At seven in the first grade, I was a Baptist going to a Catholic school. My parents asked me if I wanted to stay a Baptist or to convert to Catholicism. Converting was one of the greatest decisions in of my life. ‘The doors open wide at the very thought of your coming’ took on new meaning for my family. I was baptized on February 28, 2009 when in the first grade. I continued my grade school education at St. Andrew-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton school. In second grade, I made my first communion and reconciliation with my mom. We never miss Sunday mass, it is very important to us.
In fourth grade I made another decision to become an Altar Attendant. Another great choice! I enjoy serving, it is fun for me and I truly love to serve at the altar. I have been told by parishioners that they love it when I serve. It makes me happy that people think I am a good server. In the summer going into sixth grade, I started serving funerals. It is honestly very hard to serve funerals. Seeing people crying is tough and it’s hard not to cry with them. Before one funeral I asked if I could try to use the incense and Deacon Tim said yes. Using incense really changes people, including me. I now participate more and I understand the Mass more. Using the incense made me want to learn more about God and Jesus’ ministry.
I am now going into ninth grade and will be attending Archbishop Moeller High School. I participate in a National Volleyball league and when we are out of town, my parents and I to find a local church that’s meets our match schedule. I love being Catholic because it connects directly back to Jesus and God. I think it’s pretty amazing that the same Mass is said around the entire world. I invite you to come to Mass, and more importantly become involved the Mass as an altar attendant, a lector or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Fully participating helps you to receive Jesus and God and special gifts and graces.
Oh God, please help people during their decisions to become a more involved Catholic. Shine some light on them so they can make the best decision possible for their family and for their lives.
Jesse Hardin is 14 years old and has been a member of St. Andrew parish for 7 years and an Altar Attendant for 5 years. His volleyball team placed first in the state and 7th in the nation. He works at Grand Sand Volleyball Club as a referee. He is an only child, grateful to be Catholic and has two of the best parents God ever created.