True stories from teaching elementary school…
The other day I wore a lapel pin of our Congregational crest/seal. Upon spotting this on my sweater, a first grade student of mine inquired, “Sr. Katie, why are you wearing a pirate ship?”
Startled as I was, and trying to regain my composure, I was very impressed with her observation skills. In explaining that she was correct to see that I was wearing a boat, but that it was not in fact a pirate ship, she continued, “But it has one of those things that a pirate ship has.”
(At this point I’m uncertain if she was talking of the sail or the chi-rho on the sail–which, from afar, could resemble a skull and cross bones).
The Love of Christ Impels Us
All this talk of boats prompted a more essential question: Why do we use the image of a boat to talk about the Church? (You may remember from my last post that a BOAT is a key component of the Year of Faith logo.)
The barque (or bark) of Peter is a common phrase/image from early Christian history in reference to the Church. Originally referring to a tall ship with masts and sails, a boat is a deeply scriptural image (Noah’s ark and the disciples tossed in their boat on the Sea of Galilee come to mind.) Just as God saved Noah in the ark and Jesus calmed the stormy seas, so too does God look after and keep the Church of today safe from harm.
Artists throughout history have also depicted many saints such as St. Peter, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Ursula with boats.
The ship on the lower portion of the ASCJ shield represents the Church and the dove represents the religious sister traveling on the seas of life bearing the olive branch of peace. Each Saturday the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus worldwide pray the Ave Maris Stella (Hail, Bright Star of Ocean) prayer for the Holy Father and all bishops who steer the bark of Peter, as well as all those exposed to danger.
Here is a beautiful photo of our Congregation seals throughout the Province.
For more pictures like it, please check out (or better yet, friend) the Apostle Facebook page.
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