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Instilling peace for Advent and beyond at Hardbargain RC

First Year Infants with the Advent wreaths they made.

We the teachers at Hardbargain (St Paul’s) RC Primary have started preparing our hearts and minds, and those of the pupils to welcome the Lord. On this second Sunday of Advent, we draw our focus to the second purple candle, the Bethlehem candle, also called The Candle of Peace.

As we look around at our society, we are forced to acknowledge the fact that Trinidad and Tobago appears to lack peace. We ask ourselves the question, what are we doing to instill peace in our hearts, and in those around us?

At Hardbargain RC, we remind our pupils daily to be reverent in prayer and bring themselves to hear God’s voice in their hearts. The Mercy Rosary is prayed weekly involving the entire school. This sets the tone for a calm that resonates not only at the assembly but throughout the school body. It even influences some villagers, as neighbours, some of whom are non-Catholic, are seen standing near the school gate joining us in prayer.

As my First Years head to their class on a daily basis, the invoking of peace continues as we join together for ‘Bible Story Time’. My five-year-olds are preparing for His coming and made their very own Advent wreaths. We are also learning and understanding the significance of this season through other Advent activities like colouring, and singing hymns like ‘O Come, O come, Emmanuel’.

As Catholic educators we must remember that Jesus wants us to experience His peace daily and this peace must be transferred onto our charges. Our thought here at Hardbargain RC is if we can prepare our young ones’ hearts and minds and instil that inner peace through the learning experience, then this would in turn take shape in their adulthood thus creating a more loving, and peaceful Trinidad and Tobago. – Eonar Ramesar-Ali, First Year Infants teacher