Although he was born into the Catholic faith, Garrett Bannister didn’t know he wanted to make the Church his life’s work until he got to high school. Bannister, 22, is the newly hired director of faith formation and evangelization for youth at Sacred Heart Church in Barling.
“I have not always wanted to work in the Church,” he said. “When I got to high school, that’s when I really started to learn more about my faith and get really into it. I’d debate a lot of my friends or classmates about the Church and its teachings. And as I did that, they didn’t force me, they inspired me to learn more about my faith.
“I realized that’s where God was calling me, to learn more about my faith and teach others about it.”
Bannister grew up in Yukon, Okla., attended St. John Nepomuk Church there and graduated from St. Gregory University in Shawnee, Okla., with a degree in theology. As certain as he is the Church is his mission in life, the details of the plan keep changing.
“I went to college originally intending to go on to grad school, get a doctorate and then become a professor,” he said. “But my junior and senior years, I came the realization that’s not where God was calling me right now. I’ve still got that in my sights, like a few years down the road when I’m married and have a family, but right now God’s calling me to be involved with youth.”
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