Bl. Basil Moreau Confraternity of Teachers

 As teachers, we need prayer, and prayer perfects our teaching. Become a Member of the
Bl. Basil Moreau Confraternity and join Catholic teachers around the country strengthening
one another through prayer, and benefiting from the prayers of priests and religious offering their
prayers and sufferings for your work.

May 2021

Reading: From The Preventative System in the Education of the Young
Critical Edition: P. Braido – Translation & Notes: P. Laws Introduction
by St. John Bosco

II: Application of the Preventive System

5: Exercise the strictest vigilance to prevent there being allowed in the Institute friends, books or persons who carry on bad conversations. The appointment of a good doorkeeper constitutes a treasure for a house of education.

6: Every evening after the usual prayers, and before the students go to bed, the Director, or someone in his place should offer a few kind words in public, giving some good advice or counsel regarding things to be done or avoided, and let him try to glean these from events that have taken place that day in the Institute or outside. But his talk should never go on more than two or three minutes. This is the key to good behaviour, progress and educational success.

7: Avoid like the plague the opinion of anyone who would want to postpone First Holy Communion to too old an age, when most times the devil has taken possession of the heart of a youngster with incalculable harm to his innocence. According to the discipline of the early Church it was customary to give to infants the consecrated Hosts left over from the Easter Communion. This helps us realise how much the Church loves to see children admitted to their First Communion in due time. Once a child can tell the difference between bread and bread, and shows himself to be sufficiently instructed, pay no attention to his age and let the Heavenly King come to reign in that happy soul.

8: Catechisms recommend frequent Communion. St Phillip Neri advised receiving once a week, or even more frequently. The Council of Trent states clearly that it greatly wishes every faithful Christian to also receive Communion each time he goes to Mass. But this communion should not only be spiritual but in fact sacramental, so that one may gain greater benefit from this august and divine sacrifice. (Council of Trent, session XXII, ch. VI)

Meditation — Doorkeeper! First and foremost the parent’s role – passed on by necessity to the priests and sisters who took in the orphaned and abandoned children of Bosco’s time. Clearly this role has in many, many cases passed now to the classroom teacher who may be no less a treasure.

“…Never go on more than two or three minutes…” Prudence and delicacy! How many young people, and not so young, have developed a distaste for religion precisely because they have been harangued and exhausted by someone else’s religious fervor – especially as members of a captive audience, as children so often are?

We might think that in our era, so lax in conscience and rash in excusing ourselves, exhorting the young not to ‘hold back’ from receiving Holy Communion would be unnecessary, even injudicious. No doubt in many cases this would be true. But not all. And perhaps not as often as we think. 

While sheer ‘secularity’ may be pervasive in society, the young, the recently ‘converted’, and those simply ‘new to religion’ can easily compare themselves to the ideals and standards of Catholicism and see themselves coming up very, very short. Many of the young easily conclude that they just don’t measure up, they don’t have what it takes, and understand their self-perceived deficiency as “Well, I guess I’m just not the religious type”. What appears to be a cavalier and unconcerned attitude can sometimes be the self-limiting diagnosis: “I’m just not good at this religion thing” – and is more discouragement than disinterest. 

Examination — The woman taken in adultery, the man born blind, and so many others – Jesus saw these people so differently, looked at them with eyes so different from most of the people around them – saw them in ways they could not even see themselves. Do I seek to see my students through Jesus’ eyes?
Prayer — Lord of gentleness, prudence and delicacy – grant us the vision and empathy to ‘go easy’ on the discouraged and dispirited, to see through bravado and beyond indifference to the self-condemnation and defeat that is so often there – and invite the ‘not good enough’ to meet One who does not condemn.

(Please also offer one Mass and one Rosary some time this month for the intentions of the members of the Confraternity.)

Please submit any prayer intentions below.
Please pray for the needs of your fellow teachers:

Prayers asking for Jesus to heal my my sister, Sherry, who has ovarian cancer. Prayers for her oncologist and anyone who will be tending to her treatment. Thank you, Jesus.
– Sue

Recently, Mariann Lupinacci-Kosinski, principal of ICLE member school St. John Paul II Classical School in Lincoln Park, MI, passed away. She was diagnosed earlier this year with a fast-growing cancer, and even the school community did not know how serious it was until just before Easter. She was an extraordinary woman who had been widowed twice, never complained, and was completely devoted to the faculty and students of her beloved little school. She was a joyful daughter of God who lived her faith in an unassuming way. Please pray for the repose of her soul, and for the consolation of her family and all who love her in that community.
– Elisabeth

Holy Spirit guidance and healing for MEA. – Fernanda

Lord, give strength to all school leaders and teachers who face great challenges in this work of education, especially in this very difficult time. Give them renewed vision, deep joy, and great confidence in your help. – Colleen

For a family friend who was hurt in a bad skiing accident. – Elisabeth

For our school families and the safe reopening of our school. – Cyril

For all school leaders as they make the decisions and face the trials of this new school year. Lord, grant them wisdom and peace. – Amy

For the virtues of perseverance and studiousness as I begin graduate studies in philosophy of education. – Tomas

Lord Jesus, bless Annemarie, who is in the hospital, and her husband.

For inspiration, guidance, and blessings for a start-up school working with their home diocese–that the Lord will guide all parties to perfectly carry out his will.

The father of a student of one of our members has died, leaving behind a young family. We pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family, as well as for wisdom and peace for his teacher and the rest of the school community.

Please pray for Phil, a doctor from Denver, CO, who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Phil is the father of 7 young children. 

Please pray for the family of Matthew and Terrie Walz. Matthew is a professor at the University of Dallas, and a friend of the Institute. Terrie’s father has been diagnosed with brain tumor; the CoVid crisis has made getting treatment difficult and dangerous.

For the healing and containment of the Coronavirus disease and for all those who have been affected – physically, economically, and spiritually.

Please pray for Fr. John Belmonte, SJ, Superintendent in the Diocese of Joliat, Illinois, who will soon be undergoing surgery to repair a broken shoulder.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Suzanne Fessler, long-time principal at St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, who oversaw the transition of the high school to a focus on the development of wisdom and virtue.

For Father Frank Brawner and his health, healing, and continued strength in his ministry. – Susan

For the healing of Shirley Balangue, mother of Cyril Cruz, Principal of Holy Innocents School in Long Beach, CA.

For the continued health and healing of Simon Vander Weele, son of Rosemary and Jon Vander Weele of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Classical School in Denver, CO.

Pray for healing for Mr. K., Latin teacher at an ICLE member school. We ask for healing and relief from fluid buildup in the lung and cancer.

Please pray for a wonderful theology professor who is undergoing persecution for upholding Catholic teaching on sexuality. – Andrew

My wife’s conversion to Catholicism. – Adam

Increase in fertility, marriage, families; for grandparents; for a special spouse for a friend. – Rosemary

For the Holy Spirit’s increase in the hearts of all concerned with Catholic education in the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese, especially that He lead us into deeper prayer, greater intimacy with Him. – Leslie

Souls in Purgatory especially those who have no one to pray for them; those in the Bahamas and elsewhere affected by natural disasters. – Lisa

Please pray that I teach and love my students and teachers as would Christ the Teacher. – Joseph & Juliana

For a new teacher in 5th grade; for our Johnsburg Catholic school to become Classical Liberal Arts; for increase in marriage, fertility, families; for young adults’ conversion and love for Jesus and His Church. – Rosemary

Help making good choices about family issues. – Susan

That our parish school community would grow as an evangelizing community, proclaiming, encountering and responding to the kerygmatic proclamation of Jesus Christ. – Nathalie

That Catholic schools and parents be of one heart and one mind by creating their institutions and homes coherently, as “missionary outposts of the Universal Church” with one goal: that the truth of all things, beginning and ending in Jesus Christ, be known and loved through the details in everything. – Ruth

For teachers everywhere. – Chris