School Reopening Kalpana & Prayer for the Start of a New Academic Year
August 05, 2016
Blessings to our Cor-Episcopoi, Priests, Deacons, and all the faithful of our diocese, especially our dear children,
We have approached the start of a new academic year, and we take this opportunity to remind all our children of the commitment and responsibilities we have as children of God. There is no doubt that public education has changed on many levels with the several complications that exist today. We see and hear daily in the media of these numerous concerns that range from children dropping out from school at a young age, the experimentation and use of drugs and other substances by children at young ages, escalated shootings and violence in public places such as schools, bullying of peers, mental health concerns, and so much more. While much of this cannot be controlled by us, there is a need for us to be vigilant and be aware of our surroundings so that we are not simply absorbed into it and become part of the problem. Our children are successful on many levels with the opportunities they have been given in this country, but we cannot simply stand ignorant of what is happening around us.
In ancient times, school was considered a divine institution and education as a sacred phenomenon. Teachers received the utmost respect and honor, and lessons were taught by teachers not only in the classroom but also outside of the classroom through their own life example and established relationships with their students. Nowadays, this holy concept of discipleship, learning, and growing in talents has lessened. Schools are trying their best to keep children in school, out of trouble, and lead them to graduate, but we know the challenges and struggles faced in this regard.
Many schools have shifted and presented schooling as entertainment and enjoyment, especially with the use of modern technology. The use of modern technology should be intended to promote the development of skills and educational learning. Our children need to be shaped as leaders in the community, witnesses to the Gospel and its truth, and empowered to develop their skills and talents as they prepare for future careers and professions where they can impact and contribute to the needs of society. We need to maintain basic morals, discipline, virtues that radiate into all walks of life.
We urge all our children to set goals for your education while remaining focused on honoring and glorifying God in all things. Mold yourself to be a disciple and servant of Christ, the Great Teacher. Seek to maintain a discipline of prayer and reading of the Scriptures daily, and commit yourself to a spiritual journey in Christ, who is the source of all learning and understanding.
We remind our children of the need to honor and respect your peers, parents, elders, and teachers, and maintain positive relationships with the people around you. We take this opportunity to extend our prayers and blessings to all our dear children and teachers at the start of this new academic year. May you be protected and guided day and night by the Life-Giving Holy Cross which safeguards us from the evil one
Your Shepherd in Christ,
Alexios Mar Eusebius Metropolitan
Prayer for the Start of a New Academic Year
O loving and gracious heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we come before You this day and entreat Your children into Your holy hands. Bless them with the abundance of Your grace as they prepare for the start of a new school year. Endow them with wisdom and strength. Send forth Your Heavenly knowledge upon them. O Eternal God, bless all schools, colleges and universities, that they may be centers for sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom. Send forth Your blessings upon all the teachers and professors, that they may find You to be the source of all truth through Jesus Christ, our Lord. O Lord, teach these Your children to seek first Your glory and honor. Guide them to perceive what is right, grant them the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it. May the blessings of God the Father Almighty, the grace of the only-begotten Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the communion and indwelling of the Holy Spirit be upon us all, especially Your children who are preparing to start a new school year, both now, always and forever. Amen.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven...
Hail Mary, full of grace...