The Beatitudes at Work

By June 28, 2024 No Comments

This week, I quizzed staff on their knowledge of Jesus. In Catholic schools, we do all things in Christ, so therefore, we need to know who he is. And rest assured, the staff have a good understanding of who he is! But more importantly, one of the questions asked was, what were the teachings that Jesus gave during the Sermon on the Mount that ultimately replaced or enhanced the 10 Commandments? The answer, being the Beatitudes. That question has stayed in my mind this week as we have set forward in our House groups focusing on the upcoming CAPA challenge taking place next Thursday.


The CAPA challenge gives the opportunity for students to express their skills and talents in the areas of performing arts. We have artists creating sculptures, musicians forming bands and dancers choreographing masterpieces. But the pinnacle of the day comes down to the ‘dance-off’ between the Houses. This is where each of the four Houses choose a song and spend the entire term learning the lyrics and choreograph a spectacular visual masterpiece that they put forward for the rest of the College to see. As an absolutely biased Lakes tragic, I have to say that their last year performance was one that will go down in the history books to come.


So what has this got to do with the Beatitudes? Well, as always, everything. The first Beatitude is ‘Happy are those who mourn for the will be comforted’. The word ‘happy’, or ‘Blessed’ which is often the more preferred translation (remember, Jesus spoke Aramaic and not English), confuses people as it appears to be a juxtaposed sentence, but it is not. It is suggesting that we are ‘happy’, or ‘blessed’, to have a community around us that can support us when we are in times of mourning, or need. Jesus was suggesting the Christian community at the time and we are replicating this in our House communities.


The CAPA challenge isn’t just a time to get together and dance and sing, which does bring its own joy. But rather, it is an opportunity to create bonds between students, across year groups, and with staff to build a community that students can feel safe to express themselves within. The House group is made up of mentor groups with students from all year groups to help break down the barriers that come with age and year groups in traditional high schools. When a student enters into the college each day, they come with their own personal identity, but it is further strengthened through the identity that comes with their mentor group and their House group. This larger identity is there to offer support and protection in times of need. So when your child is whinging about having to get up on stage and sing and dance to a song that they didn’t choose, please remind them that it is not a time of embarrassment but rather an act of empowerment. Our structures and systems in the College are there to support, enhance and continually grow your child not only during their time at the College, but hopefully for many years to come afterwards.


Dr Ashley Sadler,

AP Evangelisation & Catechesis

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