James is an All-American boy who loves playing baseball and the clarinet (listen for his clarinet solo in the video intro).
So hi, I’m James Casey. I am Catholic, but I go to New Covenant Presbyterian Church with my mom. When I go to Saint Joseph Parish, I am an altar server.
As an altar server, it is my job to carry the cross and bring it to the sacristy. And it is my job to hold the books for the priests, but with COVID now I can’t do that. So all I do is bring the gifts up to the altar, the bowls up and the chalices. I also bring up the plates for the ministers of the sick who bring the Eucharist to those who cannot come to church.
I play baseball. I personally think that I am very talented at baseball and I have a gift. I appreciate this gift and use it a lot in my life.
I do other things to help build myself up because I believe that I’m meant to grow as a person. So I do swimming and play the clarinet and the piano. I’m not very good at the piano, but I am very good at clarinet, I’d say. I practice clarinet and try to get better because it helps me grow as a person.
Another example of how I grow as a person is working to be the best I can in my schoolwork. My favorite class in school is social studies. Right now we’re studying forms of government and politics, which I like a lot.
I have a favorite chapter in the Bible; it’s Mark Chapter 5. It talks about how Jesus was coming back across a lake and came upon a man who was possessed by a demon. The man who was possessed by the demon bowed down to Jesus. It shows how powerful Jesus truly is, that demons who hate him bow down to him begging for mercy. That’s why I really like that story; it truly shows how powerful Jesus is and how much he can do for us.
I was struggling with the decision where I would go to high school because I live in a bad school district, and I don’t really want to go to public school.
I prayed and studied for the high school placement test. If I performed well, it would allow me to get a scholarship. I also sent in a video of me playing the clarinet. I applied to various parochial schools for a music scholarship, a faith and service scholarship, and an excellence in social studies scholarship.
When I got my acceptance box from Saint Marks High School, I found out that I had gotten scholarships for performing well on the entrance exam. I also got a scholarship for playing the clarinet. So, I have the opportunity to go to Saint Marks on a full ride.
Saint Marks was not my first choice of high schools, but when I shadowed there I felt like I really fit in with the students. I felt a very good relationship between the students and the teachers. I felt like it was very faith based. I liked the baseball coach.
So I feel that God really opened the way for me. Relying on Jesus is important because God always wants to guide you to what is best for you: what will help you grow as a person and what fits you the best.
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At that point I said, “I can’t do this myself. It’s in your hands, God.” That part I remember clearly. It turns out that it was really, really was up to Him (and a good surgeon).
So when drugs and alcohol came around, it was easy for me to say “yes,” because I didn’t have anything in me saying “no” anymore. As I got more involved with drugs, I got into more crime. I started committing violent crimes, selling drugs, abusing drugs ended up back up in prison.
Losing my eyesight when I was nine years old was a difficult diagnosis to accept. My eyes welled up in tears and I became apprehensive for my future.
But God has taken the mess of my life, all my heartache, all my troubles with everything I’m going through now, and He’s got it. I’m not worried. I have learned that through this you have to take baby steps. What I would tell someone is you do your best fighting and talking on your knees.
When it was all added up, my life was going nowhere. Had trouble even deciding what I wanted to study at school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. “Nada.”
So many nights I would pray, “God, I REALLY mean it, please come into my life.” I expected some kind of feeling or at least an angel appearing outside my window!
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