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The Power of Encouragement In The Catholic School
Episode 3530th July 2021 • The Catholic Teacher Podcast • Jonathan Doyle
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In today's episode it's time to explore a few important ideas. First, we begin with a reminder that a Catholic school is not a place of pure humanism or fancy psychology but rather a place of deep reliance upon the person of Jesus. Second, I talk about the feast of St. Martha and why we need both a Mary and a Martha spirit as we go about our work as Catholic educators. Finally, it's time to be reminded by the Letter to the Ephesians that the words we use have incredible power to shape the daily culture of any Catholic school community.

Transcripts

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Well, with you once again, welcome to the Catholic teacher

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daily podcast, almost daily.

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Regular listeners know, I joke about this, but we make it as daily as possible.

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Uh, still got three very young children.

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Many listeners would know that season of life when you're,

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um, you know, you're just.

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Chasing your kids around the place.

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You're a you're working and all that sort of stuff.

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It's an interesting season of life, but, uh,

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You know, God carries us through it.

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I think I was, I was on a zoom call yesterday to the wonderful

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Catholic leaders at elk island.

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In Canada.

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And, um, I mentioned that, uh, if I've learned one thing through this last

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couple of years of COVID and going back to the, uh, even before that, even the

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major accident that I had back in, uh,

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Where people choose cynicism, they get burned out.

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And there's also an option to realize that it's in these challenging

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seasons and times of life.

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That we're invited to truly become more dependent on Christ.

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That's a.

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That's the great message.

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Isn't it?

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That's the gospel.

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If we were capable of saving ourselves and doing everything perfectly,

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then we wouldn't have a gospel.

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We'd have humanism.

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And if you've been paying attention, humanism is pretty

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much running the script.

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And sadly, it's running the script in a lot of Catholic schools, too.

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Um, I'm definitely not speaking about your Catholic school.

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I'm just speaking about some Catholic schools somewhere that is we, as we

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lose that focus on Christ as we lose that deep evangelistic mission-based.

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Holy spirit led kind of a.

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Faith then we collapse into humanism.

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A lot of positive sentiment, a lot of, um, you know, psycho

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psychology become comes to the forefront as a place for psychology.

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Of course there is.

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You know, we're integrated beings.

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Aren't we, we have a spiritual self.

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We have a cognitive self, so psychology can be very useful.

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But I think we always have to be careful in our Catholic schools that we're

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not falling back into some kind of.

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Positivism, some kind of a humanism.

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That really what we are is people truly dependent on Christ.

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Remember when St.

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Peter said, you know, Lord to whom shall we go?

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You know, you have the words of eternal life.

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Let's never forget that, that, uh,

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There's definitely places where the holy spirit will lead us, you

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know, to improve our teaching, our leadership, our pastoral skills.

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But let's always remember that the ultimate, well, the ultimate

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place of sustenance restoration.

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Is the one and only Jesus Christ now.

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A couple of things, just to encourage you in your journey as a Catholic

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educator or leader yesterday here in Australia was the feast day of St.

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Martha.

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We have a bit of fun here with the kids each night, we

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let to know which fee stays.

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Uh, happening.

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Uh, and it's great because you sort of get to encounter these incredible

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men and women that have become saints throughout the centuries.

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And if you've heard me speak on stage, you know, I always say

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that the Catholic church, this is a little bit of Catholic trivia.

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The Catholic church does not make science.

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It doesn't create saints.

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It's a really interesting little phrasiology little phrasing terminology.

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I just sort of conflated three words there.

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Uh, the Catholic church recognizes saints.

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Don't you think that's an interesting nuance that, uh, that the Catholic

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church recognizes saints, that it's not so much that, uh, the church

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has a committee and says, Hey, this person was pretty reasonable.

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I mean,

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That that can't be the case.

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Right?

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Cause for, for example, Santa Gustin, fathered, illegitimate children.

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Um, we've got plenty of Catholic science.

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Who've got very questionable pasts, so I don't think many of them

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would've got through a committee.

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But, uh, what happens is that the.

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The church recognizes them that a supernatural grace was given to them

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and they, and they responded to it.

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That's what a Saint is.

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Somebody who simply responds.

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To grace.

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So yesterday we had sent Martha who often gets a bad rap, of course, because while

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her sister was at the feet of Jesus, Martha was busy doing all the serving.

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All the hard work and she says to Jesus, Hey, can I get a little help here?

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And, uh, I think it would have been a beautiful scene.

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Right.

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And, uh, you know, often people use this in homilies sort of going,

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well, we need to be much more like Mary and less like Martha.

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And I think what was really happening here is it's both.

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Isn't it.

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Is that a it's this.

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Beautiful rich gospel story, where we see the need for activity and

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we see the need for contemplation.

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We see the need for prayer to sit.

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Receptively in the presence of Jesus.

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But also that action is a crucial part of the human journey.

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Right.

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Doing stuff.

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So for a Catholic educator, what does this mean?

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It means that your day is filled with, or hopefully can be

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filled with these two realities.

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The reality of contemplation and action.

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He probably heard of that term, contemplative in action.

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People who are people of prayer, but then move out into action.

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So regular listeners know that my days normally start around 4:00 AM.

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I've always been an early riser, but it's a with young kids.

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It's the time of day where I can get time for prayer and training and stuff.

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So.

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You know, my day is even just I'm in the studio now, but a few hours ago

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I had this, you know, beautiful time for prayer and, uh, it's just, it's

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a non-negotiable every single day.

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And that prayer then.

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I hope leads me into all sorts of insane action throughout the

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day is so busy at the moment.

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Like we're doing a lot of exciting things.

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In our business.

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Uh, reaching more and more Catholic educators.

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My wife, Karen is doing some incredible stuff with Catholic women.

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So, uh, you know,

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We're busy.

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Right?

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Like I know we all are, but I look at my life at the moment.

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I'm like, wow.

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I used to joke that I never understood retirement.

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I was like, why would people retire?

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You know, why would you do that?

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Like, Now I, I'm not saying I'm ever going to retire, but I could see the attraction.

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Right.

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It's like you sort of go.

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Wow.

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Life is busy.

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So for me, it's this constant learning process that the action,

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the busy-ness, the intensity.

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I hope comes out of, uh, you know, the, the inspirations that come through prayer.

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I was reading a quote from father Jack Felipe yesterday,

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and he was really saying that.

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You know this, we need to have this attentiveness to the holy spirit because

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that's where you get inspirations inspirations of those things.

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And this is where you've got to develop an attuned spiritual sense over time

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because you get these little ideas, these little promptings, and those

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promptings kind of move you to do things or make calls or do this, or do that.

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That's the spirit in action, right?

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So we want to be married and then that leads us to being Martha.

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Now, last thing I'm really packing this episode today.

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We're at six minutes already.

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So I'm gonna wrap up.

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Today's reading in the divine office.

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This is from the Salta week, one Friday morning prayer.

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It's a beautiful scripture from Ephesians.

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Listen to this, do not use harmful words in talking use only helpful

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words, the kind that build up.

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And provide what is needed.

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So that what you say will do good to those who hear you.

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You know, you go back to the letter, James, you know, talking about the

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tongue being like the rudder of a ship, you know, the small thing

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that steers such a, a big thing.

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And, um, I guess, uh, you know, Jesus's words that it isn't so much.

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What goes into a person, but what comes out of them?

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You know, how, what are the things that we say.

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And this beautiful quote from Ephesians that we really need

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to be using words that build up.

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I think this is really helpful for Catholic educators, you know, because

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sometimes if a school culture gets toxic, that can be infighting and

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politics and factions and gossip and all that stuff just destroys

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the community of a Catholic school.

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And, uh, you know, w what I want to say is that look at this beautiful

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scripture from Ephesians language that builds up words that builds up.

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And I think one of those beautiful and powerful things you can do as

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a Catholic educator is what is the power to build up young people?

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Yes.

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We challenge it the appropriate time.

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Yes.

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We need to have good disciplines that learning can happen.

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But the beautiful power to build up.

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You know, to use our language and even not just our students, but our colleagues,

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you know, To catch one of our fellow educators in doing something awesome.

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And just to build them up and just to notice it and to say,

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wow, that was really impressive.

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Well done.

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So my friends, there's a lot in that today.

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Let's be Martha and Mary, and let's use the power of our language to build up

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our students to build up our colleagues.

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To avoid the sort of tearing down the.

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The copping criticism, the gossip, the slander that can just

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destroy a Christian community.

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So quickly, so God bless you, everybody.

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Uh, last bit of housekeeping from me.

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You look, Karen, my wife has released this phenomenal new resource for women.

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if.

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you simply go to discover my gifts.com, discover my gifts.com.

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If you go there, it's going to take you through to a, she's put together

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a whole bunch of free stuff, which is just awesome for Catholic women.

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So if you're a Catholic man, and there is a Catholic woman in your life,

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there may be you go there and, uh, and then pass that on to whoever that lady

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is because it's a really beautiful resource and I'm very proud of her.

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And I think she does remarkable work.

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So don't check that out.

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Discover my gifts.com.

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Um, keep us in your prayers.

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We're working really hard to support, uh, Catholic education around the world.

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So, uh, oh yeah.

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I'm back on Twitter.

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Um, I.

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Hey, some of, you know, the story, I'm not a big fan.

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I think it's a pretty divisive cultural tool, but I'm learning

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to try and just bring what I can.

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Through Twitter.

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So you can find me at J D Catholic letter, J letter D Catholics at JD

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Catholic, um, com give me a follow on Twitter and say, hi, there's a pretty

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strong educational community there.

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So do that last thing, please make sure you've subscribed.

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To this podcast.

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God bless you, everybody.

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My name's Jonathan Doyle.

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This has been the Catholic teacher daily podcast.

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And I'll have another message for you very soon.