Resources for Leaders

This page will evolve as a resource for leaders (principals, DRS, RE teachers) in Catholic schools. if you scroll down you will find the following resources: 
Leadership reflection.
Prayer resources for Secondary schools from Marianne Bray DRS Auckland
Links to 9 Catholic related posts on my leadership blog including Catholic review information (scroll down to the bottom)
This is a quote by Sir Brother Pat Lynch I originally included on the front page of my CV/resume when I applied for my principal position in October 2007 :
Leaders of Catholic schools have to be purveyors of hope, optimism, resilience and enthusiasm. If we can do this, we will take our fellow citizens with us, as we seek greater harmony, justice, dynamism and understanding among the citizens of this land.

                       Here is the link to this reflection
(Pat Lynch CEO, New Zealand Catholic Education Office 2007)

Leadership Reflections
Here is another leadership reflection

Prayer resources kindly provided by Marianne Bray:
Prayers for RE Teachers

“How beautiful are the footsteps of those who bring good news”
                                                                                 – Romans 10:15-17

In a Catholic school, its virtues and values must be clearly identified and promoted if the reign of God is to be brought into the lives of all its community. This means placing at the centre of all that is done, the person and work of Jesus the Christ.

Thoughts from Scripture………..

In community, we acknowledge that to love is to give of oneself. We do this because we all have dignity as we are made in the image of God.

Jesus is a teacher of truth & in seeking this truth we seek the highest ideal.
We carry the message of God to all those we encounter. If we seek this truth we may have to stand up for what we believe.
But it is by this truth, that we are saved.

We should use our gifts and talents, to serve & help each other.
We should treat all those we encounter with love &respect.
Jesus calls us to preach the Gospel to all, in a service of mission.

Jesus brings dignity to all human beings. We should love everyone, God loves us, because with love all things are possible. Our actions & words are to be tempered with love, if they are to have meaning.

As Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth & the Life”.
We should also be able to say those words about ourselves, as members of tis Church community.

For a sense of community, that we may retain in our living, loving, working and playing a real sense of empathy & concern for those whom and with whom we minister.
Give us, Creating God, a living sense of community.
For a spirit of honesty, that we may be able to recognise the truth of the situation, & speak this truth in love to each other.
Give us, Redeeming God, a spirit of honesty.
For an ability to inspire, that we may be able to sustain enthusiasm & create symbols of hope for our communities.
Give us, Spirit of God, your inspiration.
For a spirit of persistence, that we may preserve in our efforts to empower & challenge each other.
Give us, God of Trinity, your love.

Homeless Jesus on the wall of Uckfield Catholic Church Sussex UK

10 Creative Ways to share the Gospel of the day
1  Read the gospel. Ask students to reflect on one key word that spoke to them. Mediate the word, what does it mean? See if you can turn it into an action for the day. Eg “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. They could choose the word “called” – how is God calling them today? Turn the action word into a prayer – write this down.

2   Create a weekly word bank about Jesus. After every gospel reading for that week – add to the word bank. What have we learnt about Jesus? What does this gospel reading teach us about the person of Jesus? Keep the word bank visible all week – a great way to learn more about Jesus. On the last day – write summary statements, the students can make a link between the actions of Jesus and how they can model this in their lives.

3    Imagine you are in the gospel. Guided walk. Read the Gospel, invite the students to close their eyes and place themselves in the Gospels scene – what can they hear? See? Smell? Feel? Can they see Jesus? What is he doing? What is their reaction to the narrative? At the end – sit with Jesus and share in your inner mind, what you have learnt or questions you may have.

4   After reading and reflecting on the gospel – set the challenge to re write the Gospel narrative using modern day characters and language. Critique – is the message the same? How can we apply this to our own experience?

5    Read the daily gospel – draw the following symbols, an arrow up, a light bulb, question mark and an exclamation mark.

Arrow Up – What does this passage tell us about Jesus?
Light bulb – What I have discovered/learnt about Jesus
Exclamation Mark – Write down the most exciting verse and why
Question Mark – What I did not understand or need further clarification.

6.     Create a ThinkPAD for the gospel narrative. There are four dimensions to a Think Pad:
q  Words
Students describe in one or two sentences the meaning of a text. 
q  Pictures
Students draw a sequence of pictures depicting the events described in a text.
q  Connections to Life
Students write or illustrate how the text might apply to a real life situation in the contemporary world.
q  Symbols
Students draw one or more symbols that might capture the key themes of a text.




Connections to Life
7.     Pictionary - As you ae reading the gospel – invite students to draw their thoughts, questions and impressions of the reading. Share this with their partner. See if their partner can work out what they are communicating.

8.     MERCY – After reading the Gospel, what have we learnt about Mercy? Is there a mention of the poor and vulnerable? Students reflect and write a response. “I can see Mercy in this passage” ………… “I can apply this to my life”………….

9.     After reading and reflecting the message of the gospel. Find the location of the gospel reading on google maps – have a look, discuss the setting. Alternately show the gospel narrative visually – search you tube or an audio reading.

10.  Tweet the Gospel. Read and reflect on the daily gospel - The Twitter Word Strategy. The trick is they can only use 140 characters like twitter. In the tweet, they must communicate the meaning/teaching of the gospel. Encourage them to come up with a hashtag #

Ideas for Assembly Prayers:
Remember – it is the students who can prepare and lead this, encourage them to be creative and take full responsibility. Try and limit the number up on stage – you could only have two or three students. If you are singing/presenting obviously you can have more students involved. It must be no longer than 2 minutes.
·       Read a psalm from the Old Testament – school can join in the response.
·       Read a modern day Psalm/Reflection eg: Joy Cowley
·       Select a newspaper article that could lead to prayer for others in difficulty. Write a prayer around the article.
·       Show an inspirational video clip.
·       Read aloud inspirational quotes/ reflections.
·       Share about a life of an inspiring person, use as a role model.
·       Read the Gospel reading of the day
·       Sing a hymn/song
·       Liturgical dance.
·       Listen to a hymn or reflective music – invite the students to be still, eyes closed.
·       Include a short role play of a Bible story or a situation (if you feel very creative!)
·       Take a symbol, e.g.  a candle, “I will show the light of Christ by..” Read out simple intentions.
·       Reflect on the happenings of the weekend/ school week and give thanks. One/two students reading a prayer of thanks.
·       Use the seasons of the Church as a focus, e.g. Advent, Lent, Easter, Pentecost. There are plenty on prepared prayers on line for each of these seasons.
·       Hold up sign, visual statement or an acrostic poem on your prayer theme.
There are lots of prayer resources in the RE work room. We are always happy to help, so just ask if you need any guidance.
Here are some links to the Catholic related posts on my leadership blog:

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