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We continue to pray for all as a new school year begins

One of our staff members provided me with his son’s back-to-school list. Here is what he’s required to have as he enters seventh-grade this week:

  • Notebooks,
  • Six Pocket Folders,
  • Glue Sticks,
  • Three Red Ink Pens,
  • Pens and Pencils,
  • Earbuds,
  • Colored Pencils,
  • 1 Box of Tissue,
  • One Half-Inch 3-Rinb Binder,
  • One-Inch 3-Ring Binder, and
  • A Basic Calculator (which is optional).

Quite a list I’d say and a bit different from the one I remember as I entered seventh-grade! Earbuds? A box of tissue?

The above list also differs from the ones I viewed from a mother I ran into last week at Meijer. She had three school-age children with her, three different lists that were VERY, VERY long.

She appeared frazzled as her kids pulled various pens and notebooks off the shelves, to which she would reply, “That’s not on the list” and to the son who looked to be about 9, “No, you’re not getting a notebook with Ariana Grande on the cover.” (I think it was Ariana’s outfit more than the singer herself!).

Returning to school can be both stressful and something of a relief (at least for parents). Teachers, students, parents, principals, bus drivers, car pool drivers, cafeteria workers, aids, janitors, administrators, secretaries – all could use some divine intervention as they launch into a new school year.

The following prayer comes by way of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, Fla., and is adapted for our use:

Dear God,

As a new school year begins
we pray that you will keep students in your care.
Send your Spirit to open their minds
to all that is true and beautiful and good.
Help them to see the gifts and talents
you have given them and to use them well.
Help them to grow in knowledge and wisdom.
Help them to be kind to others
and lead others to be kind to them.
Give their teachers patience and understanding
and help them teach what is just and true.
Send your grace to guide and guard our
students and teachers and to keep them from all harm.
Open their hearts to your presence
and enfold them in your peace and protection.
Hold them in the palm of your hand
and bring them home safely at day’s end.

Whether you’re a student, a parent, a teacher, or involved in education in any way, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are remembering you in prayer as the new school year begins.

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Sister Paula Damiano

Sister Paula Damiano

Sister Paula has been a Sister of Providence since 1967. She has ministered as a teacher, director of vocations, pastoral associate and as a General Councilor for the Sisters of Providence. She currently ministers as director of programs and retreats at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

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  1. Avatar Debbie Griffey on August 11, 2023 at 7:24 am

    What a beautiful blog entry and prayer! You’re right, this is a hectic time for parents of students of all ages. And for students, teachers, staff. May their year be blessed.

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