In a desire to reach out to our schools around the world during this time of crisis, the European Sacred Heart Network decided to send an invitation proposing we join together in prayer as we approach the Feast of Mater Admirabilis.
Celebrating this feast has long been a tradition in our schools and often you find a basket for prayer intentions beside the painting or statue of Mater, so we decided to create our own electronic basket. With quite a short deadline, we sent out invitations to our contacts, hoping the message would spread.
We tried to keep the task simple: participants were asked to work with a group of students depending on the situation in their school or institution, as not all are open, and some are only partially open. Many operate with Year groups in “bubbles”, with strict rules about movement and contact outside the bubbles. All are working hard at their lessons, whilst sometimes having to send groups and educators home to self-isolate.
We asked them to reflect on the theme: Hopes and Concerns for Ourselves, our Locality and the Wider World. Together they could choose the aspect on which they would like to pray. Then the prayer was to be shared by email with all the participating schools.
As of the time of this article, we have over 50 schools and institutions participating, from Peru to Kenya and Australia, from Canada to Poland and South Korea. Colleagues have commented on their happiness at feeling united at this time, receiving very beautiful, thoughtful prayers each day from all over the world. We are thankful for the insights and openness of all involved.
See this map to read the prayers from around the world or to join in our prayers.
A small sample of the prayers are attached, as well as a beautiful Novena to Mater from UNIFÉ in Peru and the “Little Book of Hope”, a wonderful initiative from Sacré Coeur, Melbourne which predated our project.
Amongst your many intentions for prayer, please remember those working with and for young people at this time and, of course, the young people themselves. Thank you.
On behalf of the European Network of Sacred Heart Schools Coreteam