June 30, 2017

Serra Club vocations essay

Priest is ‘living definition’ of a disciple for student

By Xavier Wilsom (Special to The Criterion)

Xavier WilsomHow have I learned what it means to be a disciple through the ministry or witness of a man or woman in consecrated life, a priest or a deacon?

My answer to that question is Father James “Jim” Wilmoth. Father Wilmoth is our pastor and spiritual leader at St. Roch Parish and School.

He does wonders for our school, including handling our money. The four important traits that I have witnessed that make Father Wilmoth the living definition of a disciple are that Father puts his faith first, always makes people smile, pushes us to live our faith, and that he never stops praying.

Father always puts his faith first. He always plans the Mass, and you can tell by his expression that he really does enjoy celebrating it. Father worships the Lord constantly whether it be by prayer, through the Eucharist or song.

When I serve with him, I feel like I’m standing next to Jesus himself. You can just feel the positive energy coming out of him and affecting you, too. Most of Father’s happiness comes from his faith.

Father always makes people smile. Usually, by around 8 a.m. Father Wilmoth is in the computer lab, talking to our computer and technology teacher, Mrs. DeArmond, with a Diet Coke in hand. People will make jokes or stories, and he will laugh and laugh.

Even if you aren’t in the room, if you hear his bubbly laugh, you’ll always have a smile on your face. Even by just talking to him yourself and the kindness that he shows to you is enough to make you gleam.

Father pushes us to live our faith. One of the most memorable things about Father Wilmoth is that he loves to help others through clothing, food and Birthline drives. During his homily, you can usually hear him say “pray” a lot. Father really emphasizes that idea to us.

Father never stops praying. A few years ago, Father Wilmoth was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It did not look good for him at all. Most people said he was on his deathbed. I was really scared. I wasn’t allowed in the hospital either, so my mother couldn’t take me to see him.

But the one thing I know, the one thing that he kept repeating, was to always pray. During that time, he prayed a lot, too. Not only for him, which he knew we were doing back at school, but also for us. This, I feel, is an act of a true disciple. He is so selfless that he, even though he was about to die, prayed for us.

The four reasons Father Wilmoth is the living definition of a disciple are that he puts his faith first, always makes people smile, he pushes us to live our faith, and he never stops praying. I am blessed every day that this “living disciple” has a positive impact on my life.

(Xavier and his parents, Trevor and Amy Wilsom, are members of St. Roch Parish in Indianapolis. He completed the seventh grade at St. Roch School in Indianapolis last spring, and is the seventh-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2017 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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