Prayer for a new school year
With the joy of a new academic year coming against the backdrop of conflict in Afghanistan, devastation in Haiti and continued suffering and loss from COVID-19, Father James Fitz, S.M., vice president for mission and rector, offers this prayer for the campus community.
Let us pray:
Lord God, as we come to the end of the summer break
and prepare to begin again
to start another academic year,
we pray that our spirits be renewed amid the uncertainty and anxiety
caused by many unknowns.
We recognize, gracious God,
that we live in a difficult time of various world crises
including a new stage of the COVID-19 virus in our midst,
especially the plight of those countries who do not have the vaccine,
the plight of refugees and immigrants throughout the world,
the plight of countries experiencing strife like Afghanistan
or devastation from natural disasters like Haiti.
We recognize the pain and sacrifice of our military veterans and their families who served with honor to keep our homeland safe.
We also recognize particular crises in our own country
of political and racial division.
We, therefore, ask you, our God, to guide us
to recognize that growth, gratitude, and hope are always possible.
We choose to begin again;
to dream what some would call the impossible dream.
We accept the gift of new openings where the Spirit may enter
and new journeys to take us to where your Spirit, O God, may lead.
We accept in thanksgiving the gift of the many talented and generous people who make up the faculty and staff of this Catholic and Marianist University.
We begin again as we respond
to Your call to proclaim the loving Word
and to act with compassion.
Through all we do, we choose hope,
in commitment to our vocation as educators,
in working for justice, and in practicing peace.
Guide us at this time, Lord of Life,
and all through the challenging months ahead,
Grant us the wisdom and courage
to trust in the paths, you open for us.
We make this prayer to you, our loving God,
now and forever. Amen.
Adapted from a prayer by Jane Deren, Ph.D., Education for Justice