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The World I Know

Mary Rose Bacani Valenti

Monday, October 20, 2008

I don’t know when it was that I realized I love working with children. Maybe it was that year teaching kindergarten. Maybe it’s because that at some parties I go to, I end up playing games with the kids and leaving the adults to do all their talking!
Regardless, I’ve been able to indulge in my love of children and youth at Salt + Light. I produced a 15-minute documentary called “Holy Cows!” in 2006, in which I worked with elementary students. And that was the beginning of my great indulgence.
I saw more of what can be inspiring and motivating for me to do better and aim higher. The young people I met while working on “The World I Know: Virtues in Action” project with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board have taught me a lot through their personal stories.
For one segment, I had to gather around at least 10 high school students from across the board. These students were chosen by their chaplains as Christian leaders who exemplified virtue and had a touching story to share.
Before we did our one-on-one interviews, I seated them all around a long table and we went around giving our names and saying who we were. I invited them to be open, to really listen to what God wanted them to share with the others around the table. I would throw out a question, any question that they would have to answer BUT I would have to answer first.
I’m telling you, I don’t know what it was, but I felt my face being flushed, I felt the spirit moving through me. I felt love go out to these high school students, and I felt their love and respect in return. A few of them just had people close to them die, and they learned a lot about suffering and what life is about. Some of them had insecurities about their looks, about relationships, and they openly shared that. It was like a group counseling session! And oddly enough, I felt like we all became friends in that moment.
And this is one way I look at the Salt + Light TV series, “The World I Know”, that came out of this visit. It’s people sharing with you the ups and downs in their journey towards God. They share with you what happens in school, with their friends, with their personal lives. They share with you how God’s grace works, not only through them, but the people around them, as well as through the saints that form part of their history and their lives.
“The World I Know: Virtues in Action” will air on Salt + Light every Tuesday at 8 pm, starting tomorrow, October 21st. Watch for it!

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