"May Christ bless this dwelling"
This week, our faith community celebrated the blessed feast of the Epiphany. This day honors the journey of the Three Wise Men - Casper, Melchior and Balthazar - as they followed the great star which led them to the manager of our Lord. This special feast also celebrates the revelation that Jesus was the Son of God. And on the 12th day of Christmas, the Magi had come to Bethlehem in search of the King of kings. This journey led them to Jesus as they presented Him with the precious gift of gold to honor the newborn King, incense to the true God in human form, and myrrh to anoint His body.
At St. Agnes, the feast of the Epiphany does not merely pass with a brief reference to the holiness of the day. Instead, we use this blessed event as a means in which to further teach our Catholic faith to the young people of St. Agnes. Recently, this instruction occurred by sharing a brief, yet special prayer ceremony with our students. The “Blessing of the Classrooms” prayers marked the doorways of our school building with a sacred sign and symbol. In doing so, our prayer asked for God's blessing upon all those who study, work, and visit our classrooms throughout the coming calendar year. The substance that was used to mark the doorways is common to many classrooms. Chalk, a substance made of common elements of the earth, is regularly used by our teachers and students for both study and games of play. And by using the ordinary substance of chalk and putting it to holy use in our prayer ceremony, the use of this instructional tool served as a reminder that God’s wise servants who so long ago, came to worship and adore Jesus in His first home. And within our own school home, we use the gift of our wisdom all for the greater glory of God.
On the feast day of the Epiphany, Fr. Isaac visited our school building to offer prayers and a special blessing to each classroom. As he traveled about St. Agnes, three letters were positioned between the numbers of the new calendar year, 20 + C + M + B + 20, and were carefully inscribed on the beam above each doorway. During the chalking ceremony, the tradition recalled the names of the Magi - Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. The custom is offered by inscribing the first letters of their three names — C, M, B — upon the door frame. This religious practice often considers that the letters C M B may also stand for the Latin phrase "Christus Mansionem Benedicat," meaning "May Christ bless this dwelling." This inscription along the door frame of each classroom left behind a sacred sign and symbol of God’s love for us. What’s more, this special prayer ceremony served to remind our young people that this Catholic tradition, like many that our students experience during their time at St. Agnes, shares a precious gift. The gift of faith.
Our school community extends the branch of learning well beyond that which a textbook or laptop computer might offer. Instead, we intentionally and actively engage our students in the process of learning. Learning of the world which surrounds them - all through the lens of faith. This lens of faith empowers our students to respect the traditions of who we are all, all while searching for the power of truth that God’s love provides.
If you are seeking an academic program which provides excellence in education within a foundation of faith, then look no further St. Agnes School.