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Prayer Spaces in Schools has been hugely significant in the past three years and is seen as a major contributor to leadership development amongst young people. Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler (Durham Diocese)

"Being still isn't easy"

In preparation for the New Year 2020 a member of Missio Malta, Mrs Nancy Camilleri was invited by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc to hold Prayer Spaces with 14 and 15-year-old students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua. These prayer spaces were meant to help students dish out and let go of their daily worries.

Teacher Martin Azzopardi said that “Life, and especially school, can be stressful. The 'outside world' is filled with people and things and events and noise and busyness. And our 'inside worlds', our minds, can be just as full and noisy and busy too. Being still isn't easy.

Thanks to these prayer spaces held in class students were invited to write down their daily worries on a coloured piece of paper and then put them all in a so-called ‘WORRY JAR’ and say how they feel about it.

Students together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc participate in class prayer spaces led by Mrs Nancy Camilleri, member of Missio Malta 

Mrs Nancy insisted saying that worrying about something doesn't usually make things any better, and it doesn't make the problem go away. Worrying just stop us from enjoying the good things in our lives; it makes us feel unsettled and anxious.

So this activity encouraged students to think about the things that they are worried about and to try and let go of them. Students are invited to consider what's on their minds at that moment... the people, relationships, expectations, pressures, worries. "Worry," begins the Swedish proverb, "gives small things a big shadow."

The following are some worries which the majority of the students wrote about:

“I worry about too much homework to do and sometimes I do not find enough time to complete it”;

“I am always worried about losing my family relatives or my friends”;

“I worry about family relatives recovered in hospital”;

“I feel worried about not being accepted by others”;

“I am worried about my future and what will happen to me if I do not succeed in my exams”;

“I worry about the relationship of my mother with her partner. Hope that her partner will not betray her”.

“I am always concerned about my family problems at home. Mum and Dad always fight and this makes me feel always anxious”;

“I am afraid of life itself”;

“I am afraid of falling into a depression as we have it in our family”;

“I am highly afraid of losing my grandparents whom I love so much”;

“I am afraid to die”.

Very few students wrote that they worry about nothing in life.

Then reflecting upon the biblical verse: “The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want; He makes me lie in pastures green. He leads me by the still, still waters, His goodness restores my soul.”  (Psalm 23) served as a catalyst in this exercise.

Thanks to these prayer spaces held in class some students felt relieved from their daily burdens and worries and some others shed tears while dropping their written worries in the worry jar.

Karolyn Joy Thomas, Student at St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School

Full story found here

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Posted on 10th January 2020

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