Catholic Corner- Friday, April 29th
Catholic Corner – Newsletter – April 29
As part of our senior school homeroom activity rotations, every Wednesday, Ms. Burton, Ms. Guthrie and I (Ms. Bell) provide either an activity, video, or topic of discussion pertaining to Spiritual Formation, Health and Wellness or Current events.
For this past Wednesday’s Spiritual homeroom activity, I put together a lesson with these two main takeaways:
1. As a De La Salle community, we have this unique calling as Lasallians to continue De La Salle’s mission. We are called to an awareness of the poor and victims of injustice and to respond to their needs through programs of community service, advocacy, and justice education. A Lasallian is committed to living the Gospel values,
2. The importance and necessity of understanding someone’s story – A quality of Jesus’ ministry that made it so impactful was His ability and intention to understand someone’s story. When we see someone on the street, we don’t usually think about their story. But we should, especially if we are called to live out this mission of shedding light on injustices to begin the healing process.
This lesson started many great conversations in homeroom. We’d like to share it with you, to continue the conversation:
“We live in a busy city where unfortunately, homelessness is common. When walking down the streets, how often do you think about the story behind the person who is living on the street? Their family… where they came from… their childhood… hobbies… dreams and fears… hopes etc.
Homelessness is an injustice. An injustice is any action in which someone is treated in opposition to their inherent dignity and any situation in which a person cannot reach their full, God given potential. Encountering injustice is uncomfortable; it can be easier for us to leave them in the dark. Once we shine a light on it, we either respond to our responsibility to do something about it or choose to ignore it. If we choose to ignore it, we remain comfortable and — quite honestly — it’s much easier to go about our normal routine.
As Catholics (and Catholic Lasallians), we can’t choose the second option. The Church cares about injustice because Jesus sees and cares about it. Jesus’ life began with injustice by being born into poverty in the simplicity of a manger. His life ended with injustice as He, innocent of any crime, was crucified on a cross.
As Catholics, we are called to confront injustice and always seek to shine light on areas of injustice we don’t readily see. On our own, we cannot bring hope and healing into those situations, though. We need more. That is why it is critical that we walk toward the cross and encounter Christ’s cross in the injustices of the world; it is through Christ’s cross and Resurrection that we can bring hope, healing, and restoration to those who need it.
Jesus, born into poverty, continually identified areas of injustice surrounding poverty and class. He was not afraid to call out social norms that were harmful and point out that those in poverty would be first to inherit the Kingdom of God. He also spent time seeking out people who were marginalized so He might restore their dignity. Another quality of Jesus’ ministry that made it so impactful was His ability and intention to understand someone’s story. When we see someone on the street, we don’t usually think about their story. But we should, especially if we are called to live out this mission as well.
‘Gone Camping’ is a video that shares the story of a man named Scooter. If you met Scooter on the street, you might just think “homeless”. But he has a story that dissolves labels. And he has a family who still has hope.”
Here is the link to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_64NzbXjU0s
When I (Ms. Bell) watched this video for the first time, it really moved me. Everyone has a story; they just need the opportunity to express it. Getting to know someone’s story, adds another layer to service. When we meet people where they’re at, we can serve the need more fully and be more like Christ.
A few of the senior school homeroom teachers shared with me that they had great discussions with their students after watching the video. A few students said this reminded them of their local service trip to St. Francis Table.
St. Francis Table:
Over the course of the year, gr. 11 & 12 students travel, with one of our staff members to St. Francis Table. This has been a long-standing tradition at De La Salle.
St. Francis Table, located at 1322 Queen St. West, opened its door in 1987, and now serves over 250 meals a day. Some of the patrons are post-psychiatric patients who are unable to work because of their illness. Many spend most of their small income on rent. Many are seniors who come for food and companionship. Meals are also provided to single parents, refugees, the unemployed, transients, and other people living in the city's streets, parks, and alleys.
St. Francis Table runs mainly through the help of volunteers, such as our students. All volunteers receive training and perform any number of tasks that assist in facilitating the work of the restaurant (including serving food, washing dishes, cleaning tables etc.).
Here is a documentary about St. Francis Table:
As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “Peace begins with a smile.”
St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts, forever. Amen.
- Catholic Corner