At the end of Haiti Solidarity Week (January 24, 2014) the following prayer was offered on the Public Address system for the school community.
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of G-d.
Last June I traveled with a group of Lasallian educators from our district of Eastern North America to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti to visit our new Lasallian school. I consider myself very fortunate in my life to have had the opportunity to travel extensively, both here in the U.S. and internationally in the developed and developing worlds. I speak before you today humbled and deeply troubled by my time in Haiti. Not solely because of the devastating earthquake, but more so, because of the pervasive and overwhelming hopelessness that lies underneath the ruins of the quake and has its roots in the European colonization of this tropical island for sugar, spices, and other minerals and resources and the legacy of the slave system-driven production. To be truthful I spent the first two days wondering how I could sell off all the United Nations Land Rovers driving around in circles to instead buy trash trucks so Haitians can have basic trash service. The problems seemed so big, all I wanted to do was leave.
My attitude began to soften on the third day when I asked Brother Nicholai what is going to happen to all of the students when they graduate and have to face the brutal challenges of survival in Haiti and if he gets depressed thinking about that. He looked at me, put his arm on my shoulder and told me that every kid that walks through the school’s doors is treated with dignity and respect, given self worth and leaves knowing that they will always be safe in our school. And not that this is the best that we can do, but what we are simply here to do. I hope that the video you watch now in your home rooms of the various delegation trips our district has taken to Haiti over the last two years is evidence of the spirit of the brothers and sisters in Haiti, the work they are doing to bring value to children’s lives, and the role that we can play to help their work flourish and prosper.
Gregg DeMaria (Architecture Teacher and Director of the Academic Resource Center)
On Friday, 31 January 2014, La Salle Academy celebrated the end of Catholic Schools Week with a Dress-down Day and collection for our brother school in Haiti. The goal was set at $11,000.00–enough to pay for the tuition of and to supply uniforms and school supplies for 40 Haitian students at our brother school, St. John Baptist de La Salle School, in Port-au-Prince. Due to the extraordinary generosity of students and their families, faculty and staff, the school collected $11,059.00–surpassing its goal. This is what “Enter to Learn–Leave to Serve” really means!! Special thanks on behalf of the St. John Baptist de La Salle School and the District of Eastern North America.
Brother Frederick Mueller