During the 2019 Mother Teresa Middle School (MTMS) Summer Student Retreat, the life story of St. Ignatius was used to teach the fundamentals of Ignatian spirituality and encouraged students to be audacious like St. Ignatius: brave, courageous and willing to take risks. Students received an “Audacious Ignatius" necklace that incorporated symbols of MTMS.

The red colour of the rings on the necklace (as seen in the photo above) symbolize confidence, courage and strength. The three blue beads on each side of the "A" symbolize the school's colours. Three at MTMS means “We Love You” – a true reflection that we are journeying together. Of course, the “A” is a reminder to be audacious moving forward, as that requires students to tap into their courage to make something happen. Acting in accordance with their personal goals and values often leads MTMS students to be brave. As students discover new opportunities and work to overcome new challenges, they have the necklace to remind them of St. Ignatius and his bravery.

The first two months of the new academic year are now committed to memory in story and photographs. Our generous MTMS community has provided a host of opportunities and experiences geared at supporting a culture of hope and success. A less frequently mentioned, but equally important habit fostered through these experiences is courage.

On any given day, small acts of courage can be seen at MTMS. Sienna, one of our grade 8 students, highlighted this kind of courage when she talked about overcoming her fears to speak for the first time at our recent Mentor Information Night. Similarly, the 6th and 7th grade students have been bold and willing to take risks when interacting with Elders and engaging in inter-generational learning at Eden Care Lutheran Home.

We often speak of small acts of kindness that help to make the world a better place. As the seasons change and students encounter new challenges, we also need to continue to speak of, and recognize, the small acts of courage needed on a daily basis to make ourselves better people and achieve success. Only in that way can we - our students and our community - reach our full potential.

" Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow." - Mary Anne Radmacher