For Zack Fox, being in the right place at the right time usually means God has something in mind for you.  One night, he stopped off at a local supermarket to buy groceries when he noticed an elderly woman who appeared to be a victim of a gift card scam. Zack stopped the woman from spending her money.  Then he followed her home and spent two hours removing the scammer’s virus from her computer.  “I guess she trusted me,” he said.  “She kept saying, ‘God sent you to me. ‘ And I don’t doubt it for a second.  I’m glad He did.”

Zack was born in 1996 and is a lifelong congregant at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church. He became an altar server when he was ten years old.  “Sister Elizabeth asked my grandmother Lois Morris if I would be interested in altar serving,” he explained.  “Well, there was hardly a way to say no to the two of them.”  Actually, Zack has remained as an altar server since that time, assisting many different priests over the years.  “My favorite part of altar serving is interacting with the priests and with the parishioners after Mass,” he reflected.  A few years ago, he joined the Knights of Columbus and served as the recording secretary.  His work schedule now sometimes conflicts with K of C meetings, but the association is important to him. “We are able to help individuals on a one to one basis,” he explained.  “We can provide food for a family in need or lend a hand in other ways.  It is good to live your faith as Jesus lived the faith.  When you see someone in need, you help.  It’s a rewarding feeling.” 

When asked what keeps him strong in his faith, Zack offered a surprising answer: his freedom to doubt.  He said he is fortunate to have an uncle who is a Franciscan theologian at Santa Clara University.  Zack has been able to take his vulnerabilities and uncertainties to his uncle knowing he would get an empathetic hearing.  “That outlet has helped immensely,” he said.  In fact, Zack thinks that young people may drift away from the church because they do not ask enough questions or might feel unentitled to ask questions. “We need to find more ways to talk,” he said.  If youth are to be brought back into church, Zack thinks it will be through relationship building.  “I heard a sermon once that interpreted Kingdom of God as something that exists between us. That is profound.  What are we but a series of relationships with other human beings? The Kingdom of God is found in every relationship we build with other people. To express Jesus’ love to them is what it means to live the faith.”

Zack’s roots in Ocean City and in the St. Damien Parish are deep.  His great grandparents on his father’s side settled in Ocean City in the early 1900s.  His grandmother, Lois Morris, has been long active in the parish. His younger brother Austin has been engaged with the church youth group. Family connections and family history are important to Zack.  In fact, history has been his passion since his youth. He graduated from Stockton University in 2018 with a degree in history and a K-12 certification in social studies.  From the moment he began his student teaching, he said, “I knew I was meant to be a teacher.  It feels like a second skin.”   Now, as he searches for teaching positions and hopes he finds one close to his beloved Ocean City, he remains patient. There will be a right time and a right place.

Interested in being an altar server? Contact Ed and Ginny Manning at 609-545-0350.

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