WATERVILLE — “Let us pray that we will always be able to find Jesus. He never loses us. Let’s never lose him so that we know his love for us and his care for us.”

The words of Bishop Robert P. Deeley fell upon an attentive group of students, staff and faculty at a morning Mass Wednesday, April 13, in the Mount Merici Academy gymnasium, part of a special visit by the bishop to the Waterville school, according to a news release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

Several Mount Merici Academy students served as readers and gift bearers during the Mass, and eighth graders signed the Lord’s Prayer while the school community sang it in unison.

During his homily, Bishop Deeley asked the students to focus on finding Jesus in their young lives and to listen for what he calls all of us to be.

“Remember where Jesus is so he can help us to know how to live our Christian life, how to care for each other, and how to be kind to each other,” said the bishop, according to the release. “Jesus lives within us.”

As lunch with the eighth graders at the academy, the bishop explained that finding Jesus in his own life led him to understanding what he was called to do.

“Faith is a belief. I believe for a reason. Priests get to help people to get closer to Jesus and to know how to live their lives that way. They take care of people and I wanted to do that. Being a priest is what I was called to do. Your calling may not be what you expect, but it will bring you happiness. God wants the best for us,” said the bishop, according to the release.

During a visit to the second grade, one student asked the bishop how she can know when God is talking to us.

“We pray. We ask God to help us understand,” the bishop told the young girl, according to the release. “We ask people in our lives to help us understand what God wants. When I was young, I thought it was wonderful when I saw the way priests cared for people and looked out for people. I thought that would be a wonderful thing to do. God speaks to us in many ways.”

Throughout the day, Bishop Deeley walked the halls at Mount Merici, stopping at each classroom to speak to the children. Along the way, he read a passage from The Beginner’s Bible to kindergartener, learned about the many service projects being completed by students of all ages, and answered questions ranging from what it was like to know Pope Francis to why bishops wear the clothes that they do to how hard his job is.

“This isn’t my job, it’s my life,” said the bishop, according to the release. “I love it. I get to encounter people all over the diocese and help them live out the Gospel, just like you do with all of your wonderful service projects. It’s great.”