May the Month of Mary
We are now four weeks into Term 2. Our Year 12s and Year 11s are back and we are slowly seeing Years 7 - 10 return one day a week. In thinking about the boys returning, I reflected on the month in which they are returning - May.
May is Mary's month. For Marists it is a particularly important month; it is a month where we are able to focus more directly on who we are called to be and how we do what we do. Mary is not God. She is the first disciple of Jesus, thereby modelling for us how to live out the Gospel. Marists - us - our school community - take our lead from her.
In the words of the early Marists, we think as Mary, judge as Mary, feel and act as Mary in all things.
We should take time each day to consider how closely we are aligning ourselves with her in our ordinary lives. How would she see this world if she lived now? What would she think? How would she feel and act? We Marists are called to be no less than Mary's presence in our day.
In my last newsletter piece, I wrote about taking this time for silence and solitude, for making time to be present so we are open to the presence of God in our lives. As we move ever closer to what we consider normality, we now must seriously question what is normality and is there a new way to think about what normal is? Is there a new normal? And what does that mean for us as Marists?
Marcellin was no stranger to the power of the Spirit. Along with his fellow Marists of the Society of Mary, he was convinced that the Spirit was inspiring them to find new ways of being present as Church in an age of religious disbelief. Today, we seek to be equally receptive and responsive to the promptings of the Spirit” and the month of May is the perfect time to do this.
(In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat)
Marcellin remained open to what was God’s will as it unfolded in the events and circumstances of life. His constant prayer of Psalm 127, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain ...”, bought him comfort.As we walk this month of May, we as Marists must remember that Marcellin confided his person and the success of his ministry to Mary, ‘who has done everything for us’. On a personal level, we must always be mindful of the presence of God and Mary, especially in such moments of difficulty and trial as we ponder what challenges/obstacles/opportunities we may encounter on the road to our new normal.
So, now is the time to think beyond what we know; to how we’ve always done things and think outside the square. Change is difficult, it’s uncomfortable but Mary did not shy away from change - she was most certainly fearful when she found herself in the presence of the angel but, we must ponder how she responded at this time. There was no disdain, no anger, she did not run and hide; she listened, she had her faith and she believed she could be part of something miraculous that would change the way people saw the world and each other. How do you respond to change? Does fear of the unknown paralyse you and prevent you from seeing opportunities?
Our spirituality is molded as we embrace all the experiences of our lives, not just the same old same old. All our experiences shape the way we understand and relate to ourselves, to the world, to people, and to God.
Diverse Learning - Our Dyslexic Children Documentary Film World Premiere
We celebrated here last October for the very first time Dyslexia Awareness Month. Why? Because one in ten people have some form of dyslexia. This means that a significant number of our boys here have dyslexia. It is so important that we as a society recognise that people learn in all different ways and we must as a school advocate for all our boys and the way they learn. There’s no right way to learn, but science and the research increasingly guides us to the best ways to support and teach our boys who have dyslexia. These are some of our brightest shining stars, they just haven’t been given an opportunity in many instances to realise how to shine.
So, we here at Marist support best practice early literacy instruction in decoding words/texts and know this is vital to success in secondary school and life beyond school.
There is a documentary due to premiere online on 21 May entitled Our Dyslexic Children. This documentary tells the story of how a group of parents in Central Ohio took on their school district to affect change for their dyslexic children. They formed a partnership with the district and now work shoulder to shoulder to deliver the nationally recognised early literacy program they built together. This film was made to offer a roadmap for parents to advocate on behalf of all children.
If you would like more information about dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia visit the Dyslexia Association. If you are concerned about your son’s reading or writing please speak to us.