Make Jesus Real to students everywhere

15 Oct 2021

By Amanda Murthy

Parents and children are encouraged to try this. Give examples from the Gospel where these attitudes and values occur. Image from page 105 (activity).

Discovering Jesus from 2,000 years ago into the here and now of today was the mission that Peter Mitchell, founder of the Make Jesus Real resource, took on when he authored the 176-paged interactive resource for the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office.

The resource, originally catered to Year 5 and 6 students, has since been re-written by various authors nationally, using MJR as a reference.

The resources include Spirit of Jesus written by Jason Perry for Years three and four, My Friend Jesus written by Liz Celegato for Kindergarten to Year Two students, and more recently the MJR 24/7 resource written by Perth’s own Marty Ogle and Gemma Thomson, catered as a secondary pastoral care resource that involves a student journal and a teacher e-learning guide.

“When students graduate from Catholic schools, our hope is they have a real sense that God is present with them, and that they can sense this presence of the Spirit of Jesus through the people and events of their daily lives,” Mr Mitchell expressed.

“Parents are encouraged to assist with the child’s homework when the book comes home and to discuss monthly topics with their child.”

“We try not to call MJR a programme, but a Christian way of life,” he cited.

Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, a former student of Mr Mitchell at the then Bedford Christian Brother High Preparatory School (now Chisholm Catholic College), reiterated that MJR is an accompaniment to the teaching to Religious Education in schools, adding that it is not an alternative to the subject.

“Peter presents us with a way to bring together knowledge about our faith and the experience of living with faith through MJR,” Bishop Don stated.

“It draws on the spirituality of St Ignatius of Loyola.  It has something to offer staff, students, and their families. 

“MJR has been demonstrated that it can transform our school communities.  It has been taken on by schools in WA and the other States and it has become a key element in School Evangelisation and Strategic Plans,” Bishop Don added.

The Make Jesus Real book is divided into three sections:

  • Values and Attitudes
  • Spirituality of the Everyday
  • Reflective Journal

Parents are encouraged to assist with their child’s MJR homework when the book comes home and to discuss the monthly topic with their child/children.

There are more than 50 attitudes and values in Make Jesus Real and teachers can choose topics that the class will benefit from exploring. Some of the topics include self-discipline, good decision-making, friendship, positive behaviour management, having a sense of humour, handling your problems, resilience, being a giver rather than a taker, and being a team player at home and school.