We need one another
By Chiara Burzyńska, SSND, Polish Province
Every year in our boarding school in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, we choose a motto, which directs our educational activities. In 2020 we chose the words “Joy and Peace” from Laudato Sí’ (chapter IV). We highlighted four ideas:
-We cherish each moment
-We can live fully, even living on little
-We recognize God’s presence
-We find joy in encounters with others (LS 222-227).
Pictured (left to right): Anastazja,
Aleksandra, Rosa and Dagmara
Because of the pandemic and the lockdown in Poland, these plans could not be fulfilled in the way we had imagined. Girls had distance learning from their homes. What we learned was that this difficult time underlined in an unexpected way the true importance of the ideas included in our plan, especially the joy which comes from encounters with others.
Many girls came back to the boarding school with smiles on their faces. They shared with us how much they missed the presence of their classmates and friends. They were surprised to notice that some of their classmates did not share their joy of coming back to school. They said they missed the sisters, our talks and signs of interest. As educators, we sisters can use every opportunity to start conversations with the girls, show them signs of care, support and acceptance.
The time of distance learning was also very challenging in terms of the mental health of young people. Therefore, our motto for 2021 is “We need one another” (LS 229). One example of putting this into practice is that we organized peer volunteering – talented girls helping their friends in learning. The values Pope Francis stressed in Laudato Sí’ can really bring life to all of us.