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!
Holy Trinity School is committed to educating the whole person. As part of this mission, HTS has developed a guide based on the Jesuit Schools Network’s Profile of the Graduate at Graduation. This guide highlights five desirable characteristics: open to growth, intellectually competent, religious, loving, and committed to doing justice.
Recently, Ms. Brady’s religion class reflected on community building. Building relationships is an important component of being a loving individual. Keep reading for Caitlin R.’s and Sarah F.’s thoughts on friendship in their final year at HTS.
By Caitlin R.
A quote that has stood out to me for a while is an old saying that says, “Good friends are like stars; you don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.” I agree with this quote because it is saying that when you have a true friend, you don’t need to see them to know they will always be there to support you. This quote represents what I want in friendships. I always want there to be trust between my friends and me, trust that they will always be there for me and that friends will be the shining stars in the night to light my path. One friend of mine is always there to support me and listen to me vent about the hard things going on in my life. She never gives up on me, even when we have arguments. We always get through our arguments, especially since she is one of the kindest and most understanding people I know.
Friendship to me is the family I choose. The people I am destined to meet and learn to love. Friends are the backbone to society. Without them, people would be miserable people slumping through life. Friends add light to society. I can be a good friend to others by showing them my light and supporting them through whatever they need. Jesus is a friend in a way by showing us the light in others and always being there for us to talk to. Jesus is one of the best people to talk to because he is always listening and protecting us. By being a true friend, you are going above and beyond to help your friends when they need it. The magis is about doing more, and there is no better way to do more than to do more for and with friends.
By Sarah F.
The quote I chose was, “God sends us friends to be our firm support in the whirlpool of struggle. In the company of friends we will find strength to attain our sublime ideal,” from St. Maximillian Kolbe. This quote stood out to me because I know it is true. Hard times are so much harder without someone like a friend to talk to. I believe that this quote is true. The reason that I believe this is that humans can’t survive on their own and need other people as friends. If we didn’t have friends, we wouldn’t have as much strength or confidence to get through hard situations. In my friendships, I aspire for several things. The first is honesty. Friends should never lie to each other. The second is comfort. Good friends should always feel comfortable being who they are with each other. Finally, friends should enjoy each other’s company and have fun hanging out with each other. One example of a book with a good friendship is A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. In this book, one friend promises another that he would die for them or anyone they love. At the end of the book, the character dies for his friend’s husband. I can be a good friend to others by being sensitive to anything they might be experiencing in their lives and by cheering them up when they are sad. Jesus was a good friend because he always encouraged his friends or disciples and showed them the right thing to do. We can seek magis in a friendship by striving to be better people and helping each other to be better people. Friendship means many things to many different people. However, most importantly, we have to respect each other.
By: Nora S.
St. Patrick’s Day is a widely known holiday throughout the world. St. Patrick’s Day celebrates St. Patrick for the remarkable life he lived. During this holiday we also celebrate Irish culture, especially the clothing, dances, and food of Ireland. As a Catholic school, however, it is important for us to recognize St. Patrick for his work as a missionary. At the age 16, Patrick, originally from Britain, was captured in an Irish raid and enslaved. Six years later, he escaped from Ireland and returned to his parents. After he returned to Britain, St. Patrick had a dream that he should return to Ireland and work to convert non-Catholics. Later, he became a bishop. Although St. Patrick was not Irish, he is the patron saint of Ireland.
We should look to St. Patrick’s example and share our faith with others. Holy Trinity loves to participate in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. We get to wear green accents over our uniform, but we should also remember to be good examples of our faith, like St. Patrick. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
By: Parker M.
Catholic Schools Week does not celebrate our differences, but instead celebrates the one thing we have in common: we are all Catholic!
Catholic Schools Week shows our Jesuit Identity because it shows we are Catholic. Showing that we are Catholic is important because it shows God that we believe in our faith. Expressing our belief in God is the most important thing about Catholics Schools Week.
The main reason we have Catholic Schools Week is to have fun in the presence of God. God loves every one of us as individuals. Catholics Schools Week is important in many ways. Each way is like a puzzle piece, so when you put them altogether you get an awesome puzzle, that is Catholics Schools Week.
By: Abby L.
During Catholic schools week we get to have free dress, dress like a teacher, and get to wear pajamas. But why do we celebrate it? It’s a question that I’ve been pondering for a while, so I did my research and found the answer. It started way back in 1974. It was created to celebrate who we are as a Catholic school. All across the nation kids just like you celebrate all of the activities that we do. Well they might be a little different, but everywhere people celebrate being Catholic. It’s a celebration of knowing that we are a school for God. It’s to recognize the importance, the value, and the contribution of Catholicism.
It’s important that we celebrate who we are and our identity as Catholics. The definition of catholic is “including a wide variety of things; all-embracing,” which means that we include everyone, no matter who they are. Everyone is special and we should love and respect everyone’s identity.That is why we made our identity posters. That is what Catholic Schools Week is all about, celebrating all of our identities. Your identity is who you are. No matter who you are, you have an identity that makes you amazing and totally original. So yeah, Catholic Schools Week is awesome but not just because of the free dress.