Tag Archives: teachers

this chalice

19 Aug

In June our pilgrim-teachers joined Father Ibrahim, the local parish priest of Beit Jala, for the every Friday afternoon Mass in an olive grove of the Cremisan valley. We prayed for a particular answer to a particular prayer: that the Israeli security wall not be built along the proposed route through the valley.

Father Ibrahim told the international visitors and the local people in attendance that the group of teachers that came from Cincinnati in 2012 brought a chalice with their names inscribed on the bottom as a gift to the parish of Beit Jala and as a sign of solidarity and continued prayers. Abouna (Arabic for Father) said that this chalice has been used every week since then.

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It was this chalice that I prepared for Mass with the wine and water.

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It was this chalice that Abouna Ibrahim raised high at the consecration of the Mass, holding the blood of Christ “poured out for us and for all.”

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to help, care and show

1 Feb

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Homily at Catholic Schools Week all-school Mass

If I were to ask your teachers how many reasons they have for why they like teaching at this school, I bet they would say, “Let me see. How many students do I have?”

Mrs. Sackrider, how many students do you have?

Each of you is a reason why your teachers like teaching at this school. You are the reasons.

Mrs. Sackrider, how many reasons do you have for why you like teaching at this school?

Where are the seventh graders? Your teachers are going to help you get to the 8th grade.

Fourth graders, your teachers are going to help you get to the 5th grade.

First graders, your teachers are going to help you get to the … ?

Eighth grade, we don’t have any more grades in our school, so your teachers are going to help you get to …?

Kindergartners, this is hardest one. Your teachers are going to help you get to …?

But your teachers are not only going to help you get to your next grade. Your teachers are going to help all of you get to the same place. Your teachers are going to help you all of you get to …?

You’re right. Your teachers are going to help you all of you get to heaven! Because they care not just about your mind and your body. They care about your souls. They teach about the saints, so that you will want to be a saint. And they will help you to be a saint, not just by teaching you about saints, but, most importantly, by showing you how to be a saint.

To help you get to heaven, to care about your soul, to show you how to be a saint – that’s Father Cordier’s job, that’s my job, that’s Mr. Devolve’s job, that’s Mr. Grieco and Mrs. Ducheny’s job, that’s Mrs. Reed and Mrs. Clayton’s job, that’s your teacher’s job, and, yes, that is the job of the maintenance men: to help you get to heaven, to care about your soul and to show you how to be a saint.

Isn’t it wonderful having a Catholic school?

I have homework and a question for the teachers. Teachers are usually the ones giving homework and asking questions. Now, they get the homework and are asked the question.

The homework? Pray for every one of your students, individually, by name, before you fall asleep tonight. You would probably be surprised by how often your students pray for you before they fall asleep. Mr. Estes, Mrs. Mascolino, Mr. Powers and Mr. Eskra, you’re going to have to start right after supper!

The question? Have you ever taken a list of your students with you to Mass on Sunday to pray for each of them by name? Maybe this Sunday.