February 12, 2018
I will be leading a faith formation session for school staff today, and will be sharing the following information taken from an article entitled, “The Secret of the Authentic Catholic School”:
A Catholic school will, sooner or later, be a reflection of the level of personal faith development of individual staff members.
If you have a school full of staff members who have individual lives of prayer and sacrament then that is going to flow into all that they do. It will impact their interactions with students as well as with colleagues. A Catholic school where people pray is simply a more joyful place to work. When Catholic schools try to survive upon purely human capacities then it eventually descends into various forms of burnout. And burnout soon enough leads to cynicism.
Many staff start out motivated and passionate but trying to sustain that on purely human ability is the fast track to fatigue. Teachers must be people of prayer.
The demands on teachers grow annually as do the issues students present with. Schools are increasingly at the very front lines of major socio-cultural change. With all the reporting pressures and other issues many teachers decide early in their career to focus on getting through the next day, term or year. The idea that you might devote any significant time to prayer is a hard sell.
However, the more you have happening in your life (especially of a spiritual nature) the deeper your interior life (the life of prayer) needs to be. The more you have happening in your life, the more you need to pray and develop an inner life. The more people you lead (including students) the more you need to pray and develop an inner life.
What conclusion do you draw from the fact that in the midst of an incredibly busy public ministry Jesus was always seeking time alone to pray?
We have to cross a line in our minds that what we are doing in a Catholic school can only be truly fruitful if it is based upon a deep inner life. We cannot give what we have not first received.
To read the entire article, go to: