At this time of global uncertainty and unrest, it is the words of Father Kevin Boyle SJ, “We belong to each other,” and those of Elder Harry Francis, “Love one another and help one another…sákihitók mina wicíhitók,” that have helped shape and guide the work at Mother Teresa Middle School (MTMS); to live and breathe the magis as never before.
Mother Teresa Middle School is a Jesuit, Nativity-Modelled school located in Regina, SK, that serves students living in poverty. The school educates students in grades 6-8 and then continues to journey with them via a specialized Graduate Support Team that provides much needed coaching, advocacy, and support through high school and post-secondary, up to employment. The school’s mission is to break the cycle of generational poverty for students.
The idea of cura personalis remains the central tenet that animates MTMS’s approach to education. In order to support students in navigating their physical, social, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being, the school introduced Mindful Mornings. Mindful Mornings occur daily and take place 15 minutes prior to the start of each academic day. These mornings are shaped by student voices and are rooted in prayer as well as current best practices around breathing, meditation, and visualization. The goal of each session is to equip MTMS students with the tools and resources needed to effectively navigate the global pandemic and combat anxiety, trauma, and stressful situations.
Another critical area of focus at MTMS is finding ways for students to experience and explore their Indigenous culture. In journeying with MTMS students, one will quickly notice how Indigenous traditions and spiritual practices are infused and woven into the overall curriculum at MTMS. While the medium of delivery has changed during COVID-19, students have been afforded the opportunity to celebrate and honour their diversity.
Students have been participating in Virtual Mindful Beading Sessions once a week, under the guidance of local artists Lorne Kequahtooway and Joely Big-Eagle Kequahtooway. These sessions are rooted in traditional Indigenous spirituality as well as the artistic, linguistic, and cultural history. Cultural Hour also occurs school-wide, on a weekly basis, and is led by MTMS Cultural Liaison Mr. Evan Whitestar, who is an Oskâpêwis (Elder’s Helper).
These sessions provide a space for knowledge sharing and teachings that emphasize the spiritual connection to Mother Earth and our relationships with one another – a timely message as experiences with COVID-19 have demonstrated that we are closely linked to each other as well as Mother Earth. These few examples have allowed the staff and students at MTMS to explore and model elements of the Universal Apostolic Preferences: Showing the Way to God, Walking with the Excluded, Journeying with Youth, and Caring for our Common Home.
For more information, please visit the school’s website at: www.mtmschoolregina.com.