Living the Holy Family RCSSD #140 Theme
Throughout the 2023-24 school year, the students and staff of Holy Family RCSSD #140 Catholic schools have been living out the annual theme, Keep Going With GOD! Following the return to fully open schools and active learning after pandemic closures, the development of a theme began with the idea that it is important to promote the growing of our faith while also ensuring safety and fulfillment for all participants.
When one thinks about the many, many, moments that pass by in a typical day within the elementary school setting, one can quickly become overwhelmed. Whether it be considering the movement of a few hundred children from buses and playground into classrooms or the completion of thousands of learning experiences, the number of opportunities for students and staff to engage with one another is amazing. To promote that each of the interactions is a chance for us to ‘keep going with God’ gave us the space desired to help grow the understanding that:
- God’s grace is always available
- The blessings we have in our gifts and talents are meant to be used fully
- The challenges we encounter are opportunities to grow
- Each of us is a sign of God’s love
These concepts seem very basic and simple when it comes to growing in the Catholic faith. The complexity comes when one considers the variety of individuals who arrive at a school building each day. Whether each person has been coming absolutely prepared to tackle the activities of the day or not really ready to partake, those who encountered them have been sure to offer gentleness and kindness just as Jesus would. Teaching our littlest learners (and some of our oldest) to live in community in this way does take some special work and interactions. Promoting the key elements of the theme – pray, listen, discern and act – has been a priority.
Through daily prayer, special liturgies and masses, Holy Family members have experienced praying in very special ways. From the inclusion of standard prayers such as the Our Father and Hail Mary, to those written by the students themselves, the children and adults alike have been given the chance to take a look at how important prayer is in their lives.
By learning about the life of Jesus and his disciples, through scripture sharing, students and staff are given a model to follow. Jesus kept going with his father, God, through all. He taught his followers to rely on their relationship with God to find strength.
By showcasing the abilities and creativity of the students – through leadership roles in the celebration of mass, gospel assemblies or other school-wide events – the adults have been able to help them pause and reflect on all that they have been given by God and to recognize that in using these strengths, they are not only making themselves a better person but having a positive impact on others.
As the school year wraps up this spring, there will be no fewer opportunities for showcasing this theme. With Catholic Education Week, graduations, field trip excursions and many more learning experiences, Holy Family still has plenty of time to ‘Keep Going With GOD!’