Priests, diaconate and religion: how they relate to the world today


By Shaylee Brown

Shaylee Brown, center, the winner of this year’s vocations contest, poses with Bishop Martin Amos, left, and Father Thom Hennen, vocations director for the Diocese of Davenport. The vocations office and The Catholic Messenger co-sponsored the essay contest for students in grades 9-12.

Religion is a big part of our society still today.
Catholics help set the example of faith, honesty, courage and doing the right thing while still having fun. We aren’t afraid to embrace our faith and who we are.
Priests and deacons do many things within the Church to help bring people closer to Christ, such as (their roles at) Mass. But they also reach out to people in need, even if they’re not of the same faith. They help the sick, the lost, the lonely, the dying, the poor and those going through personal and family struggles as well.
These aren’t just church leaders in our community either. They are all across the globe helping people. The world needs religious ministers because they are some of the few people left who will help, expecting nothing in return.
Without these people to help teach what is right, I believe this world would be chaotic.
Sometimes religion and government disagree, causing battles between morality and reality.
Religion has offered moral standards to people everywhere. Somebody could deeply offend the law and avoid punishment, but they can’t avoid God’s punishment, for he is all-seeing and all-knowing. Religion itself has also given many people hope. Christians’ belief in the afterlife, Heaven or Hell, has given people reason to do good in this world. Or, although somebody’s life has been far from perfect, that person has the capacity to be forgiven and look for an everlasting life after death.
Forgiveness is another contributor to society that religion offers. Priests and ministers are available all over for anyone willing to repent. The teachings of the Church state that if someone is a believer and heartily sorry for their sins, they shall confess those sins and, since God loves his children, he will not give up on them easily. They shall be forgiven.
Church leaders are always there at the besides of the sick to anoint and help them heal. The family of a dying relative often calls in a priest to bless the loved one with the special oils and give them last rites to ensure their life in the kingdom of Heaven. Without these important prayers and ceremonies, how would the sick heal?
How would the dying live?
Not only do priests and deacons help heal people and lead people to Jesus, but the people they have led to Jesus are reaching into their own hearts and reaching out to help others in need. This is a chain reaction, a cycle which starts with the Church and will go on forever.
(Shaylee Brown, 16, is a sophomore at Mid-Prairie High School in Wellman and a member of Holy Trinity Parish, St. Joseph’s Church in Wellman.)

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