Sacred Space

No, I’m no talking about the excellent Web site www.sacredspace.ie.

I’m talking about creating sacred space in your “classroom.” In particular, I’m referring to the notion of inviting the children/young people to occasionally get out of their seats/desks and to find a place in the room where they can sit on the floor and be “alone.” I tell them that this will be their sacred space for the year and that, from time to time, I will invite them to go to their sacred space for some quiet prayer time.

Providing the young people with this space accomplishes several things. On a practical level, it helps with discipline because it “divides and conquers.” If you try to lead guided reflections (meditations) when the young people are sitting next to each other, the temptation is too great for them to interact and misbehave. When they’ve gone off to their sacred space, you have some degree of “buffer zones” between each student depending on the size of your room. More importantly, it provides the young people with a degree of privacy. Individuality is very important to young people and this gives them an opportunity to experience it. (Of course we need to provide experiences of community to offset the rampant individualism of our culture but that’s another post!)

Today, I’m going to run over to Walgreens to pick up some mini battery-operated devotional candles (advertised as “smart candle tea lights”) – they are on sale 3 for $3. I’ll get one for each student and then, when it is time for them to go to their sacred space, I’ll invite them to come forward one at a time to take their little devotional candle with them to their sacred space…a sign that the light of Christ is accompanying them.

About Joe Paprocki 2571 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

2 Comments on Sacred Space

  1. thank you for creating space for young people. We are in the process of putting together a plan that would create a sacred space that students can retreat after school. It could be at an After School program location and they can add a sacred space- a room with interactive/experential stations to help them be alone in silence and relative solitude. This is a great need for young people to experience solitude in learning prayer, discernment, reflection, meditation .
    Anyway, thanks for your inspiration and please pray for us as we create a sacred space for our youth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*