As teachers, we need prayer, and prayer perfects our teaching. Become a Member of the
Bl. Basil Moreau Confraternity and join
one another through prayer, and benefiting from the prayers of priests and religious offering their
prayers and sufferings for your work.
Reading: From Christian Education by Bl. Basil Moreau
Teachers need to watch themselves in order to conduct themselves as they should in front of young people, who closely study their teachers’ faults and notice any weaknesses. Do not forget that young people are naturally observant and that they see all and hear all: Teachers are greatly mistaken if they believe that they do not have to be concerned with what students see or hear if the students are occupied with all of the distractions that go with being young.
Teachers need to watch, above all, over the young people placed in their care. Indeed, they are the spiritual parents of these young people. How else will teachers be able to carry out their responsibilities to the families that rely on them to help develop good values in their children? From the moment teachers accept charge of young people for their education they become guardians.This vigilance does involve some annoying, tiring, and disquieting things, especially for those who are new to the profession. Until they have responsibility for their first classes, teachers don’t realize the concerns that often bother those in positions of responsibility and authority. When they are put in charge of a class, they often experience a loss of calm and peace and create anxieties for themselves that are contrary to what should be motivating them. Looking out for students becomes a heavy responsibility and a real problem, since it leads teachers to dislike their work and even question their calling. I caution young teachers not to take this virtue to the extreme.
Teachers must keep their vigilance within reasonable limits and not imitate those who are always in a state of great alarm, often over some childish prank that they are unable to evaluate correctly. Those who are too vigilant are unaware that a great talent of good teachers is often to pretend not to notice what he or she does not want to be obliged to punish. An indulgence prudently managed is worth much more than outbursts and the punishments that follow them. Always avoid this embarrassing vigilance. It is revolting to students and unbearable for teachers. Let your watchfulness and attention be calm, without over-concern, without agitation or trouble, without great constraint or affectation. But also avoid the opposite, which involves carelessness, distraction, unwillingness to act, and tardiness, which are all contrary to this virtue of vigilance. §
Meditation — Colleen Richards
These words on vigilance hearken back to the Greeks’ idea of the golden mean. Vigilance, as a moral virtue, is a good for us human beings. Lacking this virtue is an evil, but extreme vigilance is an evil as well. Blessed Basil Moreau’s careful naming of various expressions of vigilance and its deficiency acts as a mirror for us, and when we see ourselves in his words, we can be guided back to the golden mean.
Attaining and maintaining the right balance of vigilance is the work of experience. Prayer helps open our eyes to the light experience brings. And words spoken in humility–to a school leader or to our colleagues–can open a treasure chest of wisdom on how to be vigilant in the right ways.
I learned to be a teacher in the faculty room. Hearing veteran teachers tell the stories of their classrooms built a foundation for discerning vigilance. Divulging my stories of classroom blunders gave them room to speak words of comfort and advice. Imitating their strong, balanced vigilance was a steady means to finding that golden mean.
In what ways am I careless, distracted, or unwilling to act? Am I tardy due to problems I could have foreseen? Do my actions, words and manners, composure and dress show my students how they should live? If my students acted as I do, would I be proud of them?
What is my response to the misbehavior of students? Do I act on my duty to help develop good values in the hearts of the young? Do I react explosively, trying to stop them because their behavior reflects badly on me? Do I try to control my students so they are unable to do any wrong, instead of teaching them to esteem and practice self-control?
Dear Lord, the attention and care You are calling me to is for your very children. Give me a willing heart to carefully attend to every one of my duties in their regard. But protect me from my own excess which tears apart the peace which is your gift. It is not in my fallen capacity to maintain the calm and constant vigilance so necessary in this work. Give me your own vigilance; be vigilant in me, for these are your children to be cared for, called to spend eternity with You.
(Please also offer one Mass and one Rosary some time this month for the intentions of the members of the Confraternity.)
Please pray for the needs of your fellow teachers:
For the virtues of perseverance and studiousness as I begin graduate studies in philosophy of education. – Tomas
Lord Jesus, bless Annemarie, who is in the hospital, and her husband.
For inspiration, guidance, and blessings for a start-up school working with their home diocese–that the Lord will guide all parties to perfectly carry out his will.
The father of a student of one of our members has died, leaving behind a young family. We pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family, as well as for wisdom and peace for his teacher and the rest of the school community.
Please pray for Phil, a doctor from Denver, CO, who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Phil is the father of 7 young children.
Please pray for the family of Matthew and Terrie Walz. Matthew is a professor at the University of Dallas, and a friend of the Institute. Terrie’s father has been diagnosed with brain tumor; the CoVid crisis has made getting treatment difficult and dangerous.
For the healing and containment of the Coronavirus disease and for all those who have been affected – physically, economically, and spiritually.
Please pray for Fr. John Belmonte, SJ, Superintendent in the Diocese of Joliat, Illinois, who will soon be undergoing surgery to repair a broken shoulder.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Suzanne Fessler, long-time principal at St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, who oversaw the transition of the high school to a focus on the development of wisdom and virtue.
For Father Frank Brawner and his health, healing, and continued strength in his ministry – Susan
For the healing of Shirley Balangue, mother of Cyril Cruz, Principal of Holy Innocents School in Long Beach, CA.
For the continued health and healing of Simon Vander Weele, son of Rosemary and Jon Vander Weele of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Classical School in Denver, CO
Pray for healing for Mr. K., Latin teacher at an ICLE member school. We ask for healing and relief from fluid buildup in the lung and cancer.
Please pray for a wonderful theology professor who is undergoing persecution for upholding Catholic teaching on sexuality – Andrew
My wife’s conversion to Catholicism – Adam
Increase in fertility, marriage, families; for grandparents; for a special spouse for a friend – Rosemary
For the Holy Spirit’s increase in the hearts of all concerned with Catholic education in the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese, especially that He lead us into deeper prayer, greater intimacy with Him – Leslie
Souls in Purgatory especially those who have no one to pray for them; those in the Bahamas and elsewhere affected by natural disasters – Lisa
Please pray that I teach and love my students and teachers as would Christ the Teacher – Joseph & Juliana
For a new teacher in 5th grade; for our Johnsburg Catholic school to become Classical Liberal Arts; for increase in marriage, fertility, families; for young adults’ conversion and love for Jesus and His Church – Rosemary
Help making good choices about family issues – Susan
That our parish school community would grow as an evangelizing community, proclaiming, encountering and responding to the kerygmatic proclamation of Jesus Christ – Nathalie
That Catholic schools and parents be of one heart and one mind by creating their institutions and homes coherently, as “missionary outposts of the Universal Church” with one goal: that the truth of all things, beginning and ending in Jesus Christ, be known and loved through the details in everything – Ruth
For teachers everywhere – Chris