Posted March 9, 2015
Book: 5 Minutes with the Saints: More Spiritual Nourishment for Busy Teachers
Authors: Lou Delfra, C.S.C., and Ann Primus Berends
Ave Maria Press.
Notre Dame, IN. 2014. Pp. 170
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
on education, comprised of insights and anecdotes from great Catholic saints,
are designed to motivate and inspire today's educators. Like the popular 5
Minutes with Christ (2011), this book was crafted by members of the University
of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program, the most
prestigious Catholic educator-training program in the United States. Designed to
provide daily encouragement to teachers, each meditation features a personal
reflection and a short prayer by such saints as Andre Bessette, Ignatius of
Loyola, and Elizabeth Ann Seton.
An Excerpt from the Book:
St. Ambrose -- Whatever It Takes
In the Gospel, we are taught to have faith and not
draw back from doing those things which are above our human strength. Hope is
incentive to labor.
As governor of a territory in northern Italy, Ambrose was
sent to broker a peace between two groups feuding over the election of the next
bishop of Milan. He so impressed the rival groups that they unanimously demanded
that he become the bishop. There were just a few problems: He wasn't a priest.
He had never studied theology. And he hadn't even been baptized yet.
emperor, however, accepted the will of the crowd and, in just one week, Ambrose
was baptized, ordained, and consecrated as the bishop of Milan. Seventeen
centuries later, we celebrate him as a Doctor of the Church, a holy hero whose
teaching and understanding of God have shaped the faith ever since that
remarkable, whirlwind week.
Perhaps Ambrose's experience of being thrust into
leadership led to his prayer. Hope gave him reason to strive, and the hope we
find in the gospel likewise gives us the strength to do work that seems
Saint Ambrose Catholic School in Tucson, Arizona, is a
Notre Dame ACE Academy where children and teachers wear T-shirts that read,
"Whatever it takes IS what it take." The motto reflects the same bold faith and
courageous hope that inspired Ambrose's own leap of faith centuries ago. For the
teachers at Saint Ambrose, sometimes it seems that the gospel demands an
impossible task --- to provide a Catholic education of the highest quality to
children in a community crippled by poverty. However, that same gospel, the
living Word of God, offers the strength, zeal, and tenacity needed to do
whatever it takes to put each child on the path to college and heaven.
simple mantra --- "Whatever it takes" --- reminds us of the promise of Ambrose's
prayer" that if we act in ways that spread the hope of the gospel every day not
only will we be able to accomplish feats above our human strength, but we will
also inspire other to do the same.
About the Alliance for Catholic Education
Reflections and contributors
Saints index, e.g. Saint Albert the Great, (The important questions0,
Saint Alberto Hurtado, (Becoming authentic lessons), Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, (A
powerful humility), Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Daily perseverance).