Congratulations on a job well done. This was the sentiment expressed by Catholic primary school teachers at our Day of Renewal on March 7. It was the first time I have seen so many Catholic teachers present at any gathering. The occasion was an auspicious one, as it was the first time Archbishop Jason Gordon met with us. He was the main facilitator and celebrant at Holy Mass.
The archbishop came with a purpose and it was well executed. He did it with precision and poise, delivering his presentation in the most captivating and dynamic manner.
Archbishop Gordon was able to maintain the attention of the audience for the entire day. As I surveyed the Bougainvillea Hall at Centre of Excellence, not one individual looked tired or bored.
He took us through the five levels of vocation, causing us to go back to the basics. He allowed us to ponder on thought-provoking questions such as: Are you living your vocation? Is this what God has called you to do?
He also reminded us that Catholic education is mainly concerned with formation, and emphasised that we are called to be that exceptional teacher. Every time we have a challenging student in our class, we must remember that that child can be the next archbishop or even prime minister.
He reminisced about his days as a Fatima College student and shared that as a student with dyslexia, it was an exceptional teacher at the college who recognised that some good could be made by him. He reiterated how important it was to use our gifts and talents in service to God while we live out our vocation.
Archbishop Gordon urged teachers to ensure Catholic schools have the competency to form the children for the work place in 2025, and to be a community of lived values.
This was a most fulfilling day of renewal. He left us with a gift in the form of ‘The Prayer Process’. He said once we used this every day it will ultimately bring us to a closer relationship with God.
I believe that most of the teachers left the retreat motivated to continue labouring in the vineyard of education. Archbishop Gordon, humble servant of God, I wish you continued grace to guide your flock and good health. – Alicia Payne-Ward, Tunapuna Girls’ RC Primary