May 6, 2024
St. Francois de Laval
Patron of the Bishops of Canada

Catholic Education Week May 6-10, 2024

In joy and thanksgiving, we, the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan, invite you to join us in recognizing the gift and the impact of Catholic education as we celebrate Catholic Education Week in our province from May 6 to May 10.

This year’s theme – “We Are Called to Love!” – reminds us of a central theme in the Bible, where it is referenced in so many ways. We draw inspiration from I John: 4: “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God in them.”

As we celebrate this year’s theme, we recall the many ways in which Catholic education not only exhorts us about the way of love but carries out education and related activities that reveal and reinforce the way of love and charity. To live a life of ‘love’ is not a passive issue. To nurture love in all things is to encourage and foster a virtue that calls forth a vision and response – by Catholic educators, by members of the Church, by families and the larger community. We not only are to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, but we strive to imitate Him in every way – with God’s grace and help. The journey of Jesus Christ– through His life and ministry of teaching and service, through His passion and death on the cross, and through His resurrection to new life – provides the pattern for love and charity for Catholic education and formation.

In this sense, Catholic education seeks excellence: an excellence which involves developing and bringing to bear all young peoples’ gifts and abilities to be excellent disciples of the Lord as they humbly serve God’s plan to make the world a better place and seek our ultimate destiny.

We join together in giving thanks to God for the gift of Catholic education and its unique contribution in our province and our communities. We pray in thanksgiving for the continuing existence and protection of publicly-funded Catholic education in Saskatchewan, and for hope and perseverance for educators, students and families who are navigating the many challenges and opportunities to proclaim Christ in our world today.

May Catholic education continue to model Christ: “… the Way, the Truth and the Life…,” (John 14:6) and develop the head and the heart so that we may serve our brothers and sisters seeking, “… a new heaven and a new earth.” (Rev. 21:1).

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Donald Bolen, Archbishop of Regina

Most Rev. Murray Chatlain, Archbishop of Keewatin- Le Pas

Most Rev. Mark Hagemoen, Bishop of Saskatoon

Most Rev. Stephen Hero, Bishop of Prince Albert

Most Rev. Michael Smolinski, C.Ss.R., Eparch of Saskatoon

Prayers for Catholic Education Week

Monday, May 6: We are called to love as people of hope.

We pray to have the same desire for ourselves and for all people that St. Paul expressed in his Letter to the Romans: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Let us pray:
Good and gracious God,
As we begin this Catholic Education Week, let us journey as people of hope.
Guide us to reflect Your love in all we say and do.
May our hearts fill our schools and communities with kindness.
May our hands reach out to those in need,
and may our voices echo Your love and respect for all people.
We make this prayer in Jesus’ name, the One who brings us hope.

Tuesday, May 7: We are called to love as people of faith.

As we pray today, let us ponder this message from the Book of Galatians: “For in Christ Jesus… the only thing that counts is faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:6)

Let us pray:
Loving God,
Thank you for bringing us together as people of faith.
As we learn and grow each day, fill our hearts with a spirit of gratitude, recognizing the blessings around us and sharing them with others.
As people of faith, we are called to love with all our hearts, minds and souls, and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Fill our hearts with empathy and kindness, that we may embrace differences and celebrate each person’s unique gifts.
We ask that you help us to always have faith and to put our trust in you.
As we share the Good News of the Gospel with others, may our words and actions reflect the love that you have poured into our hearts.
We ask this in the name of Jesus who is love itself.

Wednesday, May 8: We are called to love as people of mercy.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)

As we continue to journey through the Easter Season, let us reflect on the words of Pope Francis in his 2013 Easter message. Pope Francis stated: “Let us accept the grace of Christ’s resurrection! Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of His love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.”

Let us pray:
God of mercy and love,
You have blessed us with goodness and compassion.
Inspire us to live out your call to speak and act as people of mercy.
Help us to treat each other with kindness.
Teach us to be patient and forgiving.
Guide us to love as you love; to be merciful as you are merciful.
Make our school a place of warmth, safety, and welcome, where forgiveness and acceptance are modeled daily.
May our words and actions reflect your mercy and serve as loving reminders that we are all your precious children.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Thursday, May 9: We are called to love as people of justice.

“Do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6:8)

On this Ascension Thursday, we also celebrate World Catholic Education Day. At the time of his Ascension, Jesus told His followers to go and make disciples of all nations. This mission, given to us by Jesus, calls to mind our theme for this special week: We are Called to Love. He asks us to make disciples of all nations so that the love of God can be spread far and wide.

Let us pray:
Loving God, You give us love in abundance.
With Your love in our hearts, help us to work for a more just world.
Send us Your Spirit so that we can treat people fairly
and be a voice for those who are not heard.
In our work and our play, strengthen us to act with justice and mercy.
Lord, You show us kindness and love.
May we work for justice so that all may know You.
We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, Prince of Peace.

Friday, May 10: We are called to love as people of joy.

On this final weekday of Catholic Education Week, we again celebrate the gift of Catholic education and reflect on our calling to love as people of joy. “Our heart is glad in the Lord, because we trust in his holy name.” (Psalm 33:21)

Let us pray:
God of all goodness,You call us to love as You love.
Love is the purpose for which You created us in Your image –
love for You, love for Creation, and love for all Your people.
May we love generously with open hearts full of joy.
May our joyful love be a sign to our world
of the new life, strength, and hope You offer us every day.
Glory and praise to You, for calling us into Your family and into Your service,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.