Kasen Goodwin, who works as an environmental services tech at Christus St. Michael Health System, thinks of St. Edward Church in Texarkana as his second home.
“I have attended St. Edward since I was born on Thanksgiving Day, 1995,” he said.
Goodwin, 20, serves as an usher and assistant to catechists. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus.
He said of his ushering duties, “When I was about 9 or 10, I knew I wanted to help out, but I didn’t feel comfortable being an altar server. Some of the ushers asked if I would help pass out the bulletins after Mass. I did that for several years, wishing everyone a nice day as they departed Mass. Then after Father Paul (Worm) came, he asked me to attend usher training. I did, and from then on I was placed on the schedule for full duties. Several church members told me they were happy to see such a young person serving.”
After graduating from high school and completing religious education classes, he had to decide what was next for him. “When I graduated, my senior year, my catechist, Donny Thompson, jokingly asked me how he was going to remember to take the roll each week if I wasn’t there, because I always reminded him. So I decided I would return and help.”
Now Thompson has a reliable assistant.
Goodwin said he has been inspired by Thompson and his wife Melissa.
“Mr. Donny always manages to teach me something new about my faith. I like Mr. Donny and Ms. Melissa because they treat me like friends. They don’t treat me different because of my autism or other disabilities. I think that is how Jesus would want people to treat each other — even people who are different from you.”
• What is your hidden talent?
“My mom says I have a unique gift for helping others who have more disabilities than I do. It makes me feel good and makes me realize that even though I have several challenges, there are people out there who have more challenges than I do.”
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