July 21, 2017

Serra Club vocations essay

Clergy show student that Catholicism isn’t an ‘armchair religion’

By Hayden Redelman (Special to The Criterion)

Hayden RedelmanAt Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis, Deacon Rick Wagner serves as our principal.

Deacon Rick far exceeds what you would typically expect from a principal. Whether it is a friendly smile, a “good morning” in the hallways or leading students on service projects to help his elderly neighbor, Deacon Rick truly shows what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

His enthusiasm and love for Christ is not only inspiring, but also contagious. During a busy week, it is so easy to push aside God and forget that through Christ we can do all things. Deacon Rick, however, never fails to re-center our day and our lives on the most important thing—our relationship with God.

He also reminds us that faith isn’t enough. Sitting there during school Mass and just going through the motions isn’t enough. Instead, we need to be active with our faith and spread Christ’s love to all.

Catholicism isn’t an armchair religion, and Deacon Rick not only reminds us of that fact, but shows us. Deacon Rick truly is a fisher of men.

Father Bob Sims, who serves as the pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, is also a great role model for what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Father Bob has a certain enthusiasm for his job and for Christ.

He is down-to-earth. He is funny. He is genuine about his faith. Priests aren’t known for being the most down-to-earth or funny individuals, but Father Bob defies all stereotypes.

He shows that faith in Jesus isn’t just following some rules. Instead, it is loving your neighbor, living life to the fullest, praising God and having some fun along the way.

Father Bob helps make our Catholic faith fun, and shows that being a disciple of Christ doesn’t mean we have to limit ourselves. Instead, Christ can be the source of excitement, joy and happiness in our life.

Through Deacon Rick, Father Bob and countless other individuals, I have not only been taught, but also shown what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Instead of viewing my faith as a burden, it is something that I should be proud of, that I should love and that I should share with those around us.

(Hayden and his parents, Derek and Sheila Redelman, are members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis. He completed the ninth grade at Bishop Chatard High School last spring, and is the ninth-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2017 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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