We pray at the start of every school day at 8:30 and the whole community pauses for this holy moment. Our prayer community extends beyond our campus to the wider O’Dowd family. Please consider pausing with us at 8:30 AM to hold this time in your heart in a special way. Join us wherever you are!
Friday, Sept 2, 2016
offered by Moriah De Los Santos-Moore, senior and member of CMT-
This Sunday, September 4, Mother Teresa will be canonized, or officially declared that she is a saint. Let us reflect on the following poem, which was written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:
‘People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.’
Let us pray…. Loving God, We offer this poem as a prayer, that we may live a life of mindfulness and grace, despite the forces that attempt to prevent us from doing so. Help us all to live more like Mother Teresa, who, full of love, offered herself to others. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Thursday, Sept 1, 2016
offered by Adryanna Ruiz-Mendoza, senior and member of CMT-
Pope Francis has asked that we make today, September 1st, a day of prayer for the care of creation. He said “Believers and unbelievers agree that the earth is our common heritage, the fruits of which should benefit everyone. However… we need a new way of living… a change that unites us all – free from the slavery of consumerism. The Pope made a “special request that we take care of creation – a gift freely given and our common home.” And so in the words of Pope Francis, we pray today In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe, and in the smallest of your creatures. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it – that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature. And encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace. Amen
Wednesday, Aug 31, 2016
offered by Ms. Cindy Conley, Dragon Den Manager
You hold each of us in your loving hands. Come fill our hearts, minds and bodies with hope. Help us to cast our worries upon you, so that we can embrace our learning today. Bless us as we study and grow together. Come and anoint those who teach us to be bringers of insight and knowledge. Lord, watch over us all, keep us safe within your Almighty hand. Amen.
Tuesday, Aug 30, 2016
offered by Mr. Greg Moore, Director of Campus Ministry
Lord Jesus, we ask for the life and power of your Spirit in our school, so that adults and young people alike may always see the need to treat others generously, with respect and courtesy and care and understanding. As you cured people who were blind, lead us to focus on the positive rather than the negative, so that we may all bring out the best in one another. Amen
Monday, Aug 29, 2016
offered by Ms. Marguerite Green, Assistant Student Activities Director/Events Coordinator
Dear Lord, I pray you’ll be our eyes And watch us where we go And help us to be wise In times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer When we lose our way Lead us to a place Guide us with your grace To a place where we’ll be safe.
I pray we’ll find your light And hold it in our hearts When stars go out each night Remind us where you are.
Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day Lead us to a place Guide us with your grace Give us faith so we’ll be safe.
A world where pain and sorrow will be ended And every heart that’s broken will be mended And we’ll remember we are all God’s children Reaching out to touch you Reaching to the sky.
We ask that life be kind And watch us from above We hope each soul will find Another soul to love.
Let this be our prayer Just like every child. Needs to find a place Guide us with your grace. Give us faith so we’ll be safe
Friday, Aug 26, 2016
offered by Fr. Jim Sullivan, Chaplain
We have many examples of community in diversity here at Bishop O’Dowd. One of these is the Living Lab, where faculty, staff and students combine human effort with the powers of nature to bring forth life. These diverse elements of nature include the rich, deep soil of the East bay hills the air, with a diversity of temperatures, humidity and breezes the sky, which can be blue and blazing with the California sun, grey and serene with the morning marine layer, or filled with storm clouds, sending the life-giving rain. There are as well the little non-human helpers in the joint efforts of the Lab – the earthworms, the ladybugs, the butterflies and the bees. Building community in diversity requires an embrace of certain core values well expressed by that great saint of nature, Francis of Assisi. Lord, make me a channel of your peace Where there is hatred, let me sow your love Where there is injury, pardon Where there is darkness, light; doubt, faith; despair, hope And where there is sadness, ever joy. O Master grant that I may never seek so much to be understood as to understand, To be consoled as to console, to be loved, as to love with all my soul. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Thursday, Aug 25, 2016
offered by Mr. Brian Judd, Assistant Principal
Finding God in all things…. Calls us to Community in diversity. This challenge requires us to have an open mind & heart… to be open to something we often resist… Change!
We can change. We can be different. We can defy history. Our past is but a memory dragged into the present moment. That moment is no more important or significant than the next. And in the next moment, we can change it all. Truly embracing this school’s diversity requires us to change our point of view, even our beliefs.
Let us pray… Lord God, open our minds and hearts to the changes we need to make in this diverse community in order to find you in all things. AMEN
Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016
offered by Dylan Brown, senior student and CMT member
Your Life Matters Guided by the enduring, unfulfilled promise of the belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, ours is a faith that has worked to say to those who have been marginalized: You are a woman, and your life matters. You are of the LGBTQ community, and your life matters. You have a disability, and your life matters. You are black, and your life matters. You are a minority, and your life matters. You struggle with depression, and your life matters. Right now we are being called— by our ancestors, by our principles, by young activists across the world— to promote and affirm: That the lives of those who suffer matter, and we hold up the loss of the lives of those injured or killed– or whose homes were destroyed– in Louisiana floods or California fires recently. At the same time, we also remember that those who are brown skinned, Killed by similar radical terrorism and violence, Such as those in Syria, Iraq, and the streets of Oakland—We remember that their lives matter, too. We ask for your blessings, Lord, upon our Bishop O’Dowd community, and our world, so that all people know that they Matter.
Adapted by Ms. Mueller for the Bishop O’Dowd High School community from “Your Life Matters” by Kenny Wiley.
Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016
offered by Mr. Greg Moore, Director of Campus Ministry
Almighty God, through your Holy Spirit you created unity in the midst of diversity;
We acknowledge that human diversity is an expression of your manifold love for your creation; We confess that in our brokenness as human beings we turn diversity into a source of alienation, injustice, oppression, and wounding.
Empower us to recognize and celebrate differences as your great gift to the human family. Enable us to be the architects of understanding, of respect and love; Through the Lord, the ground of all unity, we pray. Amen.
Friday, Aug 19, 2016 – 1st day of classes
offered by Mr. JD Childs, Principal
Let us remember that God’s grace is able to be discovered in all that we do and all that we are.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit
In her book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Marianne Williamson wrote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
From holy scripture in 1 Corinthians 12, we learn that each of us has spiritual gifts to offer for the sake of the whole. And that each of us is essential to the spiritual integrity of the whole.
“As a body is one, though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body though many are one body, so also Christ. For in one spirit we were all baptized into one body.”
Dearest Lord, Merciful Redeemer, God of Light and Joy — We are your people.
Help us to remember that each and everyone of us here at ODowd, every single student, coach, staff person, teacher, administrator – each and every one of us – brings something unique and adds something special to our community that makes it better, richer, and more textured than it could otherwise be. Help us, Lord, to remember that each of us has a unique role to play in the realization of community at ODowd this year. Give us the strength to create community in our diversity… and to discover you, O Lord, in that good work together.
ARCHIVED PRAYERS from school year 2015-16
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
offered by Mr. Mark Lederer, AP Psychology Teacher and Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern
The Camaldolese monks and nuns are part of the Benedictine family of monastic communities which follow the way of life outlined in the Rule of St. Benedict. Their name is derived from the hermitage of Camaldoli, in central Italy. They also have a monastery in Big Sur and Berkeley. The following is a prayer in poem form of hope, healing, and praise, written by these monks.
By truthful speaking set us free From all that hinders and deceives, to build a new equality where all shall give and all receive.
Accepted by a deeper love than all the hurt that still divides, through broken bread we’ll learn to trust a sister’s hands, a brother’s eyes.
Then come and speak with foreign tongue, to challenge all our settled ways, for Christ in us now makes us one in hope, in justice, and in praise.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
offered by Mr. Greg Moore, Director of Campus Ministry
As this school year winds down, we give thanks to God: For all the teaching and learning that have taken place in our school, both in and out of the classroom,
We give thanks for this Community in Diversity that we are, for the difficulties that bring forth our Strength of Character, for the learning opportunities that inspire our Academic Excellence, for our daily Kinship with your Creation that sustains us, for the understanding and prodding to work for Social Justice, and for the Joy that underpins this special school.
In all these things, dear Lord, may we always find you. Amen.
Friday, May 20, 2016
offered by Ms. Sara Bauermeister, Spanish Teacher and Campus Minister
God of Wisdom, Thank you for all that I have learned this past year.
Be with me as I go into my final exams, guiding my studies and giving me insight so that I may perform to the best of my ability.
Grant me the strength to handle the pressure of these days, the confidence to feel secure in my preparation, and the ability to keep a proper perspective through it all.
Help me to be mindful what is truly important as I focus my time and energy on these exams.
Finally, may I sense your peace through it all, knowing that I applied myself to the challenges of this day.
I ask this through Christ our Lord.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
offered by Mr. Jay Beito, Science Teacher and Conditioning Coach
I surrender to you my doings this day. I ask only that they serve You and the healing of this world. May I bring your love and goodness with, To give to others wherever I go. Make me the person you would have me to be. Direct my footsteps, and show me what you would have me to do. Make the world a safer more beautiful place. Heal us all and through your power, may we know the joy of your blessings and guidance.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
offered by Cameron Park, sophomore student
Lord, grant me tenacious courage as I go through this day. When I am tempted to give up, help me to keep going. Grant me a cheerful spirit when things don’t go my way. And give me courage to do whatever needs to be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
offered by Diana Murray, Religion Department Chair
O Lord, Open my eyes that I may see the needs of other; Open my ears that I may hear their cries; Open my heart so that they need not be without succor; Let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong, Nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich. Show me where love and hope and faith are needed, And use me to bring them to those places. So, please open my eyes and my ears That I may this day be able to do some work of peace for thee. Amen (prayer by Alan Paton, from “Life Prayers”)
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
offered by Renee Early, English Department Chair
The following is an Ancient Irish Rune, one Madeline L’Engle weaves into her novel, A Swiftly Tilting Planet.
At Tara today in this fateful hour I place all Heaven with its power, And the sun with its brightness, And the snow with its whiteness, And fire with all the strength it hath, And lightning with its rapid wrath, And the winds with their swiftness along their path, And the sea with its deepness, And the rocks with their steepness, And the earth with its starknesss All these I place, By God’s almighty help and grace, Between myself and the powers of darkness
Please join me in prayer. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit:
Dear God – May is a month of challenges: due dates for projects and essays, AP exams and semester finals. Help us to remember to breathe and to manage the hurdles we face. Let us also celebrate our lives in community with those who surround us, for the most formidable test of May is to begin our leave-taking process, as we begin to say goodbye to those we have grown to cherish. . We pray for your help, grace and power as we face those obstacles. Encourage us, as we face these obstacles, to recognize that in spite of these obstacles we live blessed.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. AMEN.
Prayer of the Week
For the 3rd week of April, 2016 offered 4/22/16 by Ms. Sara Bauermeister, Spanish Teacher and Campus Minister
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus said: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to announce release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set oppressed people free.”
Yesterday, 17 students and faculty had the privilege of attending a student led teach-in on race and the criminal justice system at Sacred Heart Prep in Menlo-Atherton. We learned many startling facts including the statistic that 5 times as many Whites use drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites. This has led to mass incarceration of people of color in this country that results in the US, despite having only 5% of the world’s population, having 25% of the world’s prisoners. As people of faith, we are called to minister to those in need, acknowledging that each person is Christ in our midst. However, we are further called to dismantle systems that unjustly oppress and shackle our brothers and sisters.
This morning, let us pray, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lord, you suffered at human hands the pain of false arrest, torture, and unjust punishment, and you commanded us to comfort those in prison. Build a fire in your people, Lord, that we may never learn patience with prejudice or make peace with oppression, but that we may burn with zeal for justice, proportion, and equal protections under law for all people. In the Name of him who died condemned. Amen.
Prayer of the Week
For the 4th week of February, 2016 offered by Renee Early, English Department Chair
The following is a meditation from the playwright and former Czech President Vaclav Havel….. It is I who must begin…. Once I begin, once I try — here and now, right where I am, not excusing myself by saying that things would be easier elsewhere, without grand speeches and ostentatious gestures, but all the more persistently —to live in harmony with the “voice of Being,” as I understand it within myself —as soon as I begin that, I suddenly discover, to my surprise, that I am neither the only one, nor the first, nor the most important one to have set out upon that road…. Whether all is really lost or not depends entirely on whether or not I am lost…
Now please join me in prayer… Gracious God, During this Lenten season, enable us to hear within ourselves the Voice of All Being, and walking thusly, earnestly, to live in harmony with our fellow pilgrims, so that together we may find ourselves un-lost in Thee. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit Amen.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 offered by Mr. Greg Moore, Director of Campus Ministry
Pope Francis has been visiting Mexico since last Friday, and on his last day there, today, he will visit the border city of Ciudad Juárez. A focus of his message today is on respect and dignity for migrants. Our school chooses to take up this call – so today we will begin with a Prayer for Migrants.
For all those who see “home” and all it means Disappear behind them; For all those who cannot see a home In the days ahead of them; For all those who dwell in Daily insecurity; For all those who are weary and Without a safe place to rest their heads; For all families in migration we pray. May the image of the Holy Family Fleeing oppression stay with us as we enter a New Year, And stay with us each night as we are blessed With returning to a home. May we also be blessed With compassion for those Still weary, still seeking, Still with so far to go. Amen.
prayer written by Jane Deren, 2007
Thursday, February 11, 2016 offered by Isabel Hallock, junior student
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Of the many appearances of the Virgin Mary to people around the world, the story of Lourdes continues to be provocative for both teenagers and people who need healing from a sickness or disease. Our Lady appeared to a teenage peasant girl, Bernadette. Bernadette was a simple girl whose asthma often got in the way of her being active and spending time with many friends. One day Bernadette went to retrieve branches for their fireplace when Our Lady appeared to her in a cave or grotto. We believe the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette at least 19 times. Although many of the adults didn’t believe her when she was young, her story continues to get re-told because many people, to this day, are healed by the water in that grotto where she once saw the Virgin Mary. Today we pray a prayer attribute to this teenage saint, St. Bernadette. In the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen O Jesus, give me, I beg you The bread of humility The bread of obedience, The bread of charity, The bread of strength to break my will and to mold it into yours, The bread of detachment from creatures, The bread of patience to bear the sufferings my heart endures. The bread of seeing you alone in all things and at all times. Jesus and Mary – I want no other friends but these. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Friday, February 5, 2016 offered by Ms. Sara Bauermeister, Spanish Teacher and Campus Minister
On this final day of Catholic Schools week, we offer a prayer for those who don’t have the opportunity that we do to receive a quality education in a supportive environment. Thus for children who go to school hungry, who experience violence in their lives and their communities, who are lonely, who are hopeless, and who are scared. This prayer is for them.
Loving God, Creator of the Universe, we pray in thanksgiving for all that we have through our Catholic education at O’Dowd. This time is a preparation for our promising futures and we recognize and acknowledge that to whom much has been given, much is expected. Thus we’d like to take a moment to remember those students who struggle to get ahead in this world without a formative education. This is for those who have cares and worries beyond what many of us can imagine. For those whose education is impaired as they struggle to take care of their families and tend to responsibilities beyond what any child should have to shoulder. We ask that these students be comforted, that they be sheltered, that they be nourished to be able to reach their full potential given to all of us by God. Amen.
Monday, January 11, 2016 offered by Ms. Pam Shay, Principal
Mr. Mike Lucas, a long-time and much loved English teacher at O’Dowd died on the afternoon of Friday, January 8, 2016. This morning’s prayer was offered in his memory.
We give you thanks for the life of Mr. Lucas. Like you, he was a teacher, and he gave of himself to his students and to our school. Comfort his family and be very close to them in their sadness and loss. Bless the students whom he taught, and help them to have pride in all that they learned from him. Help us to always care for each other in our school, and say thank you to You every day for all of the people who love us and help us.
We place Mr. Lucas into Your loving hands, Jesus, and ask You to receive him into Your heavenly Kingdom where he will be happy forever and ever. Amen
Friday, January 8, 2016 offered by Ms. Sara Bauermeister, Spanish Teacher and Campus Minister
Two big things happened over our holiday break. First, the new Star Wars was released, and then we began what the Pope has deemed to be the Year of Mercy. These two events greatly intersect. Says Jim McDermott, “What I love about ‘Star Wars’ is how it insists that real mercy is an act of radical defiance. It is a choice that goes against the grain, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, can even appear gratuitous or downright dangerous. And at the same time, mercy is the path by which the hero becomes his fullest self. In the case of Luke, what finally makes him a Jedi Knight is not the battels he wins, but the fact that instead of pursuing his cause he chooses to try and save Vader from himself.” Continues McDermott, “But the enduring message of ‘Star Wars,” a fitting insight as we begin the Year of Mercy, is that in fact it is never too late, that there is still good inside all of us, no matter what we have done. We need only close our eyes, close out those distractions and take the hand that is extended to us.” So, let us pray. Dear Lord, we thank you for this Year of Mercy in which to practice having mercy on ourselves, and having mercy on those around us. We particularly ask that you help us to have mercy on all of those around the world who have suffered and are in need of our mercy. We thank you for the mercy that you unconditionally extend us and pray for the grace to receive it. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Link to America Magazine article “A Force to Be Reckoned With” by Jim McDermott
Thursday, January 7, 2016 offered by Renee Early, English Department Chair
Mr. Mike Lucas has served the Bishop O’Dowd Community for 34 years. He is remembered by members of the O’Dowd Community for his corny jokes, the respect he demonstrated for his students, and the care and joy he took as he taught reading and writing. Mr. Lucas is currently very, very ill with cancer.
Please join me in prayer: In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
God, We give you thanks for the life of Mr. Lucas. Like your son, Jesus, he was a teacher, and he gave of himself to his students and to our school. Comfort his family in their sadness Bless the students whom he taught, and help them to have pride in all that they learned from him. Help us all to always remember to love and care for each other and say thank you for the gifts we give each other every day. May the love of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ bless and console us and gently wipe every tear from our eyes. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 offered by Ms. Cindy Conley, Dragon Den Manager
Dear God – I will try this day to live a simple, sincere and serene life, resisting promptly every thought of anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking; but rather show my cheerfulness, and charity, exercising generosity in giving, and carefulness in conversation to all. And as I cannot in my own strength do this, I look to thee, O Lord God and ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 offered by Ms. Beth Mueller, Religion Teacher and Campus Minister
Guided by the enduring, unfulfilled promise of the belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, ours is a faith that has worked to say to those who have been marginalized: You are a woman, and your life matters. You are of the LGBTQ community, and your life matters. You have a disability, and your life matters. You are black, and your life matters. You are a minority, and your life matters. You struggle with depression, and your life matters.
Right now we are being called— by our ancestors, by our principles, by young activists across the world— to promote and affirm: That the lives of Westerners matter, and we hold up the loss of the lives of those killed in Paris on Friday.
At the same time, we also remember that those who are brown skinned, Killed by similar radical terrorism and violence, Such as those in Syria, Iraq, And the streets of Oakland—
We remember that their lives matter, too.
We ask for your blessings, Lord, upon our community, and our world, so that all people know that they Matter.
Adapted for the Bishop O’Dowd High School community from “Your Life Matters” by Kenny Wiley
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 offered by Mr. Jay Beito, Science Teacher and Conditioning Coach
Dear God, I surrender to You my doing this day. I ask only that they serve You and the healing of the world. May I bring Your love and goodness with me, to give unto others wherever I go. Make me the person You would have me be. Direct my footsteps, and show me what You would have me do. Make the world a safer, more beautiful place. Bless all your creatures. Heal us all, and use me, Dear Lord, that I might know the joy of being used by You.
a prayer by Marianne Williamson, from FOUR STEPS TO SPIRITUAL FREEDOM by Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Friday, October 23, 2015 offered by Ms. Annette Counts, Librarian
(For the Friday of Spirit Week) I’ve got Spirit yes I do, I’ve got spirit how about you? Why yes. You do have spirit. The Holy Spirit that is. So let’s put ourselves in the loving presence of the Holy Spirit – the part of God who gives us seven gifts to help us to grow in wisdom, love and justice.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit:
Spirit of wisdom and understanding, open our minds to see and respect the mysteries of the universe. Spirit of right judgment and courage, guide us as we follow Jesus’ way of love. Spirit of knowledge and reverence, help us to see the powerful value of justice and mercy in our everyday dealings with one another. Spirit of God, spark our faith, hope and love into new action each day. Fill our lives with wonder and awe in your presence which exists in all creation. Amen.
This prayer was adapted from “Catholic Online“.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 offered by Ms. Lisa Coffey-Mahoney, Director of Communications
Prayer for Students
Father of Light and Wisdom, thank you for giving me a mind that can know and a heart that can love.
Help me to keep learning every day of my life– no matter what the subject may be. Let me be convinced that all knowledge leads to you and let me know how to find you and love you in all the things you have made.
Encourage me when the studies are difficult and when I am tempted to give up Enlighten me when my brain is slow and help me to grasp the truth held out to me.
Grant me the grace to put my knowledge to use in building the kingdom of God on earth so that I may enter the kingdom of God in heaven. Amen.
Friday, October 16, 2015 offered by Mr. Mark Lederer, AP Psychology Teacher and Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern
“By the Lord’s word the heavens were made; by the breath of his mouth all their hosts.” Psalm 33:6
Perhaps nowhere else in scripture is the power of God’s word revealed more clearly than in the act of creation. Everything God imagined came into being through God’s word. And God saw how good it was. We have this same power. Our words may not create mountains and rivers, but they do have the power to build up and tear down. Recall the times when you felt the power of a harsh word on your self-esteem or the joy that came from a kind word spoken during a difficult day. Where and how can I use my power of speech today to continue God’s work of creation?
Creator of all good things, thank you for the gift of speech and for the ability to share in your ongoing creation of all that exists. Help me to speak words of love and encouragement to those I meet today. Amen
This prayer is from “3-minute Retreat” by Loyola Press.
Thursday, October 15, 2015 offered by Mr. Doug Vierra, Religion Teacher and Coach
Prayer of St. Ignatius Loyola, a soldier of the King of Spain, who became a soldier of Jesus . . .
Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve. To give & not to count the cost . . . To fight and not to heed the wounds . . . To labor and not to seek for rest . . . To sacrifice and not to look for reward . . . Except to know that I am doing your will And serving others. Amen! Friday, October 9, 2015 offered by Ms. Sara Bauermeister, Spanish Teacher and Campus Minister
Lord God, No one is a stranger to you, and no one is ever far from your loving care. In your kindness, watch over refugees and victims of war, those separated from their loved ones, young people who are lost, and those who have left home or who have run away from home. Bring them back safely to the place where they long to be and help us always to show your kindness to strangers and to all in need Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Thursday, October 8, 2015 offered by Mr. Greg Moore, Director of Campus Ministry
A prayer for learners
Father of Light and Wisdom, Thank you for giving me a mind that can know and a heart that can love. Help me to keep learning every day of my life– no matter what the subject may be. Let me be convinced that all knowledge leads to you and let me know how to find you and love you in all the things you have made. Encourage me when the studies are difficult and when I am tempted to give up. Enlighten me when my brain is slow and help me to grasp the truth held out to me. Grant me the grace to put my knowledge to use in building the kingdom of God on earth so that I may enter the kingdom of God in heaven. Amen.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 offered by Mr. Jay Beito, Science Teacher and Conditioning Coach
Take my life and let it be Consecrated, God, to thee Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in ceaseless praise Take my hands, guide from above At the impulse of thy love; Take my feet and let them be, Swift, beautiful, fast and free, Take my silver and my gold, not a bit shall I withold Take my intellect, for you to use In all your power, as you shall choose Take my heart, as your own, It shall be your royal throne. Take my love, my God, I pour At your feet it’s treasure store; Take myself, and I will be, Ever, only, all, for thee. Amen.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 offered by Renee Early, English Department Chair
a prayer from Henry David Thoreau
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
I pray today that I may: Hold on to what is good, even if it is a handful of earth; Hold on to what I believe, even if it is a tree that stands by itself; Hold on to what I must do, even if it is a long journey; Hold on to life, even when it is easier letting go; Hold on to Your hand, even when I have just lost my way. May I live in each season as it passes: Breathe the air, Drink the drink, Taste the fruit, And resign myself to the influence of each. May I be blown by all the winds; May I open all my pores and bathe in all the tides of Nature, in all her streams and oceans, at all seasons. May I grow green with spring, yellow and ripe with autumn, Drink of each season’s influence as a vial, A true panacea of all remedies, Mixed for Your special use.
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Friday, October 2, 2015 offered by Dr. Steve Phelps, President
We begin this morning with a prayer for the ten people who died in the horrendous shooting in a community college in Oregon yesterday. Please pray silently for the victims and their families and the entire Roseburg community.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the great French Jesuit Physicist who is a favorite of Pope Francis, wrote this prayer. Teilhard de Chardin asked his students to remember that everything they did could bring them the joy of finding God in all things. He said:
“Students, above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are, quite naturally, impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. And yet, it is the law of all progress, that progress is made by passing through some stages of instability, and that it may take a long time. And so, I think it is with you, my students, Your ideas mature gradually – let them grow Let them shape themselves. Don’t try to force them. Only God can say what this new spirit, gradually forming within you, will be. Give God, who surely lives within you, the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself to be incomplete and ever growing in wisdom and love of God and each other. Amen”
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 offered by Mr. Jay Beito, Science Teacher and Conditioning Coach
The Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 offered by Ms. Tere Gallarreta, Retreat Coordinator and Religion Teacher
Loving God, We thank you for a new day and for being here with our O’Dowd community once again.
We present to you this morning all of the experiences in our minds and in our hearts: excitement for upcoming events, concern for family members and friends, stress with all the to do’s, gratitude for special people in our lives, experiences of sadness and loneliness, opportunities for reaching out and connecting with others.
Help us be open to discovering your presence in each other today, and to be witnesses of your love, care, and compassion in all that we say and do. We make this prayer in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Friday, September 25, 2015 offered by Mr. Brian Judd, Assistant Principal
All this week we have begun our mornings with reflections about Pope Francis and today we’d like to focus on his care for the environment and work for sustainability.
In May, the Pope released an important pastoral letter about humans and our environment, Laudato Si, subtitled “On Care for Our Common Home,” and yesterday we heard in his speech to Congress, a call for us all to work for the “common good.”
The Catholic faith has long taught that our responsibility to each other is tied-up with our responsibility to the planet we share. We also know that the negative effects of climate change will hit hardest those people with the fewest resources – the poor and vulnerable among us – so work for the environment is tied-up with work for social justice.
In the spirit of Pope Francis, let us pray, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
God of all Creation, God who loves us, Thank you for the blessings of our earth. Give us hearts filled with gratitude and wonder for your creation. Help us recognize our interdependence, and how our use of resources is connected to the needs of the poor. Bless our work for sustainability – especially the tremendous efforts we have started here at O’Dowd. May these efforts not make us complacent, but rather give us inspiration and hope that working for the earth is working for the common good of us all.
We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Thursday, September 24, 2015 offered by Mr. Greg Moore, Director of Campus Ministry
This week we have been focusing our morning prayers on Pope Francis. Today he gave a speech at a joint meeting of the United States Congress. It is the first time a pope has addressed our government in this way, and due to the historic nature of this speech we will all be viewing this speech, which just ended at 8:00 am this morning.
Pope Francis has never shied away from speaking truth to power. And in doing so he has always asked others to enter into dialogue – to share their experiences and views, and to listen to the experiences and views of others – and to listen to the movement of the Holy Spirit, for the good of us all.
And so this morning, let us Pray, in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.
Good and Gracious God, in the spirit of Pope Francis, Give us hearts filled with love for one another. Give us ears to listen to the joys and pains of our community. Give us eyes to see the goodness in every person. Give us courage to reach out with our hands and help however we can. And give us strength to walk in solidarity with all who struggle for peace and justice. Amen
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 offered by Fr. Jim Sullivan, Chaplain and Religion Teacher
When Pope Francis was a Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he had at his disposal a palatial palace called the Archbishop’s Palace. He had at his disposal limousines driven by chauffeurs and people who would have waited on him, had he wanted it, night and day. Instead, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires chose to live in two small rooms in an apartment, take public transportation to work, do his own shopping and his own cooking. In the Vatican he continues to give forth this example of simplicity and humility, refusing the palatial Papal apartments which overlook St. Peter’s square, living in two small rooms at Casa Marta, the Vatican guest residence, where he eats in the cafeteria with all the rest of the guests. The Pope’s example echoes his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, whose commitment to simplicity, humility and evangelical poverty gave the world an authentic witness to the self-giving love of Christ.
In honor of the Pope’s visit to the United States this week I’m going to read a prayer from Luke’s Gospel – a prayer attributed to Our Lady in which the Blessed Mother proclaims God’s love for the humble, the lowly and the poor – the Magnificat.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. “And Mary said, my soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For He has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid; And behold, all generations shall call me blessed. He who is mighty has done great things for me. And holy is His name. His mercy is on those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted those of low estate. He has filled the hungry with good things, the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his children forever.” In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirt. Amen.
On the subject of Abraham and his children, today is Yom Kippur, the high holy day of the Jewish faith. To our Jewish brothers and sisters, Have an easy fast.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 offered by Ms. Beth Mueller, Religion Teacher and Campus Minister
A reflection on Pope Francis and taking care of the poor and marginalized. Who are the most important people in the world? Is it someone who is famous and strong? To God we are all important. We are all God’s children, made in God’s image and likeness, and God loves each one of us. But God has a special love for people in the world who don’t have their basic needs met. God has a special love for those who are marginalized. Jesus showed the world this special love with his life, when he dined with those who were considered unworthy, like tax collectors, outcasts, and sinners, and when he spent time with those considered “the least” in his day, like children and women. In light of Jesus’ life, Pope Francis wants us to turn the world upside down. He calls us to put the poor and the marginalized and those in need at the center and love them as God loves them. And so, let us pray. Ever-Loving God, Send your Spirit to ignite in us a burning flame of love for the poor and marginalized. Help us to love as you love, placing the least among us at the forefront of our lives. We ask this in your name. Amen.
Reflection adapted from https://adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Trifold-on-Pope-Francis-for-Children.pdf
Monday, September 21, 2015 offered by Ms. Sara Bauermeister, Spanish Teacher and Campus Minister
Buen día; good morning. Today marks the first day of a very special week for many Catholics and even non-Catholics alike here in the US. Pope Francis arrives in DC tomorrow where he will meet with the President, speak to Congress, and in alignment with his dedication to the marginalized, visit a correctional facility. This pope is remarkable for many reasons. First, he is the first pope ever from the Americas, specifically Argentina. Additionally, he has a tremendous commitment to the poor and disenfranchised, as he has spent years working with folks on the margins of society. He is a thoroughly humble man who, as Bishop of Buenos Aires, took the bus and cooked his own meals. As pope he chooses not to live in the ornate papal residence but rather in a more humble community with other Vatican employees. I am particularly drawn to this pope as for a year and a half after college I lived as a volunteer in the slums in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was there, working with folks who are completely outcast and thrown away by our consumer and capitalist global economy, that I learned not only how to love, but maybe more importantly how to be loved. Said Pope Francis, “Real love is about loving and letting yourself be loved. It’s harder to let yourself be loved than to love.” When we truly learn to love others as ourselves, then and only then can we truly take care of one another as Pope Francis is exhorting us to do. His message is one of love, care, and concern for every single person on our planet. In honor of Pope Francis I’m going to say the “Our Father” in his native Spanish language. I invite all of you who know the prayer to join me- in Spanish or in English! Padre nuestro, que estás en el cielo. Santificado sea tu nombre. Venga tu reino. Hágase tu voluntad en la tierra como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día. Perdona nuestras ofensas, como también nosotros perdonamos a los que nos ofenden. No nos dejes caer en tentación y líbranos del mal. Amén.
Friday, September 18, 2015 written and offered by Rebecca DeMent, Class of 2017
My god Pray for what has happened to me To what has scarred me For what has become stones of burden inside me That stir me up and break my insides The more I try the more they ruin me from within Lord let it be through you that I find peace That I may be able to be strong enough to cast these stones away So that I may become light No longer shall the past hurt me No longer shall I let it rule over me And define who I am Let it not be to my damnation, but to the light of what’s ahead that allows me to cast these stones from me Father no longer let me punish my soul Let me feel the light of your loving presence And know the plans you have for me are for my welfare And it is through rubbing against hardship that you smoothen stones I have forgotten the past that hurt me And I move on to be the best you make me to be. Amen.
Thursday, September 17, 2015 offered by Ms. Renee Early, English Department Chair
In his novel, The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky writes: Love all Creation, the whole and every grain of sand of it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything.
If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it ceaselessly. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.”
Please join me in Prayer. In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Author of all Light and Love, Assist us today. Allow us to stop, to see the world around us. And as we see, so let us love, that in loving Creation we may Love one another, and in loving one another, we may find and be found by You. In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: AMEN
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 offered by Ms. Lisa Coffey-Mahoney, Director of Communications
St. Theresa’s Prayer
May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us. Amen
Monday, September 14, 2015 offered by Ms. Marguerite Green, Assistant Student Activities Director/Events Coordinator
Practicing the Presence of God
I am immersed in the sacred presence of God. From the depths of my soul, my prayers rise up on wings of faith and flow out into the universe. What a joy it is to know that when I pray I am heard. And when my prayers are heard, they are answered. In stressful times I will remember that there is an absolute calm in the midst of the storm. This calm is the sacred presence of God. It is there I want to be. I now let my thoughts move toward God, knowing that God hears all, knows all and gives all. For this I am so very grateful. And Sot It Is! Amen.
Friday, September 11, 2015 offered by Mr. Greg Moore, Director of Campus Ministry
A Prayer of Remembrance For September 11
Lord of Mercy, Prince of Peace,
This date, 9-11, carries a heavy burden of memory.
This day does not pass in the calendar without our remembering.
We remember images of death and destruction. Images that human eyes were never meant to see. We remember words our ears were never meant to hear, the tender last words of husbands and wives who would never embrace again.
We imagine the feeling of emptiness in the arms of children who at the end of the day could not find mom or dad for their welcome home hug. We remember our own feelings of emptiness as our sense of security, as our own confidence in the predictable order of life and work was radically shaken.
This date, 9-11, carries a heavy burden of memory.
And it is right that it should not pass from our memory. But today and in this prayer, along with our remembrance of profound loss, it also seems right that we give voice to our deep longing for peace, and with this prayer, commit ourselves to those actions that will draw us closer to our most ancient and most holy desire, peace among all God’s children.
Dona nobis pacem.
Lord, grant us peace. Amen.
A prayer offered by Old St. Patrick’s Church, a Roman Catholic Church in Chicago’s West Loop.
Friday, September 4, 2015 offered by Mr. Greg Moore, Director of Campus Ministry
On Monday, our nation will celebrate Labor Day. And so this morning we’ll take a moment to pray for all who labor. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God of all, help us to build a new world in the midst of the old. A world where all workers are valued. A world where those who clean houses are able to buy houses to live in. A world where those who grow food can afford to eat their fill. We pray for the coming of a world where all workers everywhere share in the abundance that you have given us. We ask these things knowing that you give us the courage and strength to live out our faith in the workplace, and in the marketplace, as well as in the sanctuary. Laboring God, as you labor with us, may we labor for you, ever committed to do your work in the world. Amen.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 offered by Ms. Tere Gallarreta, Religion Teacher and Campus Ministry Retreat Coordinator
Gracious God, Thank you for the gift of today. Refresh me. Invite me to discover your presence In each person that I meet And every event that I encounter. Teach me when to speak and when to listen When to ponder and when to share. In moments of challenge and decision Attune my heart to the whisperings of your Wisdom. As I undertake ordinary and unnoticed tasks, Gift me with simple joy. When my day goes well, may I rejoice. When it grows difficult, surprise me with New possibilities. When life is overwhelming, call me to Sabbath moments To restore your Peace and Harmony. May my living today reveal your Goodness. Amen. (prayer written by – Pat Bergen, C.S.J.)
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 offered by Ms. Jocelyn Sideco, Religion Teacher and Campus Ministry Adult Spirituality Coordinator
The following prayer is attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas a 13th Century Italian Priest. He is most famous for his writings on natural theology – a form of theology that is based on experience and reasoning. St. Thomas has had a considerable impact on the thinking and theology of the Catholic Church. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 offered by Fr. Jim Sullivan, O’Dowd Chaplain
Loving God, The Book of Genesis tells us that at the outset of human habitation of the earth you granted us dominion over the land the sea and the air You entrusted to us the stewardship of our home planet Help us to recognize the great trust you have placed in us To care for the earth For its lakes, rivers and seas For its valleys, deserts, mountains and plains For all its many living creatures whose well-being depends on our wisdom, our prudence, our humility, our self-restraint Help us to imitate the great mystic of nature, St. Francis of Assisi, and help us to join with his namesake, our Pope, who today invites the peoples of the world to treasure nature, to protect it, and to see to its flourishing renewal. In Jesus’ name and by the power of your Spirit, Amen.
Friday, August 28, 2015 offered by Mr. Greg Moore, Director of Campus Ministry
10 years ago from tomorrow, Aug. 29, the city of New Orleans suffered a devastating flood when the neglected levee system that was to protect the city failed. 52 years ago from today, Aug. 28, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. And 60 years ago today a 14 year old African-American boy named Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi after reportedly flirting with a white woman.
It seems a good time at the end of August to pause and pray for all those who suffer from injustices and for all those who work to make our world a better place.
Lord of justice and mercy, We pray today that we may be filled with a desire that all people be treated with respect and dignity. Give us your eyes to see the goodness in every person we meet and give us your heart to reach out to all with compassion, mercy and justice. We pray this in your name, Amen.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 offered by Ms. Sara Bauermeister, Spanish Teacher and Campus Minister
Loving Father, I stand before you in the midst of confusion and complexities of life. My future sometimes seems distant and unknown.
Give me, O Lord, the vision to see the path you set before me. Grant me the courage to follow your way, that through the gifts and talents you have given me, I may bring your life and your love to others. I ask this through Jesus, your Son and my Brother.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 offered by Ms. Beth Mueller, Religion Teacher and Campus Minister
TO SEE AS GOD SEES
It is your destiny to see as God sees, to know as God knows, to feel as God feels. How is this possible? How? Because divine love cannot defy its very self. Divine love will be eternally true to its own being, and its being is giving all it can, at the perfect moment. And the greatest gift God can give is His own experience. Every object, every creature, every man, woman and child has a soul and it is the destiny of all, to see as God sees, to know as God knows, to feel as God feels, to Be as God Is.
– Meister Eckhart (a German mystic, philosopher and theologian from the 13th century)