As school term starts in the next ten days, Salesian Fr David O'Malley has published some supportive material for the start up.
Resources include a 15 minute training video for form tutors who may lack confidence in leading prayer daily in class. Fr David has also added background hand out with some questions for sharing. In addition there are some examples of classroom prayer and a Salesian model of prayer with young people, the mystic model.
Fr David writes: "My concern has been to ease anxiety in some form tutors and address their lack of experience and low level of formal belief in some cases. I also wanted to raise the level of expectation on form tutors in this area and you will find some gentle cues in the video to strengthen the prayer expectations of form tutors in a Catholic school. I hope it will prove useful at start up or for inducting new staff and for work with newly qualified teachers."
In his blog Fr David writes:
Don Bosco based his approach to prayer on St Francis de Sales' vision of a loving and saving God. He modelled his prayer with a down to earth, loving kindness for the young, which reflected his deep faith in God' presence on people. (Give me souls, take the rest away) Six words capture this style. Use these words to review your own prayer life during the new term and use it to shape your prayer with young people in class.
Salesian prayer engages the heart as well as the head. It also moves a person towards change and to see things differently.
There is an energy and joy about Salesian prayer that renews and challenges life and leads to hope in the future. It is active and practical.
Salesian prayer avoids long and complicated words and prayers in favour of genuine heart to heart conversation with God as Father.
At the heart of Salesian prayer is an awareness of God's presence as a dependable mystery at the centre of each person and their relationships. Touching and trusting that presence is the purpose of Salesian prayer.
Salesian prayer is not an escape from life. Salesian prayer sifts life experience for God's presence and celebrates it in personal prayer, in scripture and in sacraments. Prayer opens up an awareness of God in ordinary life and joins the inner and outer life into one story of love.
Salesian prayer focuses on the good and helps it grow. It does not dwell too long on sadness or failure but sees these as stepping stones to greater trust. Salesian prayer does not stop at the cross but moves though it to resurrection and celebration.
All Salesian adults, teachers, parents, youth ministers, chaplains and catechists are called to be mystics in their work with the young.
See the resources HERE.
Salesian Blog - www.salesianschools.com/blog
The national Salesian Schools - www.salesianschools.com
Battersea Salesian House - www.salesiansbattersea.net
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