a scripture story in the Acts of the Apostles where
the apostle Philip is called to evangelize an Ethiopian man
by running alongside his chariot.
The Spirit said to Philip, “Go and
join up with that chariot.” Philip ran up and heard
him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, “Do you understand
what you are reading?”He replied, “How can I, unless someone
instructs me?” So he invited Philip to get in and
sit with him. (Acts 8:29-31)
Considering the stamina it must have taken
to have a theological conversation while running alongside that chariot,
St. Philip might well understand the motivation of another fellow
man of the cloth, Fr. Daniel Pajerski LC.
Fr Daniel is
the formation director at Everest Collegiate High School and Academy
in Clarkston, Michigan. He recently competed in the
Chicago Marathon, finishing 1532 out of the 37,455 runners who
finished the race.
The event was providentially held on October 7, 2012. The date was not only the 8th anniversary
of Father’s ordination as a Deacon in the Legion of
Christ, but also the date
of the feast of Our
Lady of the Rosary.
|Photo by MarathonFoto|
“Mary was a big part of the success,”
Fr. Daniel’s time of 3 hours, 9 minutes and 29
seconds qualified him for eligibility in the April 2013 Boston
Marathon. His next goal is to run in
that prestigious event. “My hope is that I’ll get some
sponsors and possibly help raise money for vocations,” he said.
has been involved in running for about 15 years, since
1997, his third year with the Legion of Christ.
He completed the
bulk of his training for the Chicago marathon during the
summer of 2012.
“As Legionaries, we are encouraged to keep in shape,”
he said. “Once you’re in pretty good shape, it’s not
hard to maintain a certain level of fitness without too
much investment of time.”
He tells aspiring runners that the recipe for
success is discipline plus perseverance. One has to
have a desire to be physically fit and have the
discipline to keep to a schedule, he said.
“It has to start
with the desire to run. Some might have the physical
ability, but not the desire. One element, though,
that really motivates me is to offer up my runs
for the special intentions that people ask me to pray
for. Grace builds upon and perfects nature, so
adding the spiritual element is a key factor.”
Fr. Daniel said his
effort to stay in shape has actually helped him in
his priestly ministry. “I’ve found that keeping in shape helps
with my mental clarity and gives me more energy to
pray and contribute to our mission. When I’m
feeling out of shape, it’s easier to fall into being
|Fr. Daniel placed 1532 out of the 37,455 runners|
identifies with the inspiration for the name on his running
shoes, made by Asics. The name comes from
the first letters of the words in the Latin phrase.
“Anima Sana In Corpore Sano,” roughly translated as “healthy soul
in a healthy body.”
“That’s an apt way to summarize it,”
said Fr. Daniel.