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Seton student is a missionary wherever he goes

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Adolescence is all about trying new things and finding your passions. For Simon Kanazeh, a senior at Seton School in Manassas, that includes organizing service trips to minister to the homeless in Washington. It’s one of the many ways Kanazeh has been able to evangelize during his high school years. “I have a big heart for mission work,” he said. “(I enjoy) seeing God work through me, giving God my time to do his will, to do good in the world, to bring souls to him.”

Kanazeh knew that his classmates understood their faith, and he wanted them to have a chance to put it into action. So during his junior year, he worked with a Seton religion teacher to plan a trip to Washington. In the weeks leading up to the event, students were asked to bring in toiletries and snacks for the homeless. On the day of, more than 40 students traveled to Union Station. Once there, they split up into groups to distribute supplies to the homeless, to talk and to pray with them. On the way home, they prayed for all the intentions of the people they met. The next year, they made the trip again.

Kanazeh also was able to serve abroad on mission trips to Colombia for the past two years. Kanazeh’s mother is Colombian and he speaks fluent Spanish, so it was easy to communicate with the people he met on Isla de Tierra Bomba. “We would have Mass, sing songs with them, bring some gifts for them for Christmas, play soccer with the boys,” he said. “It definitely opened my eyes to be more grateful for what I have and to want to use my resources and talents to do good for the world and to bring others to God, ultimately.”

When he’s not doing schoolwork or on mission trips, Kanazeh enjoys CrossFit, martial arts and leading the boys club at his parish, St. Timothy Church in Chantilly. He attended St. Timothy School before joining Seton in the ninth grade. While adjusting to new classmates, high school classes and commuting from Fairfax, he also had to cope with the death of two of his grandparents. “As I was transitioning into a different school, everything was a shock to me,” he said. “However, the community I have now at Seton is priceless.”

This fall, he plans to study finance at George Mason University in Fairfax and then bring his evangelistic spirit with him into the business world. He cites Stephen Auth, author of “Missionary of Wall Street: From Managing Money to Saving Souls on the Streets of New York” as an inspiration for his career goals. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020