We need a means to encourage the soul, to nourish it and raise it over itself. The means of all means is the Spirit who vivifies and makes it fruitful…This Spirit becomes the breath of the soul…would to God each one may exclaim, “I begin today!”
Conference Amiens, 1841
Leader: Loving and Compassionate God, we gather together this morning with our hearts and minds turned toward preparations for the coming school year. We come with hearts full of anticipation and excitement, expectation and hope for a good year. Be with us as we listen and learn from the wisdom of those visionary educators who have gone before us. Through your grace, they have laid down the foundations for what we do at the Rosary, and given to us a legacy for mission. On their shoulders we stand with our faces turned toward the future with hope. Open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to your spirit that has led us to this place at this time. Keep us aware of your call and faithful to the vision you have instilled in us. Fill our hearts with courage and confidence, and through our time together today, make us ready to joyfully accompany our students on their path of growth and learning during the coming year. We pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN.
Reading: “First,you should know that you are not here by your own design. You were led here, step by step, on different roads, through many apparent accidents: but, always, it was the finger of God that beckoned you. You are not the only educators thus brought together. There are many others, all over the world … in places you would never dream. They are all different, because children’s needs and cultures are different. Yet, they are all the same because they have followed the same beckoning finger, and have chosen to unite for the sake of the world’s children. They could not, just as you could not, without a special prompting grace. You were beckoned here for a reason …you are chosen to keep the flame of love alight, to nurture the seeds of goodness in this small place until the day when the Spirit sends you out to light other candles, sharing your treasure, until the whole world is united in love. “ Adapted from St. Madeline Sophie Barat
Pause to reflect in silence.
Leader: Jesus, giver of all good things, we stand with confidence as we ask for the gifts to help us on our way.
Side One: For the gift of vision to see the things we sometimes miss because our eyes are so limited … All: Give us vision!
Side Two: For the gift of conviction to live radically the message you have preached to us… All: Give us conviction!
Side One: For the gift of service to empty ourselves as you did–to wash feet, to heal wounds, to listen well, to help those in need of our help… All: Give us the spirit of service!
Side Two: For the gift of simplicity to let go of those things that clutter our lives and our sense of your Presence and to speak clearly, openly, lovingly and honestly. All: Give us your spirit of simplicity!
Side One: For the gift of stability, to have the “lastability” that we need to stay the course, “run the good race” and to carry on with what we see is needed to be done… All: Give us stability!
Side Two: For the gift of hope to stand with all of creation with integrity, to wait believingly–but without passivity, for rebirth, for growth and for fulfillment…All: Give us hope!
Side One: For the gift of reverence to be gentle with the mystery of our own and each other’s uniqueness and to stand on the Holy Ground of God’s mysterious presence in our lives at the Rosary. All: Give us reverence!
Side Two: For the gift of love, to be able to love as you have loved and to truly live the mission of the Sacred Heart. All: Give us love!
Together: Finally, we pray for the grace to recognize your wisdom when it is given, to own it and to claim it, to acknowledge it as ours and to give away …All: Give us your wisdom of recognition and the hearts to share our gifts with others.
Leader: Lord Jesus, in all that we do, we ask you to give us the grace that we need each day to live the mission with integrity. May this mission become our own and may we truly come to live the vision of St. Madeleine Sophie with clarity and conviction in all that we do. We pray in Christ, our Lord. Amen