Kara Jackson (center) holds the Roman Missal for Fr. Paul Arinze, pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Beloit, on October 26, along with server Nathan Blevins. Jackson is working to complete her goal of serving Mass in all 50 states. Wisconsin was number 20. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)
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BELOIT -- Her “goal is to be a saint.”
When 16-year-old Kara Jackson’s mother, Christina, helps her daughter tell her story, it all starts there -- she wants to be a saint.
While we might not know for hundreds of years if Kara will be canonized, her journey across all 50 states is generating enough material to fill a single volume of Butler’s Lives of the Saints -- for herself and those in which she comes in contact.
Kara, from Middletown Ohio, was born with Down syndrome, but the genetic disorder does nothing to stand in the way of her faith.
For nearly two years, Kara, her mother, and her father Rick have been working their way to each state in the country as Kara completes her goal of serving in all 50.
Serving Mass in Wisconsin
After serving Mass on a recent Saturday evening in St. Mary Church in Westville, Ill. -- state number 19 -- Jackson arrived in Beloit the next morning to serve Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption (OLA) Parish in Beloit -- state number 20.
Kara, along with three servers from the parish, served Mass together at the 10:30 a.m. Mass.
Pastor Fr. Paul Arinze welcomed Kara and her family to OLA joked when she makes her way to Hawaii, she should bring everyone in the parish with her.
She held the Missal while Father Arinze read the prayers during Mass, she assisted during the presentation of the gifts, helped Father Arinze prepare the altar for the consecration, and helped clear the altar after communion. Occasionally, the other servers helped Kara up the steps in the sanctuary.