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Thursday, February 10, 2011


This week my convent had the joy of having one of our sisters stay with us.  It was lovely.  Today she came to school to see my classroom and my students.  Of course, I was bragging up and down about them.  "They made Confirmation this year and they are so holy and wonderful..."  And they really are, usually, pretty holy for sixth graders.  They may not always make the right decisions but they definitely have consciences that work.  When something happens sometimes they turn themselves in before I even find out about it.  It makes my heart fill with happiness to see what wonderful young men and women they are.

However, that picture was then shattered this afternoon - okay... I'm being dramatic.  It wasn't shattered but it did take a heavy blow.  At dismissal the boys were talking to me about the dance that a local Catholic, not school, organization has for them monthly.  They said, "What if Sister came?"  "I wouldn't go."  I acted very offended (I wasn't; I just know they think it's funny when I act like that because they giggle and giggle) and asked why they would ever not want me around.  After all, I'm the best Sister they have (and the only one!).  

I was so sad when they really told me why they wouldn't want me there - because of the way they "dance."  Yes, I know it has a name but I'm not going to even repeat it here.  I guess maybe they thought I wouldn't know it, but I'm in my twenties so I know everything they are talking about.  It just broke my heart to hear that they think that is okay to do.  They don't understand even a little bit how terrible it is.

So here is my dilemma... the world is taking over our children.  I don't feel like we can compete... other than by our faith in Jesus that He will be present to them.  But we have to be doing something wrong.  Or there has to be something more that we can be doing?  I don't know what it is though.  A few ideas for the moment are; modelling, sacrifice and penance, and intentional prayer for them.  We really are in a battle for the future of our world and for the salvation of souls.  It is increasingly difficult to form a good conscience everyday.  Everyday there is a new assault on things good and beautiful and right.  Whether it comes from the TV, the parents, the friends, or the neighborhoods... or all of them, our kids are being sucked in without a chance to a way of living that will never give them the true peace and joy that comes with a life of love.  

I know one conversation doesn't mean the world is over... but one conversation can be very telling - and this one was.  Pray with me that God calls up new leaders and new models for our young people and that they respond wholeheartedly to His call to live and love in faith.      


  1. Thank you for writing this! It rings so very true. I think I am going to be a regular reader.

    It may be harder in a Catholic school to bring pupils to live differently, because it's harder to harness the "desire to rebel" as a means of conversion of life than it would be in a non-denom school.

    A good book for older girls (more young graduates etc) is Dorothy Cummings' "Seraphic Singles" (in the US published as "The Closet's All Mine" - might be some ideas in there, though, for schoolkids.

    Do you get a chance to take them away on "closed" retreats? Watching the work of a youth movement in Austria, and thinking about my own experience, I think this being taken out of one's usual environment and immersed in Christian reality for a couple of days can have a very strong effect.

    Couple of random thoughts, but for the most part - wondering, just as you are.

  2. It is hard with middle school to address some things because you want to keep the innocent, innocent. Not all of them know what the others know or do what the others do. They are too young to hear about most of the things they need to. Our culture makes it that way unfortunately.

    They are only in middle school so they can't be taken on retreat in that way. However, we do make frequent visits to the convent chapel and our perpetual adoration chapel with the students to pray.

  3. Yes, I realised after I'd posted that comment, and then read a bit more of your blog, that your pupils are quite young (I don't know what age is what year in the US). I apologise for posting before reading!