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#Assumpta nº 11 - To accompany

# eventMonday, 27 May 2024

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“All grown-ups were once children” (Saint-Exupéry). And how did they become grown-ups? At Assumption, we have been entrusted with the mission to educate. To speak of education means to have and live hope.

In the noble mission of education, words are of vital importance because they are addressed to a You. Education is a dialogue between many people: pupils, students, teachers, families, non-teaching staff and, of course, all the people who are part of the pupil’s immediate reality and daily life. People who are more distant can also have an influence as they are also part of the reality of life in their towns and countries. At the same time, thanks to the mobile devices we have access to, globalization shortens the distances across the world and brings external realities closer to us. This also feeds the dialogue.

The Word of God gives us examples of how people accompanied each other such as Ruth who accompanied Naomi: How the disciples responded to the call of Jesus to be with him; God accompanied his people; His friend John and his mother Mary accompanied Jesus at the foot of the cross. Each of us is so precious to the Creator that “He has entrusted his angels to watch over us”. We are very precious.

It has been and continues to be extremely important that in our mission of education we bring out as much of our students’ talent as possible so that they be active participants in history. This is our obligation as educators born of freedom and love for those who have been entrusted to us and for them to know that they do not walk alone.

To accompany in the process of educating means knowing that you are a secondary player in the personal story of another Son of God. The protagonist is another person, who builds the story of their life with others and with Another. Accompanying our students means kneeling before the Presence of a life that is discovering the world. Accompanying them means helping them use their compass and ask profound questions. Profound questions about: who, with whom, why, how, for what and for whom I exist. These questions are powerful driving forces in the search for meaning. Support means trust. The only way to know that we have trust is to trust. There can be situations of frustration and loss of trust. By lifting our eyes to look again at the person who is growing up and discovering life helps us to begin again.

Support has a lot to do with keeping pace. Not in front, not behind, but alongside. When you’re along their side, you listen well and walk without fatigue; you can look each other in the eye. It’s not a question of giving recipes or instructions like on video tutorials. It’s about pointing out the Light so that each person can see their own personal and individual path.

Providing support requires us to live in truth, without a superhero-mask or a filter that enhances us. By being truthful, students see us as people they can rely on, despite our fragility and poverty. Accompanying means devoting time and making us aware, once again, that we are not the protagonists.

In schools like ours, our desire to make Jesus Christ known and loved leads us to experience with some of our pupils the grace of being able to accompany them in their search for God. We must never forget to remain humble in the face of people and never usurp God’s place. To accompany is not to model ourselves on the image of the accompanier. Each of us has already been modelled in the image and likeness of God the Creator. Pastoral and tutorial accompaniment is an essential component of our way of educating in an integral way. Furthermore, it is dynamic and adapts to reality.

“What is characteristic of our spirit is that it leaves each one their specificities”. (Instr. 10.06.1877) To accompany is a verb that respects the thinking of our Mother Foundress, Saint Marie Eugénie. It’s not only about respect for the legacy we’ve received, but it’s also about the ability to bring it alive.

As adults, we have all been children who needed to be accompanied. With age, time and history, children become adults who still need to be accompanied. Accompanying life requires no particular age. All our life, we accompany all life by loving and serving.

SISTER ANA ALONSO

Province of Spain

 

 

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