The staff of Mount Royal Academy started the school year by receiving training in the preventative system, otherwise known as the Salesian Way. We were honored to welcome Sr. Eflie back to campus.
The preventative system is predicated on three pillars: reason, religion, and loving kindness. It was inspired by the life of St. John Bosco, the preeminent model of educative presence. Perhaps there is no better explanation than the very words of this saint of the youth.
The following is a letter written by St. John Bosco to the staff of his own school - or oratory as he called it - back in 1884:
"If you want to be of one heart and soul you must work continually to break down the fatal barrier of mistrust between young people and staff that is never far away. You will do that by a friendly, informal approach to young people especially in the playground.
If you want to be loved by young people you must make it clear that you love first. Jesus Christ made himself little with the little ones of this world and bore our weakness. He is our model in the friendly approach.
Confidence between adults and young people creates an electric current. Through confidence, hearts are opened, needs and weaknesses are revealed. This love enables staff to put up with the weariness, the annoyance, the ingratitude and the troubles that youngsters can cause. Jesus Christ did not crush the bruised reed or snuff out the smoldering candle. He is your model.
Never forget humility, it is the source of peace and mind; put up with each other's shortcomings because there is no perfection in this world. Try not to grumble because it freezes the heart. Instead live in the presence of God and let it be for you a source of peace and reassurance."