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Toronto Catholic District School Board

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Catholic Spiritual Dimension
 
 
Our Catholic faith calls us to live together as a community and to love one another. 
 
Bullying, in any form, runs counter
to Christ’s message of inclusion and
His instruction that we treat one another with caring and respect.
 
This page includes quotations from
the Catholic Catechism on the Dignity of the Human Person.
 
Selected liturgies, prayers and music on the themes of peace, forgiveness and community building are also provided.
 
 
 
QUOTATIONS FROM THE CATHOLIC CATECHISM ON THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON  
1700  The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son1 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.
 
1702 The divine image is present in every man. It shines forth in the communion of persons, in the likeness of the unity of the divine persons among themselves (cf. chapter two).
 
I.  RESPECT FOR THE HUMAN PERSON
1929 Social justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man. The person represents the ultimate end of society, which is ordered to him:
What is at stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt.35
 
1930 Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. They are the basis of the moral legitimacy of every authority: by flouting them, or refusing to recognize them in its positive legislation, a society undermines its own moral legitimacy.36 If it does not respect them, authority can rely only on force or violence to obtain obedience from its subjects. It is the Church's role to remind men of good will of these rights and to distinguish them from unwarranted or false claims.
 
1931 Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that "everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as 'another self,' above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity."37 No legislation could by itself do away with the fears, prejudices, and attitudes of pride and selfishness which obstruct the establishment of truly fraternal societies. Such behavior will cease only through the charity that finds in every man a "neighbor," a brother.
 
1932 The duty of making oneself a neighbor to others and actively serving them becomes even more urgent when it involves the disadvantaged, in whatever area this may be. "As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."38
 
1933 This same duty extends to those who think or act differently from us. The teaching of Christ goes so far as to require the forgiveness of offenses. He extends the commandment of love, which is that of the New Law, to all enemies.39 Liberation in the spirit of the Gospel is incompatible with hatred of one's enemy as a person, but not with hatred of the evil that he does as an enemy.
 
1934 Created in the image of the one God and equally endowed with rational souls, all men have the same nature and the same origin. Redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, all are called to participate in the same divine beatitude: all therefore enjoy an equal dignity.
 
1935 The equality of men rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it:
Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.40  
 
IN BRIEF
 
1943 Society ensures social justice by providing the conditions that allow associations and individuals to obtain their due.
 
1944 Respect for the human person considers the other "another self." It presupposes respect for the fundamental rights that flow from the dignity intrinsic of the person.
 
1945 The equality of men concerns their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it.
 
1946 The differences among persons belong to God's plan, who wills that we should need one another. These differences should encourage charity.
 
1947 The equal dignity of human persons requires the effort to reduce excessive social and economic inequalities. It gives urgency to the elimination of sinful inequalities.
 
1948 Solidarity is an eminently Christian virtue. It practices the sharing of spiritual goods even more than material ones.
 
2158 God calls each one by name.87 Everyone's name is sacred. The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it.
 
2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity
 
872 "In virtue of their rebirth in Christ there exists among all the Christian faithful a true equality with regard to dignity and the activity whereby all cooperate in the building up of the Body of Christ in accord with each one's own condition and function."386 
 
The following songs taken from the Catholic Book of Worship III are suitable for use in school liturgies and prayer services on the themes of community, unity,  reconciliation, hope and trust in the Lord.
 
 Religious Education and Family Life Curriculum Connections
 
coming soon ...
 
 
Suggestions for the Planning of School Liturgies
 
The Religious Education Curriculum - Born of the Spirit Catechetical Series Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is an excellent resource for celebrating liturgies with children.
 
Examples:
Grade Three: In the Spirit We Belong
A Penitential Service - Theme 23  p. 241
Grade Eight: Stand By Me
A  Selection of Scripture readings on forgiveness  see:  Activity page 17a p. 170
                                                                                 Activity page 17b p. 171
Suggestions for Reconciliation Celebration  see:  Activity page 19 p. 179
Reconciliation Celebration Planning Guide   see: Activity page 18 p. 178
 
Gathering Prayer
 
Readings and Response
For you love all that exists, you abhor nothing you have made...
because all things are yours, Lord, lover of life.
(Wisdom 11:24-26)
 
Response: The glory of God is man and woman fully alive.
See what love the Father has given us that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)
Response: The glory of God is man and woman fully alive.
 
Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our own image, after our likeness."
Male and female God created them... God saw all that was made, and indeed it was very good.
(cf Genesis 1:27-26, 31)
 
Response: The glory of God is man and woman fully alive.
Sexuality is an enrichment of the whole person - body, emotions, and soul
- and manifests its inmost meaning in leading the person to the gift of self in love. (Pope John Paul II)
 
Response: The glory of God is man and woman fully alive.
This is what the Lord asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and
to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8)
 
Response: The glory of God is man and woman fully alive
but life for them consists in seeing God revealed in his Word
 
Shared Prayer: - from the FULLY ALIVE  Family Book
 
Loving creator, author of life, we thank you for our special role in family life
and for the gift we share with you in creating others in your own image and likeness.
Life is so precious and so beautiful, mingling souls
in so many mysterious and satisfying ways.
 
May our human love and friendship reflect your own divine love.
May we and our children be committed to being fully alive
to your call and challenge, ever growing in discipleship and friendship
with Jesus who alone is the way, the truth, and the life.
May we praise you always.
May we, without seeming to preach, teach you to our children
and to others, not so much by our words as by our example.
 
Amen
 
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Prayers 
 
Please find below, some possible suggestions for prayers within our Catholic Secondary Schools for Project Peace: Building Safer Schools. Please feel free to use them as you wish, on their own, in combinations etc. If you have any other prayer suggestions please share them with others.
 
 
God of peace, make us a people of peace. 
Where there is division, help us strive for unity; 
Where there is suspicion, help us seek 
understanding; 
Where there is conflict, help us commit to 
resolution; 
And where there is violence, help us bring vision.
 
God of Goodness, 
Where there is abuse, help us bring respect; 
Where there is exploitation, help us work for justice; 
Where there is repression, help us establish 
equality; 
And where there is suffering, help us bring
compassion.
 
O God of hope, grant that we may not so much seek 
To compete as a complement, 
To exclude as to include, 
To dominate as to collaborate. 
For it is in healing that we are healed, 
In reconciling that we reconciled, 
And living within common bonds of love that we are
made whole.
 
Adapted from the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
 
 
 
O God,
by the bond of trust I have in You,
give me peace of heart.
Placate all my thoughts
with contentment in You,
O desire of all who yearn.
 
Hayyuna  
 
Meditate on the unconditioned.
Get rid of the tendency
to judge yourself
above, below, or
equal to others.
By penetrating deeply
into judgment
you will live at peace.
 
Abhirupa-Nanda  
 
Eternal wellspring of peace –
May we be drenched with the longing of peace
that we may give ourselves over to peace
until the earth overflows with peace
as living waters overflow the seas.
 
Marcia Falk  
 
May peace be within us.
May peace be around us.
May peace be beside us.
May peace be between us.
May we walk peacefully with Mother Earth.
May peace fill our days and our nights.
May peace fill the earth.
 
Diann L. Neu
 
Lord, make us channels of your peace…
Wherever in your world we find hatred –
     the hatred that hurts and divides
     nations and communities and families;
     the hatred that  dehumanizes
     and destroys;
        - enable each one of us to bring love;
          love like your love for us,
          that keeps no score of wrongs and that never gives up.
 
Wherever in your world we find the injured –
     victims of famine and war;
     of want or of plenty;
     of the handicapped or the disadvantaged;
        - enable each one of us to bring love;
          love like your love for us,
          that is very patient and kind
 
Wherever in your world we find despair –
     on account of alienation;
     or unemployment;
     or bad housing, or childlessness;
     on account of loneliness or fear;
        - enable each one of us to bring love,
          love like your love for us,
          to lift their spirits and bring them hope.
 
Wherever in your world we find darkness –
     because of superstition;
     of ignorance;
     or because people love evil rather than good;
        - enable each one of us to let our light shine,
          that others may turn to the Light
          that has never been extinguished.
 
Wherever in your world we find sadness –
     because of bereavement;
     or the evaporation of dreams;
     or because of unachieved ambition;
     or on account of others;
        - enable each one of us to spread joy;
          the joy that comes from knowing
          that we are never abandoned.
 
Lord, make us channels of your peace.
In giving, may we also receive;
In losing our lives in the service of others,
        may we find them anew in you.
 
Jessie Clare
 
 
 
We are all persons
We can all make decisions
We can all love. We can all pray.
Each of us has strengths and weaknesses.
God loves each one of us, always.
Some of us are girls, some of us are boys.
Some of us are tall, some are short.
Some of us find school easy, some of us find it hard.
Some of us have a special gift for art, or music or sports.
Some of us wake up feeling bright and happy.
Some of us are grouchy in the morning.
One person is afraid of thunder, another of high places.
One person likes to listen to stories, another likes to tell them.
One person cries when people are mean, another person hurts and cries inside
We belong to many races and we come from many countries
God made and loves each one of us.
There has never been anyone like each one of us before.
There will never be anyone just like us again.
 
Fully Alive  Grade Five  pg. 9

Life is a Gift
God you have given me my life,
and made me in your own image,
I thank you always that life is a gift
to enjoy, to respect, to celebrate, to protect
and to love.
 
Fully Alive  Grade 4, Theme 1, Topic 1, pg. 5
 
A Prayer for our Families
Father,
Help us to recognize and create love in our families
Teach us gentleness, Families need tender moments.
Teach us to be merry. Families need laughter.
Teach us forgiveness. Families can hurt each other.
Teach us honesty.
Family members do not need to hide from each other.
Teach us to be faithful.
Family members cannot give up on each other.
Teach us to believe in each other.
If we are to support each other, we can do anything
Teach us to be open to your will.
Families need your love to find their way.
 
Amen
 
Fully Alive Grade 5, Theme, 2, Topic 1, pg. 30
 
We are Wonderfully Made
We thank you Lord for the gift of our bodies.
we are wonderfully made in your image.
Male and female you created us
and invited us to share in your creation.
May we always respect and cherish the power
to give life,
and use it according to your will. 
Amen
 
Fully Alive Grade 5, Theme 3, Topic 1, pg. 53
 
Meditative Prayer
God, Our Father, you created us. You love us.
You made us in your image. You made us for love.
Help us to be truly human. Help us to be truly
loving. On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus said
to his disciples:
 
"I give you a new commandment; love one another;
just as I have loved you, you also must love one
another. by this love you have for one another,
everyone will know that you are my disciples."
 
Fully Alive Grade 6, Theme 1, Topic 1 pg. 6
 
The Gift of Sexuality
Loving God, everything you created is good.
We have received life from your hands.
We have been created male and female
with the power to love and care for each other,
and to share in your creation.
We thank you for this gift.
We ask your help to cherish and respect
what you have created.
We ask your help to use the gift of sexuality
in the way that you intended. Amen
 
Fully Alive Grade 6, Theme 3, Topic 2, pg. 56
 
The Serenity Prayer 
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
 
Fully Alive Grade 8, Theme 1, Topic 3, pg. 31
 
Loving God, creator of us all,
We pray as students, teachers, staff members, and administrators.
We pray as individuals and collectively as members of the ____________________ Catholic School Community.
During this special week "Project Peace: Building Safer Schools"
We pray for your guidance to help us build community among ourselves.
We pray for your wisdom to help build safer schools.
We pray for your direction so that we can build a world of peace.
We pray that each one of us can become Instruments of your Peace.
Amen.
 
Prayer of St. Francis
O Lord, make me an instrument of Your Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sorrow, joy.
 
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."
AMEN
 
 
As we continue to build safer schools let us offer our prayers to our loving God.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Father, each day you call us to service, to build relationships, to heal and comfort
You spread the Eucharistic banquet before us each day for your Glory.
Heavenly Father, may our Catholic school, whose staff and students
come from the nations of the world, be a symbol to our larger community of the tolerance
and friendship that should exist between people of different races and cultures.
Today, as we continue with our work of education, together,
we your servant community offer our prayers for the victims of violence and intolerance everywhere.
We also pray for those people who have used violence in the past,
may they understand that there are other ways to solve differences.
God who loves us more than we can ever imagine, we know that you want us to live in peace.
You want us to live together in peace not only in the outside world,
but here in our school where we spend so many hours together each week.
Help us to work for peace by working to see that everyone is treated fairly.
Teach us to respect one another and care for one another.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Lord.
Amen.
 
 
The Road of Life
"I expect to pass through
this world but once.
Any good therefore that I can do,
Or any kindness that I can show
To any fellow creature,
Let me do it now . . .
For I shall not pass this way again.
Amen
 
Dear God,
We come to you today to seek peace that you alone can give.
Strengthen us in our work as we seek to build a peaceful school community.
You have given us a unique opportunity as students of __________________ Catholic School community, to help set the tone within our school.
Guide us as we are called to be spiritual leaders, to be role models for others.
Help us to provide an environment which reflects a deep respect for every person within our school community.
Give us patience and a sense of humour, because it takes time to teach others the skills necessary to solve problems.
As we journey to build a peaceful community, let us remember that the very essence of who we are is based on the principle that Your Son, Jesus, lives within each of us.
This we ask in His name, in whom all peace resides.
 
 
Peace Prayer for Young People
Inspired by St. Francis of Assisi.
Lord, make me an instrument of
Your peace and non-violent love.
Where there is hatred of someone different from me,
Let me reach out to them with generosity.
Where there is injury by a friend, parent or teacher,
Who humiliates or ridicules me,
Let me go to him or her with words of forgiveness.
Where there is doubt that non-violent love changes people,
Let me be inspired by the life of Jesus.
Where there is despair and loneliness as the thought that I am not valued,
Let me experience the security and wonder of friendship.
Where there is darkness of capital punishment, weapons of war or abortion,
Let me shed the light of understanding, feeling sorrow for both the
Victim of violence and the violent person.
Where there is the sadness of teenage suicide,
Let me bring the delight of each new day.
O my brother and friend, Jesus.
Grant that I may not so much look
To be comforted in my time of need as
to comfort another in her or his time of need,

To have my point of view understood as
to listen to another’s point of view,

To be loved by my friends as
to love those who have hurt me.
For it is in giving our time, our possessions, our life,
That we find gratitude and security.
It is in forgiving the person who wrongs us
That we see our own faults and find
the gift of forgiveness
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.
 
 
 
"We cannot merely pray to You"
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end war;
For we know that You have made the world in a way
That we must find our own path to peace - -
Within ourselves and with our neighbours.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation;
For you have already given us the resources
With which to feed the entire world - -
If only we would use them wisely.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to root out prejudice;
For you have already given us eyes
With which to see the good in all - -
If we would only use them rightly.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end despair;
For you have already given us the power
To clear away slums and to give hope - -
If we could only use the power justly.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end disease;
For you have already given us great minds
With which to search out cures and healing - -
If we could only use them constructively.
Therefore we pray to you instead, O God
For strength, determination and will power
to do,
instead of just pray,
to become,
instead of merely to wish.
Amen.
Jack Riemer
 
Open My Mind
Lord Jesus,
You were once a student like me.
You studied God’s law, the history of your people
And a trade by which to earn a living.
You lived in a human family,
Made steady progress in understanding
And yearned to discover your vocation in life.
Open my mind to the truth of things,
Make me humble before the awesome mysteries of the universe,
Make me proud to be a human being and a child of God,
And give me courage to live my life in the light of your gospel.
Amen.
 
God be in my head
God be in my head
And in my understanding.
God be in my eyes
And in my looking.
God be in my mouth
And in my speaking
God be in my heart
And in my thinking.
God be at my end
And in my departing.
Sarum Primer, 1527
 
Prayer for all Humanity
Loving God,
You have made us.
Red, yellow, brown, white and black
Tall and short, fat and thin
Rich and poor, young and old
All are your children.
Teach us to cooperate rather than to compete
To respect rather than condemn.
Your Son turned from no one.
May we learn, from him, to be open
To the share of the divine
That you have implanted
In each of us, your sons and daughters.
May we forge a bond of love
Between all peoples as we live out your vision of the world.
Amen.
 
 
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Songs for building a Christian Community 
The following songs taken from the Catholic Book of Worship III are suitable for use in school liturgies and prayer services on the themes of community, unity, reconciliation, hope and trust in the Lord.
Reference:  Catholic Book of Worship III
 
 
All the Ends of the Earth #548
Be Not Afraid #481
Blest Are They #522
Canticle of the Sun #542
City of God #345
Disciples’ Song #505
Eye Has Not Seen #482
For You Are My God #483
Gather Us In #587
God Created Earth and Heaven #512
God is Love #473
Here I am Lord #520
Like a Shepherd #490
Send Us Your Spirit #414
Sing a New Song #563
Spirit Blowing Through Creation #415
Taste and See #610
The Lord is My Shepherd #607
The Song of the Beatitudes #523
There is One Lord #530
This Day God Gives Me #650
Where there is Love #631
You Are Near #487
 
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