By Olivia Wyland ’19 (Seton House)
What do we, as Catholic school students, think when we hear the term religion class? Sometimes students think of religion as boring or impractical because it is not something that we think we need in the “real world”. However, understanding our faith and developing our relationship with Jesus is actually one of the most influential and important concepts to grasp in our lives. As Trinity students, faith is not only a link to God, but a way to get to know ourselves as well as others. Trinity provides many ways for students to grow in the Catholic faith. Inarguably, the lessons we learn in our theology classes will stick with us forever. The question: Who can help us move from sitting in class to experiencing our faith in our lives?
At Trinity, all of the teachers help us grow in faith, one of them being theology teacher Ms. Rebecca Hart. Ms. Hart grew up in the Boston area, not too far from the beach. As a child, Ms. Hart began most mornings on the sand or in the water at the beach. She attended a Catholic school, where she learned about the many aspects of faith. What made Ms. Rebecca Hart choose to teach theology? Ms. Hart feels passionately about theology and her relationship with Jesus because “Jesus is a person, and we should get to know him. It should be the biggest thing in our lives because this is the greatest story we are ever going to tell.”
This is Ms. Hart’s first year teaching at Trinity High School. She is already involved among the school community: she DJed at Homecoming, led Kairos in the fall, and currently runs a Mentor Group, above her teaching load. When Ms. Hart visited Trinity last year, she noticed, as an outsider, the strong the sense of community, and wished to join it. What is her favorite part about being a teacher? Ms. Hart loves getting to see her students every day, and getting to know them in class, and before and after school.
As Ms. Hart gets to know her students, she realizes a quality that each Trinity student has: individuality. You see, each and every one of us is not the same person. Ms. Hart genuinely sees the good in each of her students (about 160 students, including six Ryans!), and cares for them through teaching. Her favorite topic to teach is morality. Even if some do not believe in God, we all should have one thing in common: we strive to be good people and to choose what is good. Ms. Hart allows herself and her students to open their eyes to see what the Church has to offer. Sometimes, the Church says “no” to things, which often makes it look like a strict institution. However, the Church does not keep tabs on certain things for no reason. Morality and the Church’s decisions are logic-based; a cause-and-event type of reasoning. Ms. Hart thinks of a Church as a loving mother who is always there, guiding us.
Ms. Hart’s theology courses are places where students are comforted and cared about. It is a place where they can ask questions and not be judged for what they ask. As Ms. Hart reflected on what all her future could have held, she felt her greatest accomplishment in life would be genuinely helping people like her students, and showing them what inspiring things they can discover in life. In fact, her favorite quote is one by St. Irenaeus: “The glory of God is man fully alive.” We are all meant to have full, meaningful lives. We should be filled with what we love to do because it is what we are made for.
“At the end of the day, each of us is a unique and unrepeatable soul. No other being in creation is like us,” said Ms. Hart. Ms. Hart values that we each have a different purpose. She sees a spark inside of each Trinity student and knows how to accentuate our passions. Her small corner of Trinity is one that has one of the greatest impacts on students’ lives. She shows us that theology class does not have to be just words on a page of a textbook. Ms. Hart brings the story of Christ to life, and teaches it to us as the most relevant subject to our lives. Ms. Hart is one of the passionate souls in life who can be our driving force in getting us from sitting in class to experiencing life as it should truly be.