September 12, 2014 | Issue 2 

Chaplains' Newsletter
New Beginnings

"Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" (Isaiah 43:18-19)


With the start of a new school year come feelings of hope, energy, and renewal.  At times we are filled with worry and anxiety, not knowing what the year will bring. Trusting that God walks with us does not always come easily, but if we open ourselves, giving God time and space, little by little we grow in confidence and begin to recognize God's renewing action in our lives.

 

Here are a few resources for you and your students with which to transition into the new school year. I hope that they will help you to open yourselves up, to make the time and space to allow the voice of God to be present in the silence of your hearts.

 


Prayer 

 

Prayer at the Beginning of a New School Year

 

Here is a brief and simple prayer service that you can pray in your own classroom.  This is excerpted from a new resource called Prayer Services for Parishes and Schools by Michael Cymbala (Liturgy Training Publications, 2013).


Leader: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

Leader: We begin our new year with hope in our hearts. Praying together in silence, let us ask the Lord to guide our endeavours.

[Moment of silent prayer]

 

Reading (Suggestions: Deuteronomy 11.8-12, Philippians 1.3-11, Matthew 4:18-20)

Leader: With the spirit of hope, let us bring our petitions before God, either aloud or in our hearts

 

[A period of shared prayer follows]

 

Leader: Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we do not choose you, rather, you choose us. You guide us through life's challenges, providing strength and unlimited blessings. Like travelers who enter a new city filled with hope and intrigue, direct us in this new year so that our work will be pleasing to you. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

 

All:  Amen.

 

Leader: May the Lord bless and protect us all the days of our lives.

 

All:  Amen.

A Teacher's Prayer

 

We can't forget about teachers - they need our prayers too! The following is a prayer written by Kathy Motyka as part of the prayer collection Lead, Kindly Light: The Notre Dame Book of Prayers (University of Notre Dame, 2005).

 

God of wisdom and understanding,  
help me to be a holy and sincere educator in the faith. 
I ask that you inspire me to love my students,  
meeting them where they are and always seeking to understand. 
Be with me inside and outside of the classroom,  
as I help my students to face the challenges and graces of growing up. 
Grant me patience, courage, and enthusiasm, as I teach through my words and actions.  
I thank you for granting me the privilege to influence young minds and hearts. 
I ask all of these things, through Christ, our greatest teacher.  
Amen.

 

For Reflection

 

In the midst of our busy lives, especially at the beginning of the school year, it can be a real challenge to make time for silence, to listen to God has to say and to simply be in His presence. 

 

Liturgical composer Sarah Kroger wrote a beautiful reflective song, called "In the Silence," that speaks of inviting God to speak to us in the silence of our hearts.

 

Sarah Kroger - In the Silence (Lyrics Video) 


Finally, I want to share with you a touching little video reminding us that, to paraphrase St. Teresa of Calcutta, if we can do "small things with great love," we can make the world a more beautiful place to live in.

 

 

 

May your year be one filled with grace and blessings and may your classroom be one of welcome and compassion in Christ's name.

In communion,

Janet Loo
Campus Minister/Director of Chamber Choir
King's University College

janet.loo@kings.uwo.ca

Upcoming Events
Fed & Taught: Ministry at the table of the word and sacrament 
Each workshop will address current practice in the Diocese of London for Lectors and Auxiliary Ministers of Holy Communion. Click here for workshop dates and locations.

Ontario University Fair
Sept. 19th - 21st
Toronto, ON
Are you coming to the Ontario University Fair? Make sure to stop by King's booth. Click here to watch a video about our Catholic Studies for Teachers program!

Promise of Pope Francis: Our Hopes and Fears
Sept. 24th, 7:30 p.m.
Darryl J. King Student Life Centre, 266 Epworth Ave, London, ON 
A free lecture by Reverend Donald Cozzens. Click here for more details.

Words out of Silence: Writing as a Spiritual Practice
Oct. 2nd, 7:30 p.m.
Darryl J. King Student Life Centre, 266 Epworth Ave, London, ON 
A free lecture by Kathleen Norris. Click here for details.

King's Welcome Day 
Nov. 8th, 1 - 3:30 p.m.
Click here to register and for more information.
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