Column – As schools prepare to open, prayer helps with challenges ahead

Published 5:53 pm Friday, August 25, 2023

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School year 2023-2024 is just around the corner, with classes about to begin. Boys and girls, are you ready to go back to school? I bet you all are, like our dear teachers.

To our school administrators, teachers old and new, staff and personnel, and volunteers, thank you for your educational service and expertise. To our students old and new, welcome back. 

May God always bless you and your families, and teachers.

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This is something that you and I can always do, whether you’re a student, a parent, a teacher, a volunteer, a school counselor, a pastor, a director, a writer, an editor, an instructor, an administrator or whatever or whoever you are. 

Pray, hope and don’t worry. That’s what St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina has been telling us, whether we’re having good or bad days. “Worrying is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayers. Prayer Is the best weapon we have. It is the key to God’s heart,” he said.

(Every day, I try to be a good Christian, and Catholic. I always pray not only for myself or my family but also for others. On Sundays, I attend church worship services, i.e. Holy Mass, and Mass and Novena on Wednesdays, just to be in communion with our faith community. After church, I eat out, most of the time, with family and friends. 

At home, I read the Holy Bible, religious books, magazines and articles that inspire me to live a decent, faith-filled life. I attend daily Mass on TV, such as on Eternal Word Television Network or online. Also, I watch videos on YouTube especially those religious in nature. I listen to well-known sacerdotal Catholic authors and  inspiring conference speakers, such as the Very Rev. Chris Alar, MIC, and the Very Rev. Don Calloway, MIC, talking about various topics such as divine mercy, Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, eucharistic miracles and revivals, and lives of saints such as St. Joseph, St. Faustina Kowalska. St. Teresa of Calcutta, Pope St. John Paul II, and others.

Know what, folks, I keep a small collection of prayers that, through the years, have been a big inspiration and help in my life, while I struggle each day living in/with (chronic lower back) pain. I psyche myself saying, Jesus, this pain is nothing compared to what you’ve suffered. 

It’s my faith that keeps me going on in life every day. I thank God for what I have and don’t have. I pray, “Jesus, I trust in You. Jesus, I believe and trust. in You (three times).Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, God.” 

At times, when I pray, I ask for the intercession of saints or blesseds to intercede on our behalf. Praying to God through the saints or blesseds, or anyone in heaven on our behalf, connects us to a core belief of our Catholic faith: our communion with the living and the dead.


-Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk and Chesapeake. Email him at