I am a junior at Servite High School. My faith has always played an essential role in my life, whether it be in my personal, academic or private life.

I was raised Catholic; my family attends Mass every weekend, prays together and integrates the faith in everything we do. However, as a child, I never knew what it meant to be a “Catholic” because, in my mind, I was only following my parents’ example. That all changed when I decided to start my journey at Servite.

Choosing a high school is challenging, especially considering that many people choose what high school they want to attend in their early teenage years. That’s why I decided to visit Servite at their Open House. A senior at Servite spoke to the crowd, a collection of seventh- and eighth-grade students and their families. That senior was Matthew Greenlee.

Matthew sold me on Servite with his speech, and by the end of the day, I knew that Servite was the place for me. You might ask what Matthew said to us that was so inspiring, and my answer would not necessarily be what he said, but how he showed it.

Matthew was a perfect example of how Servite makes faith-filled leaders. He showed me that faith is not something you think about just during the weekends or just during prayer. However, it’s a lifestyle, a culture that helps you grow in everything you do. I wanted to be like Matthew Greenlee; I wanted that for myself but also to show others the true meaning of faith as he continues to do.

At Servite, four formation themes embody our campus, two directly connected to faith. Each theme is designed to make the Servite Friar a faith-filled leader in their way. The themes are the centrality of Christ, the primacy of faith, the necessity of the other and mastery of self. The centrality of Christ outlines the idea that everything we do should be modeled after God and His teachings. The primacy of faith shows that life’s most essential truths or decisions cannot be found just by reason alone, but rather, they should be based on faith, big or small. Mastery of self is using our God-given gifts and talents to make the world unique in a way only you can accomplish. Finally, the necessity of the other is defined by the need of the other to grow to our fullest potential while helping others achieve that same goal.

Each theme does not exist independently; instead, they coexist in every aspect of our lives. The themes make Servite an ecosystem of spiritual connectedness that allows me and the entire student body to grow and excel. Servite also offered me an opportunity to help me in the discernment process of my vocation. Freshman year, I joined Club Vocati, which Mr. Eddie Murphy ran. Mr. Murphy aided in my discernment of priesthood and significantly helped me grow closer in my relationship with God.

Servite is not just a school to me; it is a thriving community of opportunities to grow my spiritual person. It allows me to excel in my academic rigor, but more importantly, shows the importance of having a firm faith-built foundation that is my leading driver for success. Servite showed me what it meant to be a Catholic and how to build my life as Jesus would, with grace and mercy.

Without Servite, I would not be the man I am today, faith-wise or otherwise.