Our aim as the Spiritual Development in Schools team is to support particularly students and educators in fostering pastoral care and spiritual development in schools. Although our planning and work are done in our office, our mission which we do our best to perform with determination and enthusiasm, is done in schools, in the footsteps and words of Jesus Christ: “The Son of Man does not have where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). Throughout the academic year we sail around different schools in Malta from where we receive requests, as well in schools that contact us for support in particular situations through our sessions.
The time of Lent, a time when one is asked to reflect more about himself, and his relationship with God and with others, the Spiritual Development in Schools team delivered several sessions in schools with students and educators, such as prayer spaces, spiritual exercises, cope, meditation, and labyrinth sessions.
This year’s topic is ‘Instruments of Peace’. Through this theme, together with educators and students, we reflected on renewal, ways to take care more of each other, and forgiveness. The reflections we shared with students, even the sessions we prepared, were about the parable of Lost Sheep, and ‘Astroni’, an astronaut who realized how good it is to ask forgiveness and to know, “Who am I?” through people whom he met when he was sent to our planet earth. The Prayer Spaces we chose to create the stations were related mainly to peace, love, relationships, and forgiveness.
While preparing, planning these activities, and setting up the stations, the theme enhanced us as a team to work on ourselves both personally and as a team and to share more intrinsically the message of peace even through the sharing of our personal experiences, in our team meetings, and with our other colleagues, while preparing the resources and the luggages for the prayer spaces session. We encouraged each other to make the message of Pope Francis alive: “Peace is a gift of God, but requires our efforts. Let us be people of peace with prayer and deed.”