Friday, September 18, 2020
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Love and acceptance in the classroom today

Sisters finally met the students they had been praying for during the last eight weeks of a special Agape program designed by Leah Watkiss and Ann McGowan. This program was incorporated into the religion class taught by St. Joseph's College School chaplain Monica Gondin.
Sisters of St. Joseph and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Loretto Sisters, were eager to meet the 25 Grade 12 students.  They looked forward to viewing the projects showing how the students would interpret selfless unconditional love and its relevance in their daily lives.
The encounter took place on June 4, 2014, at Loretto Abby over a pizza lunch. Sisters and students greeted each other warmly, sat together and got to know each other. Student presentations followed, taking the form of videos, posters, and poems on this subject.
One group interviewed students at their school, asking them what unconditional love would look like in their day to day life. Another had written a poem on love, projecting it on the screen. They also designed a poster on this topic. Another group looked at the challenges transgendered people faced and how they could be supportive to their issues. All groups found ways to make this subject both topical and real.
“I learned a lot at this gathering,” said one of the Sister/Prayer Companions. “I am so glad to be here. These young women are growing up in a very different world than one in which I grew up. They are confronting issues we never talked about.”
Leah Watkiss works for the Sisters of St. Joseph as program director for the CSJ Ministry for Social Justice, Peace and Care of Earth. Ann McGowan works for the Loretto Sisters as director of their Mary Ward Centre.
Article and pictures by Gisela Côté



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