Sister Lynn Winsor
As the 2020 to 2021 Xavier school year comes to an end, many things have changed this year. The year has been different in many aspects for teachers, staff and students.
Brianne Sanford, part of the campus ministry group, talked about this year’s experiences and how it differed from previous years due to the pandemic getting in the way of many things.
“This school year has definitely been different for all of us and it has definitely affected ministry and forced us to get a little more creative. Typically we would have all class prayer days (which have been adapted for a classroom- visit model) and our Kairos retreats (which are now local). Things have been cancelled or changed. However, it has been really beautiful to see how God has brought good from these interesting circumstances and how many people are actually more open to deepening their relationship with God,” said Sanford.
In addition to traditional school events getting cancelled, protocols taking place, and retreats and campus ministry activities getting switched, some theology teachers expressed it may have been a harder year to teach. A main focus at Xavier is providing a high-level education alongside faith. With some girls being online and some girls going in- person to school, and having that hybrid schedule, it has been difficult.
Gavin Ahern, a junior theology teacher, who has worked at Xavier for more than 15 years shared a little bit of his insight as to how his teaching theology is different from previous years.
“It’s a drag, because I would not even recognize some of my students, if they were right in front of me. When they have been on-line all year and the camera is often off, I feel like I don’t really know them. Theology is not just imparting information, it is much more ‘incarnational’ and teaching to a square on a laptop really restricts the experience.”
Dr. Michael Lueken, a senior theology teacher, shared a little bit about his experience with a lot of things changing, especially in regards to attending Mass with Covid restrictions.
“I was so happy when I first heard that we were going to have the modifications for Covid during all the all-school Mass. I had my doubts about how it would go but it was wonderful the way it turned out! The atmosphere was quite reverent and it was nicely done. We were able to receive communion together in the classroom in unity with those online or elsewhere on campus. This work is essential for our participation in Xavier’s mission. Jesus Christ is the reason for the school, and in the Eucharist we become what we consume: the Body of Christ. That is, we experience nothing less than our becoming partakers of the Divine Nature.”
Although many things were different this school year and a lot of things had to be changed, Xavier’s students, staff and teachers made the best experience possible for a lot of their students. If it weren’t for the amazing community here at Xavier all these things wouldn’t have been possible in the 2020 to 2021 school year.