August 12, 2011

Serra Club vocations essay:

Benedictine sister teaches student to love like Christ did

(Editor’s note: Following is the fourth in a series featuring the winners of the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2011 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

By Will Shine (Special to The Criterion)

Will Shine Growing up as a Roman Catholic, priests, deacons and other religious have been great examples for me of the love that Christ has shown us in the Gospels.

Looking up to them as models of a faith that I strive to attain, religious in my life have shown me, by example, how Christ teaches us to love and serve others.

One specific example of a religious being a model for me is Benedictine Sister Kathleen Yeadon. She teaches sophomore religion at my school, and I was privileged enough to have her as a teacher.

When Christ was on Earth, he did not simply tell everyone to love each other. He showed us how to love one another through his actions.

Though I learned a lot about my faith and my relationship with God by listening to her in class, Sister Kathleen showed us how to love as Christ did through her everyday actions.

The best way I can think to describe Sister Kathleen would be that she is simply a bundle of energy. She is always fired up about teaching her students about God’s love, and how we can show that love to others.

In my personal faith life, I had begun to view religion as simply doing the right thing because we have to in order to achieve salvation. After a year of taking Sister Kathleen’s class, my mindset toward religion had completely changed.

She taught us, through her actions, and not by words, that God’s love never stops, never slows down and certainly never quits. We are called to serve others unceasingly, not because we have to, but because we want to do it.

Outside of school, Sister Kathleen helps at a house for recovering alcohol and drug addicts. One man whom she met there recently beat a drug addiction, and is now living a good life helping others.

Sister Kathleen realized how this man’s story could teach us about God’s love for everyone so she invited him to speak to our class. By bringing him in, she showed us that even when something as terrible and powerful as an addiction has control over your life, God keeps watching over you. Through his love for us, God can bring us out of any situation we face in our lives.

One of the hardest things to do in life is to teach Christ’s love through words. Sister Kathleen realizes this so she teaches us through her actions.

However, she is not the only religious who I have witnessed passionately serving others and teaching others about the love of God.

Many religious through their life, ministry and teaching have revealed a small glimpse of how God desires all of us to show love to everyone around us.

(Will Shine and his parents, Kevin and Kate Shine, are members of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Carmel, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese. He completed the 11th grade at Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis last spring, and is the 11th-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2011 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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