Student contest: What does your priest mean to you?

Fr. Goetz

By Fr. Marty Goetz

It’s that time of year again, kids. How would you like to have pizza with Bishop Martin Amos?

This week we have been celebrating “National Vocation Awareness Week,” a time to remind us of the importance of praying for and promoting vocations in our diocese and church. Since June of last year, we have been celebrating a “Year for Priests.” In the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “I think of all those priests who quietly present Christ’s words and actions each day to the faithful and to the whole world, striving to be one with the Lord in their thoughts and their will, their sentiments and their style of life.” 

In my travels throughout the diocese, I have found that people love their priests, pray for them daily and pray for the gift of vocations. I have discovered that the priests of our diocese are joyful and happy. We love being with our people and bringing the message of the Gospels to them in word, deed and sacrament.

With the help of The Catholic Messenger and the Serra Club of Davenport, we’re once again sponsoring a Vocation Promotion Contest. This year’s contest will focus on celebrating and honoring our priests. 


Here’s the topic: What does your priest mean to you?

The contest is open to all students in grades four through eight in the Diocese of Davenport and is a great opportunity to use your gifts and talents. You can use your imagination and comment on your favorite priest in your own way.  It can be an essay, story, poem, song or a drawing.  Use the gifts and talents God has given you! The top three winners in each grade will have pizza with Bishop Amos.

Now it’s up to you! Your answer needs to be 250 words or less.  If you write more than that you will not get any cheese on your pizza!  Be sure to include your name, address, phone number, parents’ names, grade and school on your entry. Use your imagination and creativity — gifts that God has given you to share. 

Send your creative ideas to The Catholic Messenger by e-mail at, by fax at (563) 323-6612 or by U.S. Postal Service at The Catholic Messenger, P.O. Box 460, Davenport, Iowa, 52805. Entries are due by Feb. 2.  The winners will be announced shortly afterwards and their entries will be published in The Catholic Messenger.

(And for adults who want to acknowledge their thankfulness to their own priest, I invite you to send a little essay, too. No pizza prize, but your essay may be posted on the Vocation Web site.) 

Get started right away. And in this “Year for Priests,” pray for your priest! Pray that the Lord will bless us with courage, wisdom and guidance. Let them know that they are not doing this alone — that we are in this together!  

(Fr. Goetz is vocations director for the Davenport Diocese. Contact him at (563) 324-1912 ext. 259, or

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