Today, I have three reasons why I feel more positive about my vocation as a Catholic high school teacher and coach. For starters we have a new Catholicity group of teachers (okay we are only 5, but last year there was no such group!) who discuss ways we can make our school more Catholic and spiritual. That’s where the first positive change comes in. We have a huge problem with students being loud before our school masses. I get that, they are teens, they are with their friends and it takes a long time for 800 + students to file into the church. So the solution? We are going to have our Spirit team lead the Rosary before mass. As grade by grade files in they will take their seat or kneel and join in. When we presented this idea to the staff, I was happy to hear mostly rumblings about how it was a good idea, rather than that will never work. I’m optimistic that this will greatly contribute to the spirituality of our school and teach students how to pray the Rosary, because I know many do not.
That was the first positive thing I noticed, the second was at our grade 9 retreat. For the first day they did outdoor ed and it was awesome to see how these young men and women treated each other with so much respect and love. During the team building exercises, especially the 10 foot wall, it was great to see how students helped each other over the wall and trusted their peers to not drop them! During lunch one of the other teachers remarked, “Do they realize how young, innocent, and beautiful they are?” You hear so much negativity about youth sometimes, that it was great to see the stereotype debunked. On the second day they did a two hour run where they raised money for Chalice, a Catholic charity that helps sponsor children in third world countries. In the afternoon they watched “Facing the Giants” an inspirational Christian film that follows the life of a winless coach who changes the fortunes of his football team, when he starts encouraging playing for the glory of God. The students were literally on the edge of their seat for the climax of the movie and there were cheers by all the students at the end. It was so nice to see them get excited about a Christian movie for once!
Lastly, the third positive thing just happened tonight at my volleyball game. We always say a prayer before we start playing. Usually ask God for safety and then say a quickHail Mary. But, today I mixed it up and said, “Lord, we’re always asking you for something, but tonight I’d just like to thank you for our talents, that make it possible to be on this team and play this game.” Then one of the girls on the team, who you would never expect, started to cry. It made me realize how powerful and moving prayer can be, and that I as a coach, should never take it for granted by rushing through it, or not giving it much thought.
Anyways, sometimes when you have one of those depressing weeks where it feels like nothing is going right, and your doubting your vocation, God gives you little reminders to show you that you are exactly where you are meant to be.