“Seeing in all the image of God imprinted within them like a sacred seal which you must preserve at all costs.”
Christian Education, Blessed Basil Moreau
Respect can seem like a dusty relic from another age. In a Holy Cross school it must be taken off the shelf and placed where it belongs: between teacher and student, teacher and teacher, student and student, and between community and society.
Our ministry—like the congregation Father Moreau founded—is not leveraged on authority, position, or status. It springs from relationships. Manners, rules and empathy foster our ability to see one another as individuals, and Father Moreau believed that our success grows from nurturing one student at a time. “Address the deepest longings in your students’ hearts,” he tells us. Building respect, relationship by relationship, is a way of building a strong, tensile web of connectedness. When Holy Cross educators model respectful relationships, students learn to align their words and actions with the greater good of our community. As one Holy Cross student observes, “It’s not what you get away with that counts.”
When we’re tired and overworked, Father Moreau’s statement, “education is a work of resurrection,” might seem like a rueful realization that relationships are never done. This work of living Gospel values requires constantly taking a second look at our needs and motivations, at “the other,” and at ways we thread our experience together. It means we see teaching as our mission, not just a job. It means not just “being like Jesus,” but being Jesus—especially to those in whom Jesus, as Mother Teresa once said, is in deep disguise.
Building respect begins in the classroom and the faculty room. It ripples out through extra-curricular activities which include “something for everyone,” personal and academic counseling and tutoring, alumni mentoring programs, admissions and hiring policies, and faculty, staff, and student orientation programs. It deepens through faculty inservice, celebration of achievements, and informal and formal employee recognition programs. Ultimately, it returns us to a place where it begins: our core of living, growing faith.
Taken with edit from: Becoming Part of the Story
The Legacy of Holy Cross Educators