Newsletter Subscribe
Australian Catholics Subscribe

Alphonsus Rodriguez: reflections and activities

James O'Brien  |  11 October 2018

alphonsus rodriguezRead The saint who watched the door in the 2018 Spring edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the various reflections and activities.

Questions

  • Why is it important never to underestimate a fellow human being?
  • What does it mean to say each person ‘has a portion of God’s infinite depth’?
  • How did Alphonsus’ suffering prepare him to see ‘religious obedience [as] a comfort and a kind of joy’?
  • What does Alphonsus reveal about the practice of hospitality?
  • Who do you know who gives ‘diligent attention’ to each person they meet?

 

Activities

  • The author makes the point that job descriptions do not define a person, nor reveal their depth. Search for portrait paintings of people that do reveal the inner depth. If you need inspiration, consider portraits of prominent Australians in the Archibald Prize or Anh’s Brush with Fame. Find a portrait you believe best reveals who a person really is. Share your chosen portrait with the class, explaining why you chose this painting, and what you think Alphonsus would think of it.
  • Alphonsus ‘envisioned the person beyond the door [as] God Himself’. Imagine meeting Alphonsus in Majorca and sitting down for an interview. In pairs, write a short transcript (one page) of this interview with Alphonsus, preparing your questions, and his answers. When ready, pairs of volunteers can act out their interview.
  • ‘The saint who watched the door’ is a story which celebrates ‘ordinary’ people who live and work among us. For homework, take a photograph of a person you know and respect for how they live their life’s mission each day. Try to capture something of the spirit of this person, and share your photo with the class, telling of what you tried to capture.
  • If we were to imitate Alphonsus, we would give ‘the most diligent attention’ to each person we meet. As a class, agree to spend the week trying to give this special attention to each of your classmates. See what emerges in these relationships. At the end of the week, forming a class circle of trust, spend time sharing what emerged for you. What has surprised you in your experience of the week?

For younger students

  • Reflect as a class on how Alphonsus Rodriguez approached each guest who came to the door in Majorca. In pairs, invite students to prepare a three-minute dramatic representation of a conversation in his everyday life as a doorkeeper. One student will be Alphonsus, and another will be a guest arriving at the door, with a dilemma on his or her mind. Ask for volunteers to show their scene to the class.
  • ‘The saint who watched the door’ invites us to see every person from a new perspective. Draw a drawing from the point of view of Alphonsus as he opens the door to a guest. Try to show visually how the person is an image of God for Alphonsus.

 

 

Request permissions to reuse this article


Similar articles

What we can learn from Islam: Reflections and activities

Michele Frankeni | 07 Nov 2018

Read Christianity tells stories; Islam finds designs in Eureka Street and take part in the following reflections and activities.


Does your church welcome you? Reflections and activities

James O'Brien | 31 Oct 2018

Read Finding a home in the churchin the 2018 Spring edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the various reflections and activities.


The Syro-Malabar church in Australia: questions and reflections

James O'Brien | 22 Oct 2018

kerala houseboatRead Bonded by faith and culture in the 2018 Spring edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the various reflections and activities.


Reflections and activities: St Vincent de Paul's mission

Michele Frankeni | 10 Sep 2018

different coloured feetRead People with a mission for others in the 2018 Spring edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the various reflections and activities.


The gift of accompaniment: reflections and activities

James O'Brien | 04 Sep 2018

Read The gift of accompaniment in the 2018 Spring edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the various reflections and activities.


This website uses cookies to give you the best, most relevant experience.

Using this website means you are okay with this.

You can change your cookies settings at any time and find out more about them by following this link