NCEA 2018 Day One…Spirituality and Mission

Today was the first day of the National Catholic Educational Association Convention and Expo in Cincinnati. I went into today with having a basic idea of which sessions I wanted to attend, but as I went further into the day I let the Spirit lead me into the sessions I needed to be in. Yes, the sessions I needed to be in…not the sessions I wanted to be in. Sometimes we need to let ourselves go and let the Spirit place us where we need to be.

Even before sessions began, the Convention began with Mass. Today’s Mass was special as it was presided by His Eminence Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. In simpler terms, he oversees all Catholic education for the Vatican. The main theme for the Mass was “Who are we seeking?” We are seeking the Lord, Jesus Christ. We need to seek Him everywhere.

This is sort of why I let the Spirit lead me to the sessions I attended. I was seeking the Lord where I needed to find him. I found him in 2 sessions that dealt with Spirituality and Mission in schools. Why was I pulled to these sessions? What was I to find in these 2 sessions? I believe I found my reasons…I need to be stronger in developing mission and faith formation for myself and my school community.

Session 1 was great. I spent the session thinking and reflecting on my own reason of why I am a part of a Catholic school. It strengthened my calling of being a Catholic educator….yet I also found new ways, simple ways, to bring faith formation to myself and my colleagues, which will only lead itself to developing a greater faith formation for our students. It’s where I needed to be.

Session 2 was a last second decision. I was about to walk into a session, yet I stepped out and went next door only to be pulled into a session on developing spirituality and faith formation. Very similar to the first session, yet it was more interactive. More opportunities to share and build with other Catholic educators. This was more of what I needed, especially since it built off my first session. I found several connections and ways that I feel will benefit my school community well. I’m excited to share what I gained in these 2 sessions.

Again, I didn’t really have a plan, but I did feel I needed to be in these sessions. Sometimes we need to let go of our plan and let the Spirit lead us to His plan.

Our keynote address was by His Eminence and then Bishop Caggiano. Their discussions were on the Joy of the Gospel and Catholic education. This was a bit overwhelming for me since my presentation tomorrow is Taking the Joy of the Gospel from the Classroom to the Home! How am I supposed to follow up a Cardinal and a Bishop on this topic? I will try my best, but all I can do is let the Spirit lead me. The Spirit will guide me in what I need to say and share. The Spirit does wonderful things for us. We just need to place our trust and focus on letting the Spirit place us where we need to be.

Tomorrow is a big day for me. I will be presenting. I will be sharing the story of St. Michael School and how we take the Joy of the Gospel from our classrooms to our families. We have areas we can grow and I feel we are on the right path. I’m excited for tomorrow, yet I’m also nervous. I know that I will share from the heart and that I have amazing support behind me. Please keep me in your prayers.

God bless!

Author: acottos

I'm a 5/6 Social Studies teacher who is passionate about education and working for what is best for students. I am an aspiring educational leader who is looking forward to working as a principal or school leader to help further the education of my students and staff.

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