‘What does your billboard say?’ priest asks students at Mass

Priests, deacons and altar servers process into the gym of Assumption High School in Davenport for Catholic Schools Week Mass. Students from Catholic schools in Scott County attended the Mass. Catholic schools throughout the diocese celebrated Catholic Schools Week Jan. 26-Feb. 1.

By Barb Arland-Fye
DAVENPORT — Father Rich Adam gave a thought-provoking Catholic Schools Week homily to students of Catholic schools in Davenport and Bettendorf gathered Jan. 30 inside Assumption High School’s gym.
The message had to do with living in a billboard society and how each individual sends out all kinds of messages, good, bad or indifferent, as a human billboard. It’s an idea that comes from Catholic motivational speaker Matthew Kelly.
“What does your billboard say? And what would God’s billboard say if he were to erect signs throughout Assumption High School, Davenport, or your homes?” asked Fr. Adam, pastor and rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.
Images illustrating what might appear on God’s billboards popped up on projection screens on either side of the sanctuary in the gym:
“Let’s meet at My House Sunday before the Game (perfect for Super Bowl Sunday!)”
“C’mon Over and Bring the Kids.”
“I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.”
“What part of ‘Thou shalt not …’ didn’t you understand?”
“Keep using my name in vain and I will make rush hour longer!”
“That ‘love thy neighbor’ thing, I meant it!”
“Follow me.”
“My way IS the highway!”
Fr. Adam, who presided at the Mass, asked the students whether their billboards might include language that misrepresents who they really are, or indicate disrespect for family, friends or classmates? Would their billboards show that they are poor sports, don’t care, or aren’t concerned about missing Mass?
“What do you want others to hear and see?”
Students from several Catholic schools who attended the Mass shared with The Catholic Messenger what their billboards might say:

St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School, Davenport
“God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to us. I think that is true love.” — Bella Schlicting, fifth grade.
“Come, God is calling each and every one of you by name.” — Sam Jacobsen, fifth grade.

John F. Kennedy Catholic School, Davenport
“Let’s go to God’s house. It’s the place to be.” — John Lystiuk, eighth grade.
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” — Erika Martin, eighth grade.
“Life’s like the sun … you’ll have dull moments, but it always gets brighter.” — Marissa Shell, eighth grade.
“I get knocked down, but I get up again.” — Alex Overturf, eighth grade.

Lourdes Catholic School, Bettendorf
“Impossible can not be spelled without possible, and all things are possible through God.” — Emma VanSeveren, seventh grade.
“Love the life you have, God gave it to you.” — Alex Foley, seventh grade.


(Anne Marie Amacher contributed to this story.)

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