Austin Fantin is this the spotlight this week for our Ordinary Teens, Extraordinary Things series. Read on to learn more about Austin and his dedication to service in our community.
Parish: Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Vacation Bible School Group Leader; Sacred Heart Parish Capital Campaign Lead Technology Coordinator; Sixth Grade Camp Counselor; Biddy Basketball Camp Helper; St. Joseph’s Parish Kids’ Zone Helper; Class Sausage Booth Fundraiser Co-Coordinator and Co-Leader; Tuscarawas County Community Hospice Golf Outing Helper
What does service mean to you? How does your involvement in your parish and community foster a stronger relationship with Jesus?
To me, service is the willingness to help others. This can include a simple act, such as holding the door open for someone. This can also include physical labor, such as setting up for school or parish events. These types of service are important, but true service extends beyond that. True service connects to Gospel values.
My service includes helping my parish, Sacred Heart, raise funds for a new parish hall. Before construction could be started, money needed to be raised. I decided to help with the capital campaign, and I ended up playing an important role. I was named Lead Technology Coordinator, in which I was responsible for creating and presenting a Powerpoint presentation about the new building, so that parishioners could learn about the plans. In addition, I set up a station at various parish events with information about the building. Parishioners needed to be called on the phone and encouraged to donate, so I helped with that too. Now that construction is underway, I am giving updates to the parishioners about the progress on the building. This involvement helps me foster a stronger relationship with Jesus.
Jesus came to the earth to serve. A simple, but powerful example of this is when he washed the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. This action showed the people of the world to serve others. Service is an imitation of Jesus, and this imitation brings me closer to Him. My service also directly relates to the theme of Catholic Social Teaching of the Call to Family, Community, and Participation. We are called as people to contribute to society in a positive way. Meaningful service, such as helping build a parish hall, is contributing in this positive way. This is a building that will help generations of parishioners come closer to God. The building will be a meeting place for groups to discuss the Gospel, a reception hall after a couple participates in the Sacrament of Matrimony, and a highlight of the Parish that will bring people into and back to the Church. By doing this, I have evangelized in an indirect way by bringing people closer to Jesus. By bringing other people closer to God with this building, I, myself, am brought closer to God also. Even before the building is complete, I can see it bringing people closer to God. This thought fills me with joy, and by helping fund this new parish hall and living out the call to Catholic Social Teaching, I, myself, am fostering a stronger relationship with Jesus.