Written by Ms. Colleen Brady
On a Friday in early November, instead of quizzing my ELA students on their new vocabulary words, I walked them over to Georgetown University for a session of Christian meditation. During the 12 minutes of silence, some students delighted in the peace, others had a hard time with the stillness, and one even fell asleep in the quiet. When we walked back, all expressed gratitude and told me how much they needed that time to let stress melt away and pray. I know that vocabulary practice is very important for my students intellectually, but I also want to show them that caring for their spiritual, social, emotional, and physical well-being is equally important. This is one way I practice cura personalis as a teacher.
Cura Personalis is an Ignatian value that refers to caring for the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Jesuit schools seek to nurture and promote the best in everyone, and help each one to reach his or her greatest human potential. Cura Personalis is bringing snacks for my hungry eighth graders. It’s going to chapel mass and praying the examen at the beginning of 7th period. It’s collaborating with other teachers and communicating with parents. It’s being present and attentive to what students need most in the moment. Cura Personalis is not easy, and I am not perfect at living it out, but most of all, I hope my students know I deeply care about them, wholly.
I aim to encourage my students every day and help them recognize that their value does not lie solely in their intellect, but also in their talents, personalities, desires, hearts, faith, and ability to be a good friend to others. Cura personalis also implies a commitment to inclusivity and caring for students of all background and experiences. In my teaching, I try to help students learn about each other’s different traditions, experiences, and cultures to help build a more inclusive community. Our library is full of diverse books that help students practice empathy and understanding. My hope is that through their Jesuit education, students will learn to live out cura personalis with one another.
written by Olivia Maguire
Cura Personalis translates to, care for the whole person. Cura Personalis is one of the six Ignatian Values. As a Jesuit School, Cura Personalis is a big deal. The big question is, why is it such a big deal? Holy Trinity talks a lot about service. Holy Trinity is dedicated to making the world a better place. No matter big or small, HTS encourages people to help out our community. Things as small as smiling at people or picking up trash, to service trips! This is one way we practice Cura Personalis as a school. We are caring for all those around us and the Earth.
When we are caring for the whole person, it means that we are appreciating other people’s talents, abilities, personalities, desires, hearts, faith, and minds because they are all equally worthy of care and attention. This all relates to our Christian faith and Catholic Education. When we learn we learn with our head, but Cura Personalis wants us to learn with our heart and respect the whole body. When we pray, learn and eat healthy we are practicing Cura Personalis. This is because we are caring for our faith by talking to God through prayer. We are caring for our minds by learning new information to help and find answers to our questions. Finally, when we are eating healthy, we are caring for our physical needs. These are some ways that you can practice Cura Personalis in your own life!
Over the next few months, the Holy Post will be taking a deeper dive into our Jesuit Identity by focusing on one of the key Jesuit values each month. Students, parents and teachers will be sharing their insights and perspectives on what it means to be Jesuit educated and how the Jesuit values can shape our lives. We will also highlight the ways in which these key values are being taught to our students. Join us as we discuss what it means to fully embrace:
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
People for Others
Unity of Heart and Mind
Contemplatives in Action
In February we will focus on Cura Personalis, or “Care of the whole person”. Follow along as we hear from teachers, parents and students and take a look at what is happening around our school. You may even brush up on your Latin in the process!