Novena Day Two: We Are Diverse


Option I.  Where Charity and Love Prevail (Gather 706)

Where charity and love prevail,
There God is ever found;
Brought here together by Christ’s love,
By love are we thus bound.

No race nor creed can love exclude
If honored be God’s name;
Our family embraces all
Whose Father is the same.

Option II.  Jesu, Jesu (Gather 505)

Refrain   Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbors we have from you.

Neighbors are wealthy and poor,
Varied in color and race,
Neighbors are nearby and far away.  Refrain

These are the ones we should serve,
These are the ones we should love:
All these are neighbors to us and you.  Refrain





+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Let us pray as one:

Good and Gracious God, 
We come before you as the community of St. Margaret of Scotland, 
gathered today to pray a Novena for clarity of mind and heart 
during this search for new school leadership. 
We ask you, O God, for support and strength, 
direction and guidance, 
joy and peace 
as we seek to be people who celebrate our diversity 
while we pursue a deeper unity.
Lead us the way we need to go, as our story unfolds before us. 
We make this prayer, filled with hope,
through Christ our Lord. Amen. 


Throughout history, great thinkers have grappled with the problem of the one and the many. And, consciously or unconsciously, all of us also struggle with that tension between the one and the many, the relationship between unity and diversity; but perhaps this not so much a problem as it is a richness that reflects the over-abundance of God and our human struggle to grasp that over-abundance.

Perhaps the issue of religious diversity might be described in this way:

Different peoples, one Earth. Different beliefs, one God. Different languages, one heart. Different failings, one law of gravity. Different energies, one spirit. Different scriptures, one word. Different forms of worship, one desire. Different histories, one destiny. Different disciplines, one aim. Different approaches, one road. Different faiths – one mother, one father, one earth, one sky, one beginning, one end.

From Principles for Interfaith Dialogue by Ronald Rolheiser, OPI








At dawn, fill us with your merciful love;

we shall exult and rejoice all our days.

Let your deed be seen by your servants,

and your glorious power by their children.

Let the favor of the LORD our God be upon us;

Give success to the work of our hands.
O give success to the work of our hands.

Word of God

[I]n one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. 

Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended.  If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you.” Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. 

If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.

1 Corinthians 12: 12-26

Questions for Reflection

After leader reads questions aloud, all pause to reflect during one minute of silence.

  • How does our ability to acknowledge and respect both differences and commonalities honor God?
  • How might St. Margaret’s commitment to diversity impact the skills and traits needed for school leadership?


Leader: Christ hears and saves all who hope in him. Let us bring him our needs.

That our school will foster a spirit of inclusion so that all of God’s children feel the warmth of God’s loving touch, we pray…
R. Lord, hear our prayer.

That our children will grow in the wisdom that will enable them to call out what is broken, inhumane and sinful in all cultures, including their own, we pray… R.

That our community will grow in grace to recognize the image of God in the uniqueness of each person so that in diversity we may experience unity, we pray… R.

For what else shall we pray?
Individuals may offer intentions.

Prayer of Saint Margaret of Scotland

Leader: Let us recall our mission as together we pray:

Loving God, 
You call your people to holiness and create among them models of kindness. 

We thank you for the life of St. Margaret of Scotland: 

a woman of leadership and hope in a confusing world;
a wife and mother excelling in patience, dedication and love;
a teacher supported and inspired by a life of learning; 
a generous friend and a loyal servant to the poor and helpless;
a model of Christian faith and constant prayerfulness

As we build our faith, help us to grow rich in the values of St. Margaret:

That faith, hope and love might inspire
our presence in the city and neighborhood, 
our relationships with family and friends,  
our concern for the education of the young, 
our care for the poor and the weak, 
our community’s prayer in word and sacrament. 

Bless our parish and our school; 
Let it be for us a community of love and sharing,
and a source of life and grace;
Let it be a witness to our neighbors
of your life, your presence and your love. 

Through Christ, Our Lord, 

Optional, following Novena: 

Share your reflections from above questions, focused on the mission value of the day.

  • Index cards available at the shared novena, or
  • Email
  • Comments received may be shared with the community and those who search for our new staff members.
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