COLORADO SPRINGS. The Serra Club of Colorado Springs announced the winners of its 2020 Priesthood Appreciation Contest. The theme of this year’s contest was “How Has a Priest Inspired You?”
The overall winner was Erin Yalung, who is in eighth grade at Divine Redeemer School. Other winners in each category were as follows:
Grades 8 and above
First Place: Rachel Limb, Divine Redeemer School.
Second Place: Raegan McKee, Divine Redeemer School.
Third Place: Tie — Olivia Davalos, St. Paul School, and Katelyn Schreuder, St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish.
First Place: Audrey Duncan, St. Paul Parish.
Second Place: Alora Cardenas, Holy Apostles Parish.
Third Place: Elena Davalos, St. Paul School.
First Place: Sydney Gutierrez, St. Paul Parish.
Second Place: Andrew Hobbs, St. Paul Parish.
Third Place: Evan Urbanick, St. Paul Parish.
First: Jon Baird Duncan Jr., St. Paul Parish.
Second: Alexandra Davalos, St. Paul School.
Winners will be invited to a Mass and Awards Ceremony hosted by Bishop Michael Sheridan. For more information on the Serra Club of Colorado Springs, contact SerraCOSprings@gmail.com or 719-302-5722.
How a Priest Has Inspired Me
(Essay by Erin Yalung)
Before going to a Catholic school, my faith wasn’t that strong. I believed in God and everything like that, just my knowledge about him wasn’t very bright. I knew about the Resurrection, Adam and Eve, Christ’s Death and everything like that. I just didn’t know the story of Exodus, the Prophets, and a whole lot more.
When I first came into Divine Redeemer, I was lost and thought that I was the least intelligent when it came to religion. I was lost, while everyone else around me and their knowledge was far superior. I opened up the new Bible we received and the teacher told me to open up to a specific chapter and verse, and I was gone. Instead, I just asked people around what the page was instead because I didn’t know how to find a verse in the Bible at the time — until my first religion class with Father Brian.
We started with the basics of Adam and Eve and the creations God made. I’ll admit, I thought I was going to be bored to death, but actually, I was intrigued. I learned a lot more and I was shocked that there was more to the story of God’s creations and Adam and Eve. As the year went by, my knowledge got stronger and stronger. Of course, I struggled with remembering sort of things when it came to quizzes and all that, but I was able to remember and with the help of my best friends. Father Brian helped me grow stronger in my faith. Even though I don’t get to see him anymore, Father Jason helps me still continue my journey with Jesus. They’ve both inspired me to keep on growing and always to believe in God even through rough times.
When I’m older, have a job, have my own family and everything, I will continue to live on believing in God. Both Father Jason and Father Brian have both taught me to never give up and continue to believe. With all of these miracles by not only Jesus, but the saints that have lived and breathed on this earth have always believed in God and never did they once stop believing in him. Saints even died for how strong their belief was. Hopefully, my faith and my belief in God is as strong as Jesus and the saints.
Our Lady of the Pines
(Poem by Rachel Limb)
Our Lady of the Pines
What a fine place to be
Learning all about Jesus
With your friends and family
The priests there are phenomenal
They’re inspiring and kind
Even in these difficult times God leaves no one behind
Father Brad, a wonderful priest Has been through quite a lot
He recently had a heart attack But give up he did not
He fought for every moment
And he made it back alright
And since then he’s been preaching
Seeing the world in a new light
He reminded me of something important
Something I’d like to share
How things can change in an instant
And life is rarely fair
Time on Earth is limited
Earth’s not the final place
Our goal is to be in heaven forever
In the glory of His face
If you need to forgive someone Why should you delay?
Jesus immediately goes after the sheep
Who has gone astray
So set aside your differences
Go out and make amends
Forgive those who have wronged you
Because God forgives you without end
Father Chance is a priest at OLP He’s a great one too
He brought up an interesting point
Which I will share with you
He told us that these times are hard
It’s hard to stay happy and cheerful
There’s so much going on right now
Covid’s making life stressful
Some families have grown closer together
Others have drifted away
It’s hard to move on and forgive When you’re still thinking of yesterday
But you must remember that you’re not alone
Jesus is always there
You can always go to him with your troubles
Because Jesus will always care
You can pray to Jesus or pray to the saints
They’re always there for you
Don’t deal with your struggles on your own
Let the Lord carry you
How a Priest Has Inspired Me
(Essay by Raegan McKee)
The priest that has inspired me the most this year is Father Jason Keas. In one of his homilies, he said, “Today do big forgiveness.” I am already a rather forgiving person I had thought at the time I had first heard this. So when I heard this I didn’t think that it applied to me. We got back from mass and I sat down and pondered it. The more I thought the more I realized that I really only have truly forgiven minor wrongs others have done. I had realized that I really never forgave those who had hurt me badly. I really did have the second part of the saying “forgive and forget” down.
I sat and thought about what had happened to those resentments? I decided to dig through my memories, past, and present. I had finally found that bottle and when I did I realized that I had never forgiven anything. The resentment was never forgotten. I had only fooled myself.
I wasn’t doing big forgiveness as Father Jason had said to do. I wasn’t even doing small forgiveness. I was hating, and all this hatred had built up over time. It seemed as if I had created a tiny crack in a dam and an ocean had poured out. I remember what Father Jason had said, “Today do big forgiveness.” Just that simple sentence calmed me down so much I was relieved.
I now feel at peace with myself and my actions because I have taken to forgiving much, much easier thanks to what Father Jason had advised. Years of hatred are gone now since I had listened to his words and really listened that time. A very heavy weight was lifted from my shoulders because of his homily. Thank you Father Jason for the reminder. And today, do big forgiveness.
Below and at right are the winning cards and messages of appreciation entered in the Serra Club of Colorado Springs’ annual Priesthood Appreciation Contest.
The entries were submitted by Katelyn Schreuder, Elena Davalos, Audrey Duncan and Alora Cardenas.