Introduction: This true story is based on an article in Maryknoll magazine, “It Takes a Village,” by Margaret Gaughan, October 2015. It is about Maryknoll Father Shaun Crumb, who was ordained in 2015. This story, which I wrote for children in grades 4-6, looks at his childhood which included being called by God to become a missioner. Father Crumb is currently a missioner in China.
Story: On God’s Team
Shaun loved to fish. He fished with his sisters, brother and dad. He lived on a lake, a resort where many people came to fish. Each day, whoever caught the first fish got a dollar. Sometimes it bothered Shaun when he did not catch the first one. His dad said, “Don’t feel badly. We’re on the same team. That’s what’s important.”
Shaun was on God’s team too. Before each meal, his family thanked God for their food. Before sleeping, they thanked God for the day and prayed for people in their family and those who were poor. There were special times of prayer too. On road trips, they said the rosary together. In the weeks before Christmas, they gathered around their Advent wreath, lit the candles and prayed. Shaun knew Jesus was his friend. Anytime he needed to talk, Jesus would listen.
Of course there were times when Shaun was with God when he wasn’t thinking about God. He and his friend Nick built forts in the woods. They used sticks, branches and logs and played hide and seek there. One fort Shaun especially liked to go to, just to feel the quiet. Sitting on a log for a chair, it seemed to Shaun like a room of his own. Shaun was enjoying all the good things God has given us through His Creation.
Shaun’s childhood was rich and full. He and his siblings helped their parents run the fishing resort they owned. Shaun learned early how to serve others who came for vacation, which he enjoyed. Shaun and his sibling had many friends to play with, as well as kittens and gerbils. Besides fishing, he swam, boated and skied on the lake. As a scout he liked doing service projects with his troop. He and his brother laughed and challenged each other in basketball. Later in high school, Shaun played football and baseball too.
Shaun became an altar server. Though he had gone to Mass ever since he was a baby, he was nervous the first day. Would he remember what he was supposed to do? But he quickly learned. He assisted the priest and also those distributing communion. He soon liked being near the altar, helping. He also enjoyed the music.
As Shaun grew, so did his way of being on God’s team. Some summers, he shared the fun of his childhood as a camp counselor at a Catholic kids’ camp. He led singing and taught games. In college his teachers were Benedictine monks. Shaun and other students would join them in prayer. Shaun also went on short mission trips. There he learned about the differences and similarities amongst people, but also the how some people are treated badly which caused them to live in poverty.
After college, Shaun decided to try living and working in another place. Through a Maryknoll program he went to China where he taught English.
God was calling Shaun to stay with the team in new ways.