In May, the Catholic Herald Parenting invited students and parents alike to submit essays and artwork featuring a special priest in their life to be published in the September issue.
Congratulations to St. Anthony 8th Grader Konya Ngaboh-Smart for being one of 13 winners chosen for this contest! She won a College for Kids certificate! Her entry is found below:
Fr. Dennis Teaches By Example
This is my first year at St. Anthony Parish. First, I was very nervous until I met my new priest. Fr. Dennis (Wieland) at our first Mass. He gave us a word that corresponded with our reading and told us he would follow up the next week. I have found Fr. Dennis an inspiration.
One reason I find Fr. Dennis an inspiration is that when he delivers his homily he tries to get us involved by asking us questions and assigning activities. Once when we did a reading he had two eighth grade guests. One of the eighth graders was dressed like a businessman, and the other was raggedly dressed, dirty, barefoot, messy hair and torn clothes. He asked us if we woudl be afraid or greet the student if we were to pass him in the street and most of us said we would be afraid. Fr. Dennis made us understand the story of the Good Samaritan through his examples.
These examples show why Fr. Dennis is an inspirational priest. Fr. Dennis gives us money: $5 to the sixth, seventh and eighth graders. $2 to the fifth grade and $1 to the rest of the school. He would ask us what we would do with the money. Most of us give the money in form of Sunday collection or to our parents or to those in need. He thus teaches us the spirit of giving and to be thankful. For example, this spring he made us write a thank you letter to the parishoners, and made us understand that parishoners are the backbone of the church and school. My parents rightly think he always has a welcoming smile.