Hi! My Name is Joe I am the Pastoral Care Associate. This is my first year here at St. Joseph’s. Part of my job entails teaching some of the religious education classes along with Clare, the Co-Director of Pastoral Care. The other part of my job includes going into the homes and assisting houseparents with spiritual development for our Native American students.
Being right out of college and growing in my faith life, I have been praying and reflecting about what led me to St. Joseph’s Indian School. Over the past few weeks, I have been given a few answers to this question and would like to share a couple of examples.
Every morning when I get to school I recite a prayer from a small prayer-book that includes verses and devotions. The other day the verse was Proverbs 3: 5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Later in the day, I realized that this verse was setting the stage for me to gain insight about my position here at St. Joseph’s.
After lunch, the fifth grade students came into my class. They were acting about how you would imagine fifth graders would act right after recess. It took some time for the class to calm down. As class began, I told them that we were going to be talking about Creation and how God created everything for us.
I was reading out of Genesis when verse 26 came up,
“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.”
One student raised his hand.
“So God made us to look like Him?”
I responded by saying,
“Yeah, God made us in His likeness. Isn’t that crazy?”
Another and went up.
“Why would God make us in His image?”
I replied by saying,
“God loves us so much that he wanted us to be like Him and to love each other.”
I looked around the room to see some students nodding their heads as if they understood. There were a few students that seemed to be grasping this concept. That gave me a good feeling.
The next class that came in was the first grade class. They always come in with a lot of energy. I read them stories of Jesus and how He lived his life and how He wanted us to live our lives.
A first grader then asked,
“How did Jesus die?”
You have to remember that most of these first graders don’t know much about Jesus.
I told the young boy that it was a great question.
“Jesus died on a cross,” I said.
He then said,
“Why did He die?”
I responded with,
“Jesus loved us so much that He died for our sins.”
Another student then said,
“He died for us?”
“Yeah, Jesus died for you because He loved you so much.”
I then asked the students how they felt about someone dying for them. The boy who asked the question then said,
“I LOVE JESUS!”
Other first graders then said they too loved Jesus Christ.
Later, as I reflected on the day I realized how the verse I read in the morning spoke to me and how God was working through me. I remembered how the fifth graders were amazed that we were made in the likeness of God, and how the first graders were loving Jesus. I have to admit, it put a smile on my face. It made me realize how lucky I am to be here in an amazing community with incredible children.
God is truly great!