July 20, 2012

Serra Club vocations essay

Priests, deacons and religious inspire student to seek God first in life

(Editor’s note: Following is the third in a series featuring the winners of the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2012 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

By Joey Mercho (Special to The Criterion)

Joey Mercho“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Mt 6:33).

There have been many positive influences in my life which have guided me to seek God above all things in a way similar to this verse in the Gospel of St. Matthew.

Priests, religious brothers and sisters, and permanent deacons all play a role in leading me to seek God.

They do so through their holy lives and ministries. They invest so much time in study, prayer, and integrating their work into their prayer life and into their everyday lives.

Growing up in a Catholic environment and attending a Catholic school for 10 years have really helped make the process of seeking God become very easy and enjoyable.

At my grade school, St. Simon the Apostle School, we had a permanent deacon serving as a teacher in our theology class. His name is Deacon Kerry Blandford.

Every morning, we would begin with prayer and then read from the Bible. Next, we would analyze and discuss God’s message. He always emphasized the importance of God, and how he is above all things.

Deacon Blandford always knew how to make it fun, too. He always had our attention. To this day, Deacon Blandford still inspires me to seek God each and every day.

Every Sunday morning at Mass, I am guided to seek the Kingdom of God through my parish’s pastor, Father Bill Marks.

I pay close attention to homilies. In every single one of Father Bill’s homilies, in one way or another, he tells us to put God before everything in our lives.

Finally, my most recent motivating experience took place at the amazing high school that I am so proud to say that I am currently attending—Cathedral High School in Indianapolis.

Throughout our busy high school lives, Cathedral always makes time for our faith.

Just a few months ago, a few religious brothers and sisters came in from all over the state of Indiana to talk to us students about their lives and ministries. They came to speak to us about vocations.

Once again, the overall message they left me was to serve God and to hold him above all things. Over and over again, we are reminded of how important God is and how big a role he plays in our lives.

Growing up, I didn’t realize how big a blessing it was to learn about my faith at school and at home. As I have grown older and matured, I finally see how important my spiritual life is.

I hope that every single student receives the same opportunity that I did to be surrounded by people who are such strong positive influences.

Priests, religious brothers and sisters, and permanent deacons have played such a big role in my life, and I wouldn’t be the young man that I am today without them.

(Joey and his parents, Hasan and Rowa Mercho, are members of St. Simon the Apostle Parish in Indianapolis. He completed the ninth grade at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis last spring, and is the ninth-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2012 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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