Share in That Joy That Transcends All Understanding

Good morning La Salle and De La Salle.

Let us Remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God.

This summer my family and I took a trip to Walt Disney World, you know, the quote-unquote happiest place on Earth. Well, we certainly had a blast and created memories that will last a lifetime, but I can also say that there were times when we looked around and saw many people (including ourselves at times) who did not seem to get the “Happiest Place on Earth” memo. Sure the unrelenting heat and the crowds, all with children in tow are certainly factors that can impact one’s level of joy, but ultimately no circumstances can diminish our joy unless we allow them to. It comes down to a choice, we can choose to focus on the negative, or we can choose joy. 

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As we approach the end of our first full week here at the Academy, things really are in full swing. Sports seasons are underway and the classrooms are abuzz with activities. It can be a bit overwhelming especially for the newest members of our community. Our 6th and 9th graders are transitioning to the middle and high school routine, our transfer students are navigating their way through a new environment, and our new staff and teachers are adjusting to a new vocation or a new community. Our seniors are tackling the college application process and some of us find ourselves in new roles.  Our administration, teachers, and staff are tirelessly working to ensure a smooth start to our new school year. At times, the busyness and overwhelm can leave us feeling exhausted and even threaten to minimize our joy. Fortunately we are blessed every day with the reminder that we are always in the Presence of God, The Source of all Joy. In John’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that He wants to share His joy with us until our hearts are overflowing. God wants the very best for all His beloved children, each and every one of us. He is the Source of all joy, and if we open our hearts to Him, we can share in that joy that transcends all understanding.

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As we gather together as a community today for our Opening of School Liturgy, let us pray for a joyful year at La Salle.  Let us strive to shine the light and joy of Jesus to one another by encouraging, respecting, and supporting one another. And let us pray in a special way that all the new members of our community find a home here at La Salle and the joy of being a part of the Lasallian family. And let’s choose to make 612 Academy Avenue the happiest place on earth.

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Saint John Baptist De La Salle…Pray for us.

Live Jesus in Our Hearts…Forever.

Prayer Shared Over the Public Address System:  Mr. Anthony Russo, Religion Teacher

PROVIDER

Prayer 9/5/2019

I hope all the boards in the classroom are displaying an image I captured at the Port of
Galilee, Rhode Island.

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I have been meaning to speak this prayer for almost two years now.
This morning presented a clear opportunity because of today’s gospel.
I suppose that is an example of Kairos.

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of a loving God.

Luke writes at the start of chapter 5
That Jesus:
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon said in reply,
“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.

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They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made, seized him,
and all those with him,
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching people.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

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I have great love for this Gospel. Mostly because I love boats and being on
the water with all my heart. One of my favorite things about living in
Rhode Island is that I believe we are especially well equipped to
understanding the teachings of Jesus. He spent so much time on the water,
at the beach, on boats and around fishermen. And he used tangible
experiences from these people lives to help teach us all how to live.
Considering we are all returning from a summer break I ask the community
to take just a moment to think about what if anything you have learned
about others and what you have learned about yourselves while being on
the coast over the past few months. Think about your favorite beach day,
spending time with friends and family out on the water, a perfect day of
fishing or a delicious seafood meal. Were you able to catch any sunsets
where you were struck by the presence of God?

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I also love this gospel because we encounter that exact moment when
Simon Peter is converted to being a true follower of Jesus Christ. Luke says
that Simon Peter and those with him were “seized.”
For all in our community who struggle with their faith and spiritual life,
take relief that if you open your hearts and minds to those around you, at
any given moment you too could have a transformational experience that
will alter forever the way you journey on this earth. It will likely be at the
moment you are most in need and are least expecting the Grace of God.

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Let us Pray

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will
through all spiritual wisdom and understanding
strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience,
with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…
Pray for Us.
Live Jesus in Our Hearts…
Forever!

Prayer offered by faculty member:  Mark Carty, Social Studies teacher

Recognizing God’s Holy Presence

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday, 3 September 2019)

Good morning La Salle and De La Salle.

Let us remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God:

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this out loud, but last Friday morning, while driving to Lasalle Academy for our first day of school, I felt… well, I felt “lonely.” I felt a strange sensation of absence, in my mind and heart. You see, for the past 15 years, I’ve always driven to school with one of my four children who were Lasalle students in grades 7-12, depending on the school year. And each daughter or son brought a different perspective to the car-ride in to school each morning.

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Fifteen years ago, in August 2004, Christina (my oldest daughter) and I started Lasalle Academy together. Mr. Kavanagh and Br. Michael had hired me in late August that year to teach religion. Christina was intending to go to Classical High School in Providence, but Mr. Aldrich was able to find Christina a spot in the freshman class at the last minute, when a student dropped out of La Salle after one day of freshman orientation.  It was great to have a 14-year old daughter (my personal insider) to compare notes with each day, as we shared our struggles and triumphs as student and teacher, in a school that was new for both of us.

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My second daughter, Marianna who is 4 years younger, drove me nuts on the ride in. She is the most style-conscious of my children. She soon realized that dad’s 7-passenger white GMC Safari maxi-van, with the large V8 engine and extra towing capacity (imagine in your mind the big white electrician or plumber’s cargo van, but without the writing on the side) couldn’t compete with the fancy cars that her friends came to school in. After a month, she made me drop her off at the iron gate by the tennis courts, so none of her friends would see her arriving with her dad in the ugly white “cargo van”. A month later, I was dropping her off farther away from the school property at Subway and by Thanksgiving, she was abandoning ship at Lasalle Bakery. She simply didn’t want to be seen driving in with me. It wasn’t long after, that we traded in our white GMC Safari for a grey Honda Odyssey. Merry Christmas Mari.

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At least my daughters got out the front door of our house by 7:20am. My sons, John and James, were impossible to wake up in the morning. John would always forget something at home-usually his sneakers and gym clothes on gym day, and we’d have to turn around and retrieve whatever he forgot. And then there was my youngest son.  For four years, James would never want to talk to me because he was so moody. We tried listening to Sports talk-radio on the way in, but typically Toucher and Rich, and Greg Hill would start veering off onto inappropriate topics, so the morning news on NPR at 89.7 FM would win out. Sorry James. Our four years of morning misery finally ended last June with his graduation from La Salle Academy. He’s a freshman at Providence College and he’s no longer by my side each morning.

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Anyways, this got me thinking this past Friday. Who or what will fill the void in the front passenger seat, now that all of my children are out of high school? Well, I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to invite God to drive in to school we me every morning. And maybe before I even turn on the motor, I’ll say to myself, “Let me remember that I am in the holy presence of God.” And then I’ll sit in silence in my driveway-with no radio on, just me and God.

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And that got me to thinking about what we teachers do, 5 or 6 times each day, at the beginning of every class. What does that mean, to recognize that we are in God’s holy presence? Over 300 years ago, John Baptist De La Salle taught the Christian Brothers to take the following approach, every time they heard these words:

“I will be conscious that I live in the holy presence of a God who is inviting me into a deeper personal relationship.”

This presence then, is a relational presence. As if God were next to me in the front seat, interested in my every thought. Secondly, De La Salle believed that,

“God, in his presence, is inviting me 

to be transformed into God’s holiness.”

In other words, God promises to change me for the better, to make me holier during the school day. And this miracle happens everyday because you– you my students, you my fellow teachers and you the La Salle staff, will help me to see God’s presence through the Eyes of Faith. And because God is riding shot-gun, giving me direction in my life, I know that any delays, obstacles, or side streets on the journey of life, are a part of God’s divine plan, God’s Providence. So even though you can’t see God, rest assured God is there. God wants to be present in your life. And unlike my daughter, I know that God won’t bail on me when we reach Lasalle Bakery.

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Let us pray: 

Loving God, we thank you for your loving presence every hour of every day. Help us to see you with the Eyes of Faith; give us the courage to enter more deeply into a personal relationship with you this school year. Help us to recognize the indwelling of your Holy Spirit in each person we meet here in our school community. Jesus our brother, promise us that you will always be by our side. May we recognize your presence whenever you carry us home, even when we are unable to recognize your footprints at our side.

 

St. John Baptist de La Salle, PRAY FOR US

Live Jesus in our Hearts, FOREVER!

Prayer offered by:  David Martinez, Religion Teacher

The Lasallian Community – School is Open!

La Salle Academy is all about community.  It is all about the family that we build on a day to day basis during the course of the year.  How well we build that community determines the depth of the experience and the quality of the exchange among us.  First and foremost we are a community of believers.  Our school values and building principles are grounded in the belief of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  He alone is our Savior and our guide.  Our school is part of the teaching and mission of the Catholic Church.  We are a Catholic school, a Lasallian school that lives according to the vision and teachings of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and that implies certain values and standards as well.  We are a Catholic and Lasallian school that embraces and welcomes persons of other faiths and perspectives.  We welcome all into our community.  We avoid clichés and stereotypes and we not only accept the differences among us but rather we embrace and value those differences.  Those are the givens that form the foundation on which our school is built and through which our school functions.  That is the core of our community of believers.Image result for Lasallian community

Our school is a community of learners.  All in the community, adults and students, learn from each other and together explore the teachings and wisdom of the great minds and issues that the curriculum places before us.  Each day as learners we strive to grasp concepts once foreign to us, conquer cyberspace, create beautiful music, and allow our imaginations to take us to places we thought beyond the realm of possibility.  Each day we get caught up in the intricacies of a mathematical equation, the beauty of a poem, the quest for the solution to a science experiment, the simple joys of the environment and getting ones hands dirty gardening and watching that little seed grow into a thing of beauty . . . Each of these experiences somehow creates a sense of wonder and awesomeness if we are open to letting it happen.  Let it happen!

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Each of us brings to these communities of learners and believers our gifts and talents and the unique person that God intended us to be.  Allow me to repeat that EACH OF US IS THE UNIQUE PERSON THAT GOD INTENDED US TO BE.  Jesus tells us to love one another as He loves us as we are and who we are.  Today we begin a wonderful journey together.  Where will this school year as a community of learners and believers lead us?  That will depend on each one of us and the community that we create together.  Right now the slate is freshly clean and new for each of us – the story that we each create is what will be written on that slate come June 2020.  May each of our stories, those we create as individuals and those we create as a community together, have wonderfully and meaningful endings and let us pray that working together, living and being together that we can create something truly special … TOGETHER WE CAN. . .

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Let Us Pray

Heavenly Father, we pray that the hope and prayer of your son, Jesus that “we all may be one” be fulfilled in us this day as we live together, work together, take risks together, face challenges together, and rejoice together.  Come, Lord Jesus, send Your Spirit into us to make us one in You and in all.  Amen.

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Three Lasallian Challenges

(Student Address at the Commencement Exercises for La Salle Academy on Thursday evening, 6 June 2019)

YOUR EXCELLENCY BISHOP EVANS; BROTHER THOMAS, PRESIDENT;  MEMBERS OF THE BOARD; FACULTY; ALUMNI MARSHALS OF THE CLASS OF 1969; PARENTS; GUESTS;  MEMBERS OF THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2019,

I want to begin by saying a few words of thanks. First, I would like to thank our parents for the immeasurable sacrifice they have made over the past four years to send us to La Salle Academy. I want to say thank you to administrators, teachers, coaches, directors, Campus Ministers, and club moderators for shaping us into the people we are today. Most importantly, I would like to thank Ms. Doyle for being a role model and for guiding us through these past four years as our dean. Outside of telling us to tuck in our shirts every day, she has been somebody we could turn to when we needed a shoulder to lean on. Each one of you has made it possible for us to be here tonight.

In 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven gave the commencement speech at the University of Texas. In this memorable graduation speech, which most of us watched in Service Class, Admiral McRaven gave ten life lessons to the graduating students. I hope to give some of these same life lessons but with a Lasallian twist.

Admiral McRaven’s first life lesson is: “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” I don’t think the Admiral would be too happy to hear that, most likely, about 330 of us woke up ten minutes before we left home each morning while barely having enough time to eat breakfast. Many of us never made it to school in time to find a “real” parking spot and some of us even had our license plates called over the PA, requiring us to see Ms. Doyle in Student Life. So, maybe we didn’t change the world by making our bed, but we did start each day with a prayer. Even more, we started each class with a prayer. No matter how good or bad our day was, we always had our faith to turn to and that faith pushed us to change the world. We did this by helping hundreds of thousands of people through donations, dress down days, mission trips, and Christian Service on Wednesdays. Saint John Baptist de La Salle began the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 1680. He dedicated his life to the Christian education of children with a special emphasis on helping the poor. Today, 300 years after his death, his mission is thriving in the Lasallian community and at 612 Academy Ave.  So, we will change the world by relying on our faith and our Lasallian family, even though we may not have made our beds.

Admiral McRaven’s next life lesson is: “If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.” The first thing I thought when I heard this lesson was the legendary white water rafting story that Mr. Kavanagh told our class at the start of each year. Helping us paddle through high school on our “white water raft,” we’ve had help from Ms. Doyle, the guidance office, Campus Ministers, teachers, and our friends. Our friends have helped us win state championships, they’ve given us a hug after a big theater performance, and they’ve held our hands as the Beehive stormed Cimini Stadium. It isn’t always easy with a group of friends and we’ve certainly had our disagreements, which sometimes could be heard in the cafeteria. But, in the end, these are the people who have supported and helped us for four years. So, we will change the world by having these people to help us paddle our raft.

 Another lesson from Admiral McRaven is, “If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not by the size of their flippers.” If we have learned one thing at La Salle, it has been not to judge someone until we know their full story. La Salle has taught us to look beyond our uniforms and to find the Lasallians underneath. It is this Lasallian spirit that can be found in every corner of every hallway of every building that has helped shape our hearts while at La Salle. Our Best Buddies Club has hosted four Best Buddy Weeks, where we have taken the pledge to “spread the word to end the word.” We have worked to help end poverty in our own backyard during Poverty Week. We have attempted to end the stigma surrounding mental health during our first Mental Health Awareness Week. During our time at La Salle, we have attempted to understand our friends, our classmates, and the people around us. So, we will change the world by measuring people by their hearts, not by who they appear to be.

It is surreal to think that, four years ago, we walked into La Salle for the first time, not knowing what to expect. As little Freshmen, we met our best friends for the first time and listened to Ms. Doyle tell us that before we knew it, we would be seniors. I am sure that we won’t be sad to leave behind the 6:30 a.m. wake ups, the very late nights finishing projects, or the stress of finding parking spots, but we are going to miss the humorous lunch conversations, playing games in Campus Ministry during our free periods, being in the locker room before a big game, or hanging out backstage during a theater production. We are going to miss sprinting into Clash of the Classes, getting ready at a friend’s house before Harvest Ball, and going to tailgates before football games. Most importantly, we are going to miss this community. We are going to miss the feeling of being a part of something bigger than ourselves.

There is a quote from a TV show that reads,  “It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re seventeen and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And that someday is yesterday. And this is your life.” Since we were Freshmen, we have been planning for and counting down to this moment. Now, here we are, and we are already planning for the coming years. The future holds some of our biggest challenges yet. With everything La Salle has taught us, starting the day with our faith, having a couple of friends to help us paddle along, and loving people for the size of their hearts, I am confident we can face these challenges. So, to the Class of 2019, I want to say thank you for the best four years of my life. It has been an unreal experience.

Roll Rams.

Catherine M. Medeiros–Alumna (Class of 2019)

Our Lasallian Time Capsule

(Student Welcome Address at the Commencement Exercises for La Salle Academy on Thursday evening, 6 June 2019)

YOUR EXCELLENCY BISHOP EVANS; BROTHER THOMAS, PRESIDENT; MEMBERS OF THE BOARD; FACULTY; ALUMNI MARSHALS OF THE CLASS OF 1969; PARENTS; GUESTS;  MEMBERS OF THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2019.

I am honored to welcome you to La Salle Academy’s 148th graduation ceremony. Benjamin Disraeli said, “Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time.”  As we are now in our final moments as students of La Salle Academy, time is truly precious.  It feels like yesterday we were all nervously walking into orientation, unsure about what our La Salle experience would be like. Four years of making the halls of La Salle our home have quickly gone by.  This year, we celebrate the 300th anniversary of the death of our founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle, and we are quickly approaching the 150th anniversary of La Salle Academy, Providence. Now, we truly become part of this bigger legacy, one that has spanned great lengths of precious time.

So now, we must ask ourselves: what is our contribution to this legacy?  If we wanted to capture this class, to make a time capsule, what would we want to fill it with?  What would tell our piece of the story?

We would fill it with our academic successes. Not just our report cards and SAT scores, but with the knowledge we have gained from our teachers, the curiosity to explore the world around us, and a passion to be lifelong learners.  The Class of 2019 is off to universities, colleges, and careers across the country in every discipline imaginable.

We would want to put in our time capsule our artistic abilities, the paintings and performances, the videos and concerts; a record of our talented artists who saw beauty in the world and shared it with us in artistic expression.

Into the time capsule would go our athletic victories, the trophies and rings, but, more importantly, the values we learned here.  On the fields and courts, running on tracks and skating on the ice, we have made La Salle proud of our sense of fair play, the perseverance we have demonstrated, and the relationships we have formed with our teammates.

We would want our time capsule to hold our contribution to the Lasallian mission.  When others look back, they will see that we did the good work as people of faith in Christian Service,  service learning trips, and through the kindness we showed one another. We served the poor and the marginalized, sought social justice, and showed our love for God by loving each other.

We would stuff the time capsule with memories of friends, tailgates before football games, school Masses, and the musical, Oklahoma. It would burst open with the friendly faces from homeroom and our lunch table and glow with the kindness and guidance of our teachers, Campus Ministers, and the endless support of our parents.  It would show the care and effort of our Dean, Ms. Doyle, for the countless hours she has devoted to our class and constant concern she has shown each one of us. But, unlike other time capsules, while we do gift it to the legacy that is La Salle, we don’t just leave it behind. We take it with us in our hearts wherever our roads lead in our future. We do not bury these achievements underground but continue to breathe fuller life into them as we, with the help of God, share them in the communities we enter in the future. Whether we are working, pursuing a degree in college, or serving our community, these pieces of our Lasallian time capsule will always be with us.

Time is precious, but the truth is more precious than time.  And the truth is that, from the outside, our time capsule may appear similar to that of the many classes that have come before us, but our unique talents and memories have overflowed the inside of our time capsule.  The truth of this class is that we have upheld and made proud the tradition of La Salle Academy. The truth is that we have enhanced its history and culture through our participation in it and that only time will further tell what we will contribute in the years to come.  While we proudly join the thousands and thousands of alumni that have enjoyed the fulfillment of graduating La Salle Academy, the truth is that today is for us, the Class of 2019.

Congratulations.

Austin G. Marinosci–Alumnus (Class of 2019)

The Beginning of the Whole Story

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 15 May 2019)

Let us remember…we are in the holy presence of God.

During this year of 2019 we have been celebrating the 300th anniversary of our Founder’s death.   And celebrate is, indeed, the right word there, because John Baptist de La Salle’s death might mark the end of the founding story, but it was just the beginning of the whole story.  In fact we here, at La Salle in Providence, are living the John Baptist de La Salle story.  And today we join with the entire Lasallian world to celebrate the feast of this giant, this man, this teacher, this saint.

In some sense, I hope and trust, we are all becoming Lasallians.   The freshman students who learn about De La Salle’s remarkable life are becoming Lasallians.  The students who support Breadlines, serve on mission trips, serve meals at Mary House, serve on Christian Service – all becoming Lasallians.  The faculty and staff who participate in formation experiences here in school and across the country – all becoming Lasallians.

But at the very core of the Lasallian world is the body of vowed Brothers.

These are men who have handed down, from Brother to Brother, from generation to generation, the Founder’s vision of service, of goodness, of love for the poor and the marginalized.

These are men who have committed themselves for life, have given themselves completely to God, and to the mission of bringing salvation, now and eternally, to those, to us, who do not know salvation.

And these are men who have invited us all to act in association with them as they pursue their mission.  How blessed are we – how blessed am I – by that invitation!

This morning, on this glorious feast day, Brother Thomas Gerrow and Brother Frederick Mueller will renew their vows in our presence.  Believe me when I tell you that these men have greatly enriched La Salle Academy in many, many ways.   And this morning, as we listen, they will recommit themselves, yet again, to the service of the Lord, to the love of the poor, to the salvation of all.

Let us pray.

God of mercy and compassion, thank you for the extraordinary life, witness, and ministry of the De La Salle Christian Brothers in our Church.  In your wisdom you have called these men to generously serve, pray and share your healing love.  Grant them continued grace and strength, and deepen our appreciation for their vocation.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.

Live, Jesus, in our hearts!  Forever!

Michael McNamara, AFSC–Math Teacher

VOW FORMULA

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, prostrate with the most profound respect before your infinite and adorable majesty, I consecrate myself entirely to you to procure your glory as far as I shall be able and as you will require of me.

For this purpose, I … promise and vow to unite myself, and to remain in society, with the Brothers of the Christian Schools who are associated to conduct together and by association, schools for the service of the poor, to go wherever I may be sent and to do whatever I shall be assigned, either by the Body of the Society, or by its Superiors.

Wherefore, I promise and vow association for the service of the poor through education, stability in the Institute, obedience, chastity and poverty, in accordance with the Bull of Approbation and the Rule of the Institute. I promise to keep these vows faithfully all my life.

Our Responsibility for All God’s Creation

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system and the school-wide intranet for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 9 May 2019)

Let us remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God.

Symbols are signs that can be very powerful reminders of the values we hold dear and even communicate the core truths of who we are and what we believe. Take for instance our own American flag, signifying our core values of liberty and justice for all, as well as the great sacrifice that so many men and women have made to defend those values.

As Christians, and Catholics in particular, there is no greater symbol than the crucifix.  Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ laying down His life for us is the ultimate sign of God’s unconditional love for each and every one of us.

And as the springtime rolls around in New England, even the robin is a sign that the doldrums of winter have passed and new life and warmth is on its way…

This morning I would like to reflect on another symbol in line with our celebration of the Lasallian Tercentenary…Hopefully you are viewing this symbol in your homerooms now.

The green watering can represents the green life of our planet. And the water represents the source of life on our planet. Anyone who knows me knows I have the opposite of a green thumb…But whether or not we are gifted in the art of gardening or not, we all have the ability, and responsibility, to care for our common home, planet Earth.

In his encyclical Caritas in Veritate or “Charity in Truth”, Pope Benedict XVI puts it this way:

“The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole…In nature, the believer recognizes the wonderful result of God’s creative activity, which we may use responsibly to satisfy our legitimate needs…while respecting the intrinsic balance of creation. If this vision is lost, we end up…abusing creation and all God’s creatures, including ourselves…which is not in line with the Christian vision of nature as the fruit of God’s creation. Nature expresses a design of love and truth.”

Love and truth. God is love and God is truth. His love and truth is embedded in all of Creation, including within each and every one of us. Today, let us seek God’s grace to help us change our attitude and outlook toward creation and toward one another. May we strive to be responsible citizens of Earth that we may prepare ourselves to be joyful children of our Heavenly Father.

Let us pray,

Dear God, help us to cultivate grateful hearts for the wonders of creation. Inspire us to take responsibility to care for our planet through conscious consumerism and a simplistic way of life. May we see with eyes of faith the miracle of Your handiwork in ourselves, in one another, and in all of creation.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our Hearts…Forever.

Anthony Russo–Campus Minister

A Prayer at Ramadan

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday, 7 May 2019)

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

Yesterday marked the first day of Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and one of the holiest months of the entire year. Ramadan is the month in which the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) received the first revelation of the Qur’an from God through the Angel Gabriel.

Throughout the month, all Muslim adults in good health are expected to fast from dawn to dusk, 4AM to 8PM, without any food or water. We do so for two main reasons: to bring us closer to God, but to also remind us of the suffering of those less fortunate than us. We were all created equal in the image of God, yet we are still not all equal in this world. Only in Ramadan does the rich man break his fast alongside the poor. The white alongside the black. The privileged alongside the underprivileged.

We start our fast with a meal called sehri, where we wake up before sunrise, eat a breakfast that should sustain us, say a prayer, and go back to sleep. After we wake up, we spend our day in reflection and repentance, saying prayers at the appropriate times. It’s essentially a normal day, until the evening, after the sun has set, where we say the evening prayer and break our fast with a meal known as iftar. It is tradition to break one’s fast at a mosque with a date (the fruit, that is) and a cup of water. After the fast has been broken, we eat to our heart’s content until it is time to sleep, and the cycle repeats. After 30 days, give or take, Ramadan ends, and we commemorate with Eid-ul-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast, which is celebrated in the community with plenty of food and presents.  So essentially, it is our Christmas.

As the Ramadan season starts, let us pray for a peaceful month, where all of us can reflect on our own lives and relationships with not only God, but with each other as well.

Allaahum-maghfir lee, warhamnee, wahdinee, wajburnee, wa ‘aafinee, warzuqnee, warfa’nee

O God, forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me, support me, protect me, provide for me and elevate me.

St. John Baptist de La Salle, Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Hasan Raza–Class of 2019

All Life Is Sacred

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday, 3 May 2019—Pro-Life Week)

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

We are made in the image of God, each and every one of us. No exceptions. From the first chapter of Genesis to the most recent edition of the Catechism, this statement above describing who we are and what kind of person God wants us to be is at the heart of morality. It is the foundation for loving people, our God and ourselves.

The Scripture tells us that from the moment of conception, God knew us and loved us: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you/ and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5). Sacred Tradition also speaks of the dignity of all life, confirming that every human life is sacred until natural death, from womb to tomb.

Sometimes, the lives of others or even our own life may not be perfect, and life can make demands on us that are not what we want. Children and adults who are disabled or ill require a great deal of demanding care. Sometimes other people can be annoying, inconvenient, or even our enemy. But each life is precious to God as we are. We can never throw a life away. The beginning and end of every life is up to God, and only God.

Let us pray,

Lord, help us to remember that all life is sacred.  In our prayer during the month of May, we remember the unborn, the sick, the handicapped, the imprisoned, and all those who do not have a voice, that You watch over them and grant them your healing and peace.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Ayobami Ayorinde–Class of 2021