This year’s Catholic Education Week theme is, “Nurturing Hope.”
The theme for Catholic Education Week 2021 was inspired by the following considerations:
- Recognition of the special Year of Laudato Si’ which will run through May 24, 2021, announced by Pope Francis on May 24, 2020, the fifth anniversary of his papal encyclical, “On Caring for Our Common Home.”
- The challenges to personal and spiritual well-being posed by the uncertainty and physical isolation of the current global crisis makes the timing and the concerns of Mental Health Week, which takes place during the same week as Catholic Education Week, all the more relevant.
- Ongoing recognition of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and the relevance of Indigenous culture and spirituality to the spirit of Laudato Si.
There are five sub-themes for each day of Catholic Education Week:
Day 1: Preparing the Earth
Day 2: Sowing Seeds of Gratitude
Day 3: Cultivating Relationships
Day 4: Harvesting New Fruit
Day 5: Marvelling in Wonder
Each day, we can do simple activities, individually or as a family, to act on the hope that dwells within us. These are suggestions for simple activities to reinforce hope for ourselves and others.
- Plant some seeds in peat pots and put them near a window. Document their growth on a chart.
- Have a family garden planning party. Draw out the plot of the garden and order seeds or buy them at the grocery store. Research when seeds need to be planted in preparation for spring.
- Take part in a bird count or animal count. Go to Observation Nation (inaturalist.ca)
- Learn about saints who taught us about the environment. St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Benedict of Nursia and St. Hildegard of Bingen are examples.
- Make a birdfeeder out of a milk carton or a plastic pop bottle, hang it outside on a tree and see which bird species come to the feeder.
- Go for a Nature Walk as a family and pray together to thank God for all the beauty you see.
- Look at the calendar and note the first day of spring. How many days is it until spring comes?
- Do some research as a family on the night sky. Choose a moment when it is clear to see if you can identify some constellations.
- Write letters to family members that you haven’t been able to see for awhile.
- Create a fancy message of hope in chalk on your driveway or sidewalk for passersby to read or create a poster to put in a window.
- Write a postcard or note of thanks for frontline healthcare workers and drop this in the mailbox for a local hospital.
- Bake cookies and deliver them to your neighbourhood grocery store for workers to share.
- Make cards or draw pictures for seniors in your community.
- Music makes us happy. Create a playlist of happy music, play this in your backyard or if you are able, send it to a family member whom you miss.
- Make a video or a recording, singing a favourite hymn. Send this to your parish priest. He needs support at this time.
- Look in your bible or go online to make a list of psalms that give hope.
- Write an acrostic poem about Hope…H is for happiness, O is for ongoing, P is for…etc.
- Write words of hope on index cards or paper and hang them from a tree in your yard for others to read.
- Go for a walk past your local parish. Stop in front of your church and say a prayer for your faith community.
- Look through a newspaper for stories of hope and talk about the stories.
- Put messages of hope on social media.