By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT — The 15 winners of the Diocese of Davenport vocation poster contest got a tasty award May 1: pizza with Bishop Martin Amos at diocesan headquarters.
The students, from Catholic schools in Clinton, Davenport and DeWitt, were happy to get out of classes to meet with Bishop Amos, Father Marty Goetz, vocations director, and Bill Barrett of the Serra Club, which sponsored the contest and paid for pizza.
Fr. Goetz showed off the posters and read slogans submitted by the winners. Winning entries were announced earlier in The Catholic Messenger.
Barrett said the contest was a great success. “Kids are not willing to express their religion, but you did,” he told the students.
He explained the history of the Serra Club and told how the organization is often mistaken for the Sierra Club. “We don’t plant trees (like Sierra Club). We plant seeds.”
The Serra Club’s job is to promote, support and advocate for vocations in local dioceses.
“We support programs that Fr. Marty and the bishop need. We promote a vocation committee in parishes,” Barrett said.
But he said families also need to promote and support vocations. “If you know someone who you think might have a calling (to the priesthood or religious life), let Fr. Marty, the bishop, a priest — anyone know.”
The first Friday of each month Serrans meet to recite the rosary and attend Mass to pray for vocations. About 350 people said the rosary and attended Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Davenport on May 1, which was first Friday. “We invited anyone to join us,” Barrett told the students.
Fr. Goetz told them there is a difference between what we are called to do and what we are called to be. “Ask God what he is calling you to be. Have you heard that you’re the future of our church? Don’t believe it. You are our present church. You have a gift to share — a smile, a prayer, some kindness. You are our gift.”
After pizza, students took a tour of diocesan offices before heading back to school.
Fr. Goetz said although he was never in the Marines, he loves their slogan “Semper Fi,” because it fits well with vocations: “Always Faithful.”