Billiken Teacher Corps Hopes for a Blessed Beginning to the Start of School
Members of the Billiken Teacher Corps -- which combines graduate studies, classroom teaching and an intentional faith community -- came together earlier this month to travel to their new classrooms in local Catholic grade and high schools to receive blessings in anticipation of the new school year.
The corps' 13 members gathered with Ronny O'Dwyer, S.J. earlier this month to pile into a 15-passenger van for a journey around the St. Louis area so that each corps member's classroom could be blessed.
"A blessing is not an attempt on our part to change God, but a graced moment which opens us up to being changed by God," O'Dwyer, the director of the corps, said. "In this context using Holy Water is a sign of our baptism, the moment we received our vocation to be the compassion of Christ in the world. And blessing our classrooms with Holy Water reminds us that God is found in ordinary actions of compassionate service to those in our midst."
The Billiken Teacher Corps (BTC) combines graduate studies, classroom teaching and an intentional faith community to prepare SLU students to be leaders who serve in under-resourced Catholic schools. BTC teaching fellows receive a Master of Teaching Arts degree and teaching certification with full tuition remission. The corps' first cohort graduated in May 2017 and all six of its members will be staying in Catholic education, with one member, Jenny Bruns, teaching in a high school in Chuuk, Micronesia.