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February 21, 1997     The Message
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February 21, 1997
 

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% 2 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Serra essays: What l can do to foster Maren Bray, left, a student at Holy Rosary School, is the runner-up in the annual Serra Club essay contest. Katie, Sauer, right, an eighth grade student at Christ the King School, Evansville, is the 1997 winner. Above, they are joined by Father Bernie Etienne, pas- tor at St. Joseph Church, Princeton. -- Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes Eighth graders in Catholic schools in the Evansville area participated in the annual Serra Club essay contest. This year's topic was "What I can do to fos- ter vocations." Katie Sauer, an eighth grade student at Christ the King School, Evansville, is the 1997 winner. Maren Bray, a student at Holy Rosary School, Evans- ville, is the runner-up. By KATIE SAUER Christ the King School Evansville Why does the Church need vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life? This seems to be a familiar question but not until I pon- dered its real meaning and put my thoughts on paper for this essay did it begin to take on a new prominence in my life. Our Catholic Church needs and prays daily for religious vocations. We do this in our intercessions, classrooms, homes and diocese. Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life are very important and neces- sary. Priests are our life line to Christ. Through Holy Orders, priests celebrate the Eucharist. They also celebrate Reconcilia- tion with us. They visit the sick, heal the sinners, and comfort the dying. As Catholics, the first thing we do when we face a tragedy is "call the priest." Priests are on call in God's name 24 hours a day. When I think back when my baby brother was born and died or when my great- grandparents died, my family was always guided by Father Ralph Schipp and other priests in our circle of friends and rela- tives. Sisters are an important part of the Catholic faith. Much is channeled through sisters who devote their lives to the service of God and of the Church. Sis- ters can be seen as pastoral associates, Directors of Religious Education, nurses, teachers, physical therapists, day care workers, care tenders for the elderly, musicians, principals, pastoral ministers in hospitals and missionaries. Mother Tere- sa is a role model for all of us. Ever since I was a little girl, priests and sisters have played an impoTtant role in my life. I think it is necessary for us to have priests and sisters. They help guide us on our faith jour- ney to heaven. As a Catholic, I feel it is our duty to make sure vocations are obtainable and plentiful in our changing world. It would be very disappoint- ing to see a church without any religious leaders to carry on our faith. We need to focus on find- ing ways to encourage vocations at our Catholic schools and Reli- Serra Club essayists Students from 21 parishes in. the Evansville area participat- ed in the 1997 Serra Club essay contest. Individual school win- ner include: • Heather Bender, Alan Zen- thoefer, St. James, St. James; • Tera Goedde, Joseph Halbig, Corpus Christi, Evansville; • Becky Goebel, Scott tier- nick, Resurrection, Evansville; • Liz Webster, Laura Cavera, Holy Redeemer, Evansville; • DeWayne Outlaw, Alison Presley, St. Benedict, Evans- ville; • Nell Reddington, Christina Johnson, Sacred Heart, Evans- ville; • Katie Bradley, St. Mary, Evansville; • Gary Miller, St. Anthony, Evansville; • Katie Lehman, Katie Sauer, Christ the King, Evansville; • Jason Kuester, Grog Schap- ker, St. Joseph, Vanderburgh County; • Maren Bray, Andrew Her- mann, Holy Rosary, Evansville; • Came Krack, Apr M St. Agnes, Evansville; • Katie Martin, Holly Diefen- bach, St. Boniface, Evansville; • Brett Thompson, Jenny Provence, St. John, Newburgh; • Jennifer Baehl, Holy Cross, Fort Branch; • Kelley May, Tim Seib, Sts. Peter and Paul, Haubstadt; • Heather Townsend, Emily Stewart, Holy Spirit, Evansville; • Robby Davidson, Jennifer Wathen, Good Shepherd, Evans- ville; , Becky Brown, Kate Endress, St. Theresa, Evansville; • Brian Vaal, Ashley Wein- zapfel, St. Matthew, Mount Ver- non; • Katie Wannemuehler, Katie Elpers, St. Philip, St. Philip. gious Education pro- grams. We need to con- sider having Christian role models, priests and religious leaders speak to school children often, like we have at Christ the King School. Voca- tion awareness helps give us direction. I am disappointed that some people don't take the responsibility to voca- tions seriously because they don't understand the importance of voca- tions. I think about priests and sisters dedicating their lives to Christ, and how they must forget about self to serve in the life they choose. They devote their life to God through helping and praying for others. It is a decision that must have been hard for them to make in this modern generation. There are many advantages to being a priest or sister like having the privilege of making others very happy and being able to focus your whole day on God. Many times vocations aren't looked upon as a very important role today in our world. It is up to me to affirm and support those who serve us as priests and sisters. I need to encourage and support any classmate who may be consid- ering a vocation to the priest- hood or a religious life. In the hearts of many Catholics, we can see how voca- tions make a difference along our faith's journey. Priests and sisters, teaching and showing us the way to Christ can change people's lives. We need to work together, pray together, and spread the Gospel message together. I hope before I die I will be able to experience a faith community that accepts, pro- motes and encourages strong vocations. I pray that all of us answer God's call of service in our Catholic Church. If we are open to working for Christ, I think that vocations would be more abundant. Writing this paper helps me have a deeper understanding. God needs each and everyone of us to work in spreading His word. As I continue my Confir- mation and reach out to others, ! will look and listen for God's special invitation to me, what- ever that may be. But for cer- tain, God is calling me and you, we just need to listen. YOUR FAMILy PHARMACy ItIHli I I i I Slralman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 iii iii i i Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists Hwy. 62 and N. Weinbach Ave. LARRY SCHULTHEIS. Prop. 425-4422 , ii i By MAREN BRAY Holy Rosary School Evansville i • "Lord, give me your Holy Spir- it that I may be open to what your word is for me and be changed by it!" The topic, "What I can do to Foster Vocations" calls each of us to examine these words and lis= ten as God encourages or pro- motes a vocation in me or some- one I know. Sometimes, this listening can be difficult. Cars, radios, and even the people surrounding us, are some of the distractions that could be stopping us from listening to God's call. Society could be a problem to the Catholic Church. Society has so many distractions that we do not have that quiet time anymore. We need to have a time and a space that we can just sit and listen to God. The definition of listen is "to hear with thoughtful attention." I think that this is how God wants us to listen, with thought- ful attention. In order to learn to listen, we may have to sur- round ourselves with opportuni- ties to share time with others who are interested in God. Get involved! If we get involved in a Catholic organization, it might help us to listen to God's call. An organization that I belong to is the Holy Rosary Junior High Youth Group. We get together and talk about God and the Bible. We also do service projects, the most recent one was a Thanks° giving scavenger hunt for food. We went to neighborhoods nd asked for donations. When fin- ished, we had thirteen grocery bags filled with food! This dona- tion was used for homeless peo- ple in Evansville. Also, my fami- ly is signed up to work at the St. John's soup kitchen. If people do these kinds of projects, they will be acting in a more Catholic way of life. These actions help us to listen to God's call to serve and allow His word to change us. By opening our heart and mind to God's call, maybe the future of the church will be insured. Many people of the Catholic faith have concerns about the future of the church. Because of a shortage of religious leaders, many Catholics fear that the population in our faith will decline and the young people will have no examples of voca- tions to follow. However, these examples do exist in our com- munity. Father Brian Holtz, assistant pastor of Holy Rosary Church, is a young, faithful man who Please Support Message Advertisers PAUL'S PHARMACY Paul Mayer, Owner 2345 W. Franklin St. 425-4364 Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Prescription Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 has chosen spoke to the impressed our talking about his l by his • still young the priesthood. • Sister of Charity at St, Care in worker. woman, ple of a caring, the families day. The at St. Mary'S Sister Joanna, a ter, started the: a shelter for less ors God, they can munity proJ other places teach are Memorial High Father Brian, ine and By their daily others to grow job for the I can and sider a getting them to ( projects that I ing, and gel: larly. help them a more they can cons open to To selves time meditation, a more looking to brothers as a future "Lord give that I word is for me by it!" 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