Sharing by our Parents
SHARING : PRAYER ROOM
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. (Luke 22:32)
MJS’s prayer room is a place of solace, of prayer, of peace and of joy. To sum it up it is a place where God’s love abounds within the hustle and bustle of school time.
Every child came with a different purpose. They came to pray, to learn to pray, to give thanks, to seek a listening ear, to write petitions, read and to have quiet.
It is heartening to see more boys visiting during exam period. The need for God is a solace for some who shared that exam is an anxious time. An upper primary boy who came in regularly shared that exam was always the toughest challenge for him. He would write the same petition on every visit because he had wanted very badly to make his ailing mother proud of him.
On another occasion, a quiet boy confided, “Auntie, school work is getting tougher and tougher. I work so hard but it is difficult”. We chat a little on this issue. Now when he sees me in school he would give me his beautiful big smile. This experience showed me that the need for understanding was important to him.
Not every child comes with problems. Once, an overjoyed P4 boy rushed into prayer room to share the arrival of his little cousin. So lengthy was his sharing that I had to “evict” him as recess time had ended. The younger boys came to draw petition and thanksgiving and we strongly encourage that. Some asks for help to spell the name JESUS or, “Auntie, who is that guy (the picture of Jesus)”. The simplicity and spontaneity in these children led to my own self-evaluation.
I feel that this place is a wonderful place for our boys and that every Catholic child be encouraged to visit the prayer room. It is not restricted to Catholics but is opened to any child who wishes to spend some quiet.
I am very privileged to be around our dedicated prayer warriors made up of mothers and fathers who never fail to come for duty, rain or shine. They are patient and they are a wonderful group of Faith companions for our children. The boys would leave prayer room feeling recharged and renewed to face more challenges and they can look forward to coming back to this place the next day. The prayer room is always open during recess. It is a place where love is offered to all and an opportunity for any adult who is open to discover more of God through the simplicity of the children.
If you who are reading this page feel inspired to come and see, please contact our MJPC catholic co-ordinator Ms Marife at 84187656.
God bless our boys, school staff and our lovely prayer warriors.
I find that the boys look to the prayer room when they have needs (eg. exam prayers, bullying concerns) and it's comforting to know that they turn to God and prayers for these issues and they also consider the aunties as good listeners. Some of the boys have also been writing their petition and thanksgiving letters. I think that's one way for them to show how grateful they are for the blessings they have received. The books also play an important part in some of the boys' visits to the prayer room. Reading good stories and sharing it to their friends. Some boys even bring new friends from time to time. They have been spreading the good word as young as they are.
For me, I feel the prayer room is a place of solace for the boys when they are having a hard time. Most don't come in regularly on a sustained basis. But when they just need to chill because they're under pressure or life isn't rosy any more, they do come. Some open up about their worries when there's a listening ear and an empathetic face. One boy came in almost every day last year. He was being bullied and he wasn't handling it well. Our prayer room warriors sounded out the school counsellor. This year, we haven't seen that boy very much in the prayer room. I take it as a sign that he is feeling better these days?
Recess Prayer Duty is a time when I can ask the boys "How's your day? Is everything ok?" etc...to offer a listening ear & to pray with them for their special intentions (if any). The boys are often open, ready to share what's bothering them in school & at home.
The boys come not only to pray but they also want a listening ear most of the time. They are happy to share good news, like one boy who proudly showed his family photo & said he's feeling happy because he's going to celebrate his birthday with his family. They also shared their frustrations, problems and disappointments such as bullying, being too bogged down with school work, no family holiday for a long time etc. We offer our listening ear & try to encourage them and pray for them.
There was this boy who came to share that he was very worried because his mind was blank and exams was round the corner. Therefore, he had come to pray. Another boy came daily and he shared that he passed very well in his Chinese which amazed his tutor. As for my personal experience, Jesus is with us .
SHARING : Religious Education
Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children”. (Luke 18:16)
My two year’s journey with some Catholic boys in Religious Education (RE) always brings great experiences and joy. I am in my third year with them and with this continuity, I have the privilege of seeing them growing into more matured boys. Most times they share about lives experiences, expectations, dreams, struggles, pains and sometimes, jokes.
There are a couple of active and energetic boys who seem not to be interested in RE at all. On one RE morning I ask, “Would any of you like to say the opening prayer?” To my surprise one of them raised his hand. Courageously he stood before everyone and said a simple but beautiful opening prayer of Thanksgiving. I am sure he felt very happy that day because it was not an easy task for him. He is still an active and energetic child but I could see that he is more attentive than before.
The second boy caught me unaware at the school hall. He shared with me his new assignment as a new altar boy of his Parish and the happiness he felt upon receiving his new alb (altar boy robe). He assured me that he will be a diligent altar boy. He has become very helpful and offers help readily before RE starts. This boy simply enjoyed being listened to.
I have good memories of a few boys who left MJS but they are never forgotten.
With the sharing of Faith and a listening ear, these not only strengthen them but myself too as I always walk away with a treasure trove of life’s experiences. The knowledge of the sacrifices these boys make daily reminds me of my own limitations and the need for connection and dependence on God.
In my heart I always feel that our boys are little courageous heroes who are trying to give their best.
God bless our children.