The Face of Prayer visits schools

WESTPORT—On Sunday, November 18, Emma Ryder, coordinator of The Face of Prayer, visited the sixth and seventh-grade religious education classes at the Church of the Assumption in Westport. The week’s lesson was focused on fear, anxiety and stress. Using resources from, Ryder developed a brief reflective lesson about how stress and anxiety influence many parts of students’ lives and has an impact on their relationship with Jesus. The students identified tests, quizzes, homework and people in their lives as triggers of stress and anxiety and commented on how they forget to pray when they feel these emotions.

After a brief discussion, the students viewed two question and answer videos from the site. “How can I use my faith to cope with stress?” and “What is the best prayer for when I am feeling defeated?” both answered by Fr. Sam Kachuba from St. Pius X. Each of the videos had a reflection question for the students to discuss with one another about how their faith can help them through these difficult moments in school, at home or with friends. After reading one of the additional resources embedded in the video, the students were able to think about ways they can cope with stress a little more.

Following the lesson, students had the opportunity to ask their own questions on video in exchange for a Face of Prayer t-shirt. Their questions ranged from, “How can God help us improve time management?” and “How can we reach Jesus and God in times of pain?” to “How do prehistoric people and animals play a role in our religion?” Their questions have been sent out to catechists around the country to be answered within the next few months, and will then be available at

“Emma shared how the Face of Prayer is sending out a text of a daily prayer intention that they can pray as a community. As a modern-day parent who is not overly enamored with the invention of the mobile phone, I have to say that this is when I actually see the phone being put to good use. God works in mysterious ways,” shared Rose Neas, a sixth-grade catechist. “By relating to our students in such an engaging way, empowering them to ask questions, filling them with the wisdom of elders and uniting them by prayer, our students are being encouraged and supported in their walk of faith,” said Neas.

To have The Face of Prayer visit your classroom or youth group, contact Emma Ryder at