A back-to-school prayer

Erik Saldana prays at the beginning of the first day of classes at Holy Cross School in Anderson, Ind., on Aug. 5. (CNS/Bob Nichols)

If any school year needed to open with prayer, it is the one we are about to embark upon. Whether or not you have a child or grandchild in school, we invite all to join us in offering this one. We’ve adapted a Prayer to Begin a School Year found in the book “Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers,” published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, to be 2020 specific. Insert the name of a special, personal intention in the blank.


Blessed are you, Lord God,

Creator of body and mind and heart;

you have sent the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge

to guide your people in all their ways.


At the beginning of this new school year,

in this time of uncertainty and anxiety,

we implore your mercy.

Bless and protect our students, teachers,

staffs, their families, and especially _____.

Give wisdom to the decision makers,

be they in our schools or in our homes.


Expand the horizons of our minds,

and deepen our commitment to seek

the truth of your ways.

Enliven our faith to reach out to those in need,

particularly those isolated and lonely.


In these days when so much has changed,

help us to trust in the love of your Son Jesus,

our Divine Teacher, who is the same

yesterday, today, and forever.






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