Patriots Punter Zoltan Mesko gave an interview to the National Catholic Register to talk about his families as Romanian refugees who endured Communist oppression, deprivation and violent revolution and how faith plays a big role in his life. When asked if it was hard for him to adapt to the American culture, he responded “Not really. Romania was a very harsh place to live while the communists were in power. They portray it as equality for all, but the equality you get is everyone being equally miserable. Government control of everything results in less prosperity for everyone…My mother and father are both engineers, so we had quite a bit of money. However, because of hyperinflation, the money couldn’t buy much. We lived paycheck to paycheck in Romania, so the transition to American culture wasn’t too tough. I found things to be so much easier here.”
They went on to ask him if he has a Patron Saint and his answered was ”
My patron is St. Anthony of Padua. I wear a medal with his image, and I also have a picture of him on the wall. He’s holding the Christ Child, so his prayers are sought for things regarding small children. In fact, he’s someone my mother prayed to before I was born and then after I was born as well.
This reminds me of how in Romania everything was so expensive that people tended to have very few children. You just couldn’t afford to do otherwise. I’m an only child, but when I start a family of my own, I want to have many children. They are God’s greatest gift in the natural order, so it would be ridiculous to refuse such gifts when they can be accepted so easily.
I have so much to be grateful for, and I’ve beaten the odds in so many ways: surviving the bullets going through our apartment on Christmas Eve in 1989, winning the immigration lottery, getting a college football scholarship, making it to the Super Bowl (last year), physical health, spiritual health.
Some of these things I’ve worked for, but others have been free gifts given by God. When you consider the probability of me getting to where I am, it really is staggering. There’s no doubt in my mind that God exists and that he does have specific plans for me.
There’s so much more for me to learn about life, but I’m already aware of many great things God has given me. This makes me want to share my blessings with others.”
He was also asked about what he appreciates most about the Catholic Church and he responded ”
I really like how the Church is for everybody. It cuts across times and places, and it shows itself to be the place where Jesus wants everyone to be. The Church adapts itself well to different situations, without losing its primary purpose of conveying all the means of salvation to humanity. Jesus suffered and died for all, so his Church is for all as well.
Sometimes this is lost on us because we don’t take the time to stop and consider it. We’re so busy with other things that God’s love for us is forgotten. I try to meditate on this and pray every evening and during the day as well. In the car, I often make the decision to turn off the radio and ask for wisdom on certain matters. Driving can be a great time for silence and prayer”