June 25, 2010

Serra Club vocations essay

Priests, deacons and religious are ‘fishers of men’

(Editor’s note: Following is the second in a series featuring the winners of the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2010 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

By Sam Ford (Special to The Criterion)

Sam FordPriests, deacons and religious brothers and sisters spread the word of God in many ways. They proclaim Christ’s message, and invite us to see Christ in our lives and help us to discover our vocations.

In Mark 1:17-18, Jesus says to Simon and Andrew, “Come with me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus tells the Apostles to follow him, and they follow him to bring people to God.

I believe that is what our priests, deacons and religious brothers and sisters do today. They work with people and preach to them, while God works through them and spreads his word through them.

Today, priests must form connections with their parishioners to make Christ visible in their daily lives.

Father Randy Summers, my pastor, has shared dinner with my family at my house many times. I see that he is strong in his faith. But he is a real person, too.

He once asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I answered, “A Navy pilot.” He told me that he was once a Navy officer and about his living overseas before he became a priest.

After serving his time as a Navy officer, Father Summers went to a monastery and became a monk. Later, he became a priest and was soon chosen to come to St. Barnabas. His experiences make him more able to bring Christ to the people he serves.

Father Peter Marshall has also visited my house and shared dinner with my family. He is a new priest, is a very kind man and relates well to the youth of my parish.

He has also quickly become acquainted with many parishioners and always has time to help someone in need.

Deacon Patrick Bauer found a vocation as a deacon late in his life. He and his family are examples to all of his parishioners. While he was a good man and a good Catholic before becoming a deacon, he can now help the priest at Mass and give daily blessings to other lay people.

The vocation of a deacon has become real to me through Deacon Bauer’s presence and his ministry in my parish.

I know that, in the seventh grade, I am not sure of my vocation. But I’m sure God will find a way to help me discover my vocation in the future by continuing to place priests such as Father Randy and Father Peter and deacons such as Pat Bauer in my life who will share Christ with me.

Priests, deacons and religious brothers and sisters continue to be fishers of men, inviting people to share in Christ’s love throughout their lives and spreading his message throughout the world.

(Sam and his parents, Jeff and Rhonda Ford, are members of St. Barnabas Parish in Indianapolis. He completed the seventh grade at St. Barnabas School in Indianapolis last spring, and is the 7th-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2010 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.) †

Local site Links: