Padre Paul’s Ponderings: The Marathon of Service

Every fall, Catholic schools around the country have a marathon. Growing up going to two different Catholic schools, I participated in such events myself.  This year at St. Joseph School, we will not be collecting pledges, but will be giving of ourselves in service. Students are encouraged to bring in coin donations that will go directly to Feed My Starving Children.  Our fundraising efforts will be focused on the winter Catholic Schools Raffle and our Spring School Gala on April 14th, 2018.

When I arrived at Saint Joe’s and asked about the marathon, I learned that it was going to have a bit of a different flavor. Instead of getting pledges for running, walking and biking, the students would use that time and instead be boxing food at Feed My Starving Children. This food will then be sent to people in need in underdeveloped countries such as Haiti, and help fight malnourishment and hunger. The meals are specifically formulated for malnourished children. FMSC has reached out to over 70 countries. Though the people who pack the meals and those needy children who eat them may never meet on this earth, such a big difference is being made thanks to people giving of their time.

What a great idea. By doing this, it reminds us of how we are connected to one another. Walking and biking is great, and we should exercise to take care of our bodies, but we also need to take care of the Body of Christ. Our service marathon gives students a chance to think about how they, too, can reach out to others and make a difference. What a great teaching moment!  So often we get stuck in our own little world, and forget there is so much good that we can do.

Filling one bag with food might not end malnutrition, but it leaves an impact. And daily, we have the chance to make a difference too. A marathon is a tough thing to run – it takes endurance and determination. We run the marathon of life for the crown of eternal life. So let’s learn from our students and ask ourselves how we can do a daily service marathon for people in our lives who need our time, our forgiveness, our compassion, and our presence.

It’s also important that we emphasize to the students what a Catholic education is all about. As Catholics, we emphasize that faith must lead to action. Living out the faith is something that isn’t just for a marathon, but needs to be a way of life. As Catholics we live that out daily.

While I exercise daily I don’t plan on running a Marathon anytime soon, but let’s all “run” this marathon daily by looking for ways God wants us to make a difference in the lives of one another each and every day. Thank you to our students for showing us how to bring God’s love in the world, and thank you for your support of our service marathon.

God bless and have a great week,

Fr. Paul