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March 17, 1989     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana March 17, 1989 Winners named in Serra Club essay contest Editor's Note: Printed on this page are the lop essays submit- ted to the Serra Club of Evansville from 18 area Catholic Schools. Also listed are the par- ticipating schools and the student-essayists representing the schools at a special Serra Club luncheon, which was held at the Executive Inn, Evansville, Feb. I7. Each school had submitted two essays, selected from en- tries written by the eighth grade students, on the theme: "My role in building the Kingdom of God: past, present and future." First place honors were awarded to Gretchen Scheller from St. Philip School. Second place honors went to Matthew Weber from St. Joseph School in Vanderburgh County. Catholics must all be leaders, building up the kingdom By GRETCHEN SCHELLER St. Philip School St. Philip Building up the Kingdom of God may seem like a large and difficult task, but as Catholics we are all called to build up God's Kingdom bringing love, peace, and justice to the world. I feel the Catholic Religion is a very special one and that we as Catholics must all be leaders, who take charge while others stand by. I feel my role in building up the Kingdom of God is to be shown through my words and actions making God's love ac- tive through the world. Just as it is in the Bible in Matthew 5:14-16. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Men do not light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket. They set it on a stand where it gives light to all in the house. In the same way your light must shine before all so that they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your Heavenly Father." God's presence and goodness are seen in every individual's actions. The things I do and say show the importance of God in my life. By setting this example other people may also see the importance of God in their lives. There are many ways to GRETCHEN SCHELLER Building up the kingdom through commitment to calling By MATrHEW WEBER St. Joseph School Vanderburgh County In thinking about my role in building the Kingdom of God, my thoughts go to the founda- tion of my faith, the sacraments. In 1974, I was born into a very Christian family. When I was about a month old, I was baptized into the Catholic Faith at St. Joseph Church. I had been called by name to the active service of being a King School, Jenna Martin, Corpus Christi School, Kelli Nalin Good Shepherd School," and Leah McCombs, Holy Redeemer School, member of the Catholic faith. Through this, I had entered the Body of Christ, the Church, and was called to place God first in my life and live as Jesus had taught. I had joined in the mission of bringing Jesus' Good News to everyone and living for God's Kingdom. This is the special task we are given -- to reach out just as Jesus did to the poor, sick, lonely, and to all people who feel left out and re- jected. This is the choice my parents made for me as a child, the hope they held for me. Now that I have reached the adoles- cent years of my life I begin to assume the ,choice to live out that life in and with Christ. When I was four years old, my parents enrolled me in Sun- day School. Through this, I learned more about God and the Catholic faith. A year later, I started kindergarten at St. Joseph Catholic School where I began my formal Catholic education. At St. Joseph, I had been placed in a religious at- mosphere where I was sur- rounded by helpful and caring people who set a good example of how to live as a Christian. There I attended religion classes which taught me about the religious community in which I live and how I should live as a Christian. In May of my second grade year, I received the Eucharist for the first time. The Communion with God strengthen me to live my faith daily. As I near the end of my educational years at St. Joseph School, I feel I have grown in my faith life. As I have grown older, I have become a more ac- tive member of my church. I have been serving God at the altar during Sunday mass. Through school, I have also been given the opportunity to take part in planning weekly masses with my classmates and of attending penance services during the school year. With growing older and becoming a more active member in the Church, I am now studying church history and learning the Kingdom values and how they conflict with society's values. In our study of church history I've come to appreciate my Catholic tradition. This makes me want to live out my faith life more fully. In several years, I will make the adult commitment to my faith, not the commitment someone else made for me but my own commitment to what I believe in, through the sacra- ment of Confirmation. In this sacrament, I give witness to my faith in Jesus. I receive a gift from the Spirit, but also many blessings which will help me witness the Catholic faith and follow Jesus. Each person expresses their blessings according to their in- clinations and talents through their choice of vocation. Voca- tion is the calling to be a disci- ple of Jesus through our choice of lifestyle. My choices of voca- tions include marriage, priesthood, brotherhood, the calling to be a deacon, or the call of being single. Whichever one I choose, it will be my duty to carry out the responsibilities of that lifestyle to the best of my ability. It will also be my duty to continue to learn and grow in my faith life and pass it on to others. My idea of the Kingdom of God is everything, living and nonliving, in the world around me. It means the power of God's love active in the world and the blessifigs of love, peace, freedom, and justice to everyone. I feel fortunate that I have been given a role in help- ing to build the Kingdom of God. I feel that I am gaining so much more now to help to build the Kingdom and I pray that in my adult years I will fulfill the part that I was called to at Baptism. RUXER show God's presence in my life. The most obvious way is to practice the Catholic faith from the heart. Younger children, especially, are influenced by my active participation in the Mass, going to church during the week or participating in special services. Peers may also notice and feel it is good and important to have God in their hearts and spread his goodness. Receiving the sacraments is very important. Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation shows I have enough faith to go to confession and have my soul purified. The Eucharist also shows the faith I have in receiv- ing Jesus and letting Him be my guide and strength. Building the Kingdom of God can also be as simple as not being afraid to make the Sign of the Cross in public when praying before or after meals in a restaurant. Being involved with church activities also shows the impor- tance of my faith to me. There are so many ways to do this. I could participate in choir, be a lector, teach religion class, or even form a baby-sitting service so others can attend Mass. Volunteering to do jobs such as decorating or cleaning the church, painting the statues in the cemeteries, etc. in my parish also sets a good example. I feel I can also build the Kingdom of God by befriending those less fortunate. It is impor- tant to give support to people who are different or less popular. Often times they are teased or made fun of. It is my duty to befriend them and sup- port them at difficult times. I should include them in ac- tivities and draw them into groups. It is said in Matthew 5:9 "Happy are the peace makers; they shall be called children of God." In summary, I feel my role in building the Kingdom of God in the past, present and future is to live the faith my ancestors have established and given to me. Living my life in the present to the fullest in God's love so that the people in my life will, through my example, see the need for God's love in their lives. Thus God's Kingdom will grow and will be passed down to other generations spreading God's love, peace, and justice to all. MA WEBER "/ JASPER [ FORD - LINCOLN - MERCURY 1 4e2.1200] i== ii! FAMOUS BRANDS FOR LESS.  FURNITURE- CARPET- APPLIANCES HOME OUTFITTERS JASPER - LOOGOOTEE - WASHINGTON NEW STORE OPENING IN VINCENNES Call the Covenant House 9-LINE, a hotline for troubled youlh and families, open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, ,,x from anywhere in the U.S. NX 1-800-999-9999 1"he street is no solution. Old problems get worse, and new ones arc created. I, ,, ---I