Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 2, 2007
School puts Christ back in Easter
St. John Bosco Elementary takes a multi-media approach to understanding the cross, resurrection
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"If you are fasting from impatience, you need to feast on kindness and friendship."
- Tracey Sauer
While some classrooms are collecting water bottles and donations to build water wells in Third World countries, others are collecting donations for the Wildlife Foundation, or the Stollery Children's Hospital, or supplies for the Youth Emergency Shelter.
Kayla is helping her classmates collect clothes for the poor and decided, on her own, to sponsor a six-year-old girl from Uganda, sending her money to pay for fresh water, clothing and food.
"Jesus wanted us to help each other, so we are helping others to be more like Jesus," she explained.
At St. John Bosco they also talk about fasting during Lent. "We tell the children it's okay to fast for something, but you also have to feast on the good things," Sauer explained. "For example if you are fasting from impatience, you need to feast on kindness and friendship."
During Holy Week, students will have a chance to go through the Stations of the Cross around the school so they can pray and understand the steps that Jesus took to the cross.
On Holy Thursday, each class holds its own activities to commemorate the Last Supper. These events involve the breaking of the bread, the sharing of both bread and wine (grape juice), and the washing of feet. Also on Holy Thursday a group of students will broadcast a skit of the Last Supper which will be seen in each classroom.
As soon as students return to school following the Easter break, a skit on the resurrection will be broadcast to each classroom.
Students, especially the younger ones, have lots of questions about Jesus' dying on the cross, related Sauer.
"That's a big issue for them. As children, they want to know why, why did they do that to him? They have honest and concrete questions like that so my explanation has always been, 'You know, they didn't understand who he was: Their hearts weren't open to God's word, they didn't understand that he was the Son of God.'"
And of course they would ask how Jesus rose from the dead and how he got out of the tomb. "Again you go to the explanation that it was the will of God to raise his Son from the dead as a sign to us that he will raise us from the dead when our time comes as well," said Sauer.
Teaching children about Easter helps them get a balance. "We can't take away the commercial side of it, but for students in a Catholic school it gives them that balance, that understanding that there is more to it," Sauer said.
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