bible readings and spread the news about God’s works. Priests share many of these readings at Mass and then explain them to the congregation in ways everyone can understand. They share the news of God with everyone they meet.
Many priests bless the sick and dying. They also comfort their families in their time of sadness. Nuns help the elderly and visit them often so they don’t feel lonely. They are willing to bear others’ burdens because God grants them strength and great compassion.
Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters are loving, gentle when needed, and always try to do what is right in God’s name. They reach out to all of us in many ways. Through missionary work, Masses, teaching and caring for everyone, they teach us how to act.
They show us just how much God loves us and make us want to follow God, too.
(Abby Brenner and her parents, George and Candace Brenner, are members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis. She completed the seventh grade at her parish’s school last spring and is the seventh-grade division winner in the 2008 Indianapolis Serra Club Vocations Essay Contest.) †