Yes, it's still August and the start of school is a month away yet parents know that August means getting that much closer to Labour Day and the inevitable end of summer vacation and the beginning of a new school year. August also means preparing for the school year ahead, purchasing school uniforms or new threads, backpacks and other supplies.
For teachers, it means preparing the classroom, ensuring that lesson plans are ready to go so that students are ready for a smooth transition. So how do we prepare spiritually for the new school year?
For the past decade, the Catholic Teachers' Guild has held an annual Mass for educators to help spiritually prepare them for the year ahead and to affirm their important vocation. This August is no exception.
On Wednesday, August 29th, the 11th annual Education Mass will be held at St. Paul's Basilica in Toronto. Following the Eucharistic Celebration there is a dinner to share food and fellowship followed by a talk, this year on "Catholic Educators and the Year of Faith." Presiding at Mass and giving the keynote will be Cardinal Collins.
Tickets for the dinner are $50 each. If you're interested in attending, to reserve tickets or to ask questions regarding the event, you can email Barry White, principal at St. Michael's Choir School and longtime organizer of the event. If you prefer just to send a cheque along, make it payable to "Catholic Teachers Guild" c/o Barry White, 67 Bond St., Toronto, ON M5B 1T4.
Meanwhile, while it's still a few weeks away and we know no one wants to rush the beginning of the new year, it's worth filing this handy prayer below (courtesy a parish of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida) for use in your own family or school to help kickoff the new year. With the busyness of the next few weeks, it's nice knowing that when it comes to prayer for your children/students, it's one thing you can already check off the list.
|A Student's Prayer at
the Beginning of School Year|
We give you praise, O God,
for everything that is new and beautiful,
for everything which holds promise and brings us joy.
Bless us as we start this new year
with our friends and teachers
Help us to make the most of every chance we have to start afresh.
May we show love to one another and to all.
May the new beginning of this school year
remind us that you give us chances to start over again and again.
Help us to forgive others
as we receive your forgiveness.
Help us to learn and to work together.
Help us to listen when we should
and to know the best words when we speak
and when it is better not to speak.
We thank you for our friends
Help us to be good friends this year.
Help us to be patient
with ourselves and with others.
Bless our school and keep us safe.
Be with us as we travel each day.
Help us to be aware of your love
shown to us in the people around us.
Bless all those who care for us
In school and at home.
Help us show our care for them
and to say sorry when we need to.
May the Blessed Mother Mary protect us
And help us to live as well as we can
Giving thanks and glory to God as she did.