From the Principal -The Importance of Prayer.  

Santa Maria College

Term 4 commenced for staff with a workshop, “Being Yourself Before God” by Sister Margaret Scharf, a Dominican Sister who has a background in Catholic education and leadership. Her work has focused on adult spiritual and faith formation, which includes nearly 18 years in the USA, coordinating a three-year formation program for spiritual directors.

Sister Margaret is on the Dominican Sisters’ leadership team and she is the current President of the Council of Churches WA.

Focusing on prayer, staff were challenged with the following questions:

  • What is prayer?
  • How do we pray?
  • What is our God ‘moment’? How have we experienced him today?
  • When do we see God’s presence?

Sr Margaret focused on God being within each of us and how we all respond in different ways to his presence. She discussed being yourself and praying in your own personal way and opening the door to his friendship which is a very individual and varied experience for each of us.

Interestingly, through her research, Sr Margaret found when children were asked to draw a picture that represented God, she found the following trends:

  • 6-year-old children tended to draw themselves, representing God within them and a God who helps them.
  • 9-year-old children tended to draw Jesus or symbols of the sacraments as this is a time when many are receiving the sacraments and see God as a brother or a friend.
  • 12-year-old children tended to draw more abstract symbols representing God as love, peace or the creator of our Earth.

Sister Margaret is also a composer of many songs used in schools and parishes nationally and internationally and staff joined together in a song called “Rise with Incense” which was an uplifting way to join together in the form of prayer.

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