Peace Without Limits

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday, 21 September 2017–the 1st day of the month-long International Lasallian Days of Prayer for Peace)

Let Us Remember We are In the Holy Presence of a Loving God…

Happy First Day of International Lasallian Days for Peace. For those of you who are not familiar, this is a month long peace awareness project that calls upon Lasallian schools worldwide to participate in. As Lasallians, we will be fostering peace in our world through prayer, study, and action beginning today, September 21st (the United Nations – sanctioned International Day of Peace) and ending on October 21st.

This year’s theme is “Peace Without Limits.” What does this mean?

When I think about a tangible thing that does not have a limit, I think of a circle. What about a circle is so special? Well, you cannot find a beginning or an end. There is no fine line where the circle starts or ends. This is what peace should be in our own lives. There should be no border, no boundary, no restriction and no limits.

Personally I find inner peace by creating mandalas, otherwise known as a sacred circle. They allow me to find my center and it truly brings me peace of mind as I allow my creativity to flow.

In cultures around the world, we can see various sacred circles upon which cultures foster their faith. If you look at the floor outside Campus Ministry, you can see a labyrinth, a sacred circle that allows people to walk to find healing, soul assignments, and self- knowledge. Buddhist Monks work days creating sacred circles with sand in which the pray over each grain of sand, to then brush away as a display that nothing remains forever. The Irish culture has the Celtic knot in which no end and no beginning can be found. The Native Americans have dream catchers which they believe have no end and beginning because death is a part of life and a spirit lives on. And there are so many more.

Now it is our turn!! What does La Salle Academy, Providence RI’s sacred circle look like? How do we foster peace right here at 612 Academy Avenue?

Each homeroom has received a brightly colored square with 1/4th of a circle. It will be your job to create part of our La Salle Academy mandala (OUR sacred circle). How do you see Our community fostering peace? What does peace look like to you? What action can WE take as a community to be peacemakers in the world we live in?

Together we are going to collaborate as a Lasallian community to display our values, morals, and mission through a Mandala. Let your creativity juices flow and have fun as a homeroom displaying what your peace of mind looks like.

Let Us Pray,

In the words of Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, the founder of Mustard Seed Community…

“There certainly seems to be a lot of turmoil in our world today. Many people are suffering from the effects of natural disasters and human conflicts; or the fear of terror and violence; of the loneliness of abandonment and displacement. Yet in spite of this, the word of God is alive and active, ever present and always at work through each of us. As we have seen in recent events, we need only to activate the unconditional love of God, already dwelling within us to make a difference in the lives of others. Let us continue to help each other move beyond turmoil to lasting peace, by allowing God’s Word to guide our every thought, word and action.”

“We pray for a peace that will make us whole and transform us into ambassadors of justice for Your sake. Lord, give us Your peace!” (DENA Prayer)

St. John Baptist de La Salle – PRAY FOR US

Live Jesus in Our Hearts – FOREVER!

Katie Haidemenos–Campus Minister and Young Lasallian

To Glorify the Lord By Our Lives

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday morning, 19 September 2017)

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

After our La Salle mass last week, Fr.  Woodhouse said, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” What does that mean?

First, the declaration is that we go peacefully. St. Francis de Sales said, “Do not lose your inner peace for anything, even if your whole world seems upset.” This can be very challenging some days especially during times of sorrow or crisis, but the second part tells us how to relieve the sorrow- by living a life that glorifies the Lord. That’s a tall order -to live in imitation of Christ- even though we know as Christians, that’s what we’re called to do. I think young people are great at this.

Our La Salle and De La Salle students do wonderful outreach for those most in need. And the key is the joy they show whenever they’re reaching out to those who struggle. It would not be glorifying the Lord if giving alms were done by people who were grumbling about it, so they do it with smiles. By our good works we give light to those who walk in darkness. This is what Christ did for us by dying on the cross and continues to do for us every day especially when we are fragile and weak from trials. Remember the Footprints prayer- that at our saddest and most troublesome times of life the Lord carries us in His arms.

And since God chooses the weak and humble ones of the world to do His most important work, we must never let an opportunity pass where we could help someone else in need. It could be the person close to you or someone you don’t know living across the globe. We must let our light shine so that others may send the love we’ve shown to them out to others in the world- which is the only way we’ll get true peace.

In Matthew, chapter 5, we hear, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Let us pray.

Lord, you have given us everything that we need and never leave us alone; give us the grace today and all days to work for our neighbor and spread our lights in the darkness so that we may “glorify the Lord by our life.”

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

Live, Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Leslie Martinelli–Science Teacher

Help Us To Forgive

(Prayer offered  on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday morning, 18 September 2017)

Good morning, La Salle!

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

In the Gospel reading at Mass yesterday, we heard Jesus speak about forgiveness. At the start of the passage, Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered him, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” Jesus then went on to tell a parable about a king who, out of compassion, forgave his servant a large debt. That servant, having just been forgiven, then turned around and demanded repayment of a much smaller debt from one of his fellow servants, refusing to show him the compassion that he had just received.

Unfortunately, more often than we might like to admit, it seems you and I act a lot like that unforgiving servant. Of all the commands that Jesus gives His disciples, it seems that forgiveness may be the one that gives us the most trouble. Indeed, Jesus commands us to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and to visit the imprisoned. And though we often fall well short of fulfilling these commands, we can see the good in them. We can see the suffering of the hungry woman in the soup kitchen, the ill-clothed homeless man in the dead of winter, the sick woman in the nursing home.

Far more difficult, however, is seeing the wounds in those who sin against us. The man who cuts us off on 95 because he’s late again and can’t afford to lose his job. The colleague who slips up and says the wrong thing because she was up late with a sick child. The classmate who ridicules us in front of his friends, because it seems like the only way he can get their attention.

It is as if, when we are hurt, we bear the invisible weight of human sin and frailty going back to our first parents; that when they ate the forbidden fruit, they planted a seed that has spread its roots all the way from the Korean peninsula to the Persian Gulf, from Charlottesville to Twitter, and into our own living rooms. And we, you and I, are forced to bear the weight of one another’s transgressions so that, slowly, this tree might be uprooted. A difficult task, no doubt. And one that certainly bears more consideration than a brief morning reflection.

But lest we think ours is a God who cannot sympathize with us, let us remember that man who bore this very tree of sin through the streets of Jerusalem. A man who, when He was finally nailed to that tree and raised up for all to see, turned to His Father and said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, please help us to forgive. Although it may take years, or even a lifetime, when we are so deeply wounded, please help us to find encouragement in the example of Your Son and guidance in the words of a loving soul. And please forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Amen.

St. John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Brian Bennett–Religion Teacher

“Christ Has No Body Now But Yours”

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 8 September 2017–Help Houston Day)

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

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

 

In the Gospels we read the account of the disciples being tossed about on the stormy lake with Jesus nowhere in sight.  It is dark, the winds are howling, and the disciples cower in fear in the back of their small fishing boat.  All of a sudden they see what they think is a ghost approaching them on the water, and they cry out in even greater terror.  Peter jumps out of the boat to approach this ghost that identifies itself as Jesus; but, as soon as the strong winds buffet Peter he loses his courage, he loses his faith and begins to sink beneath the waves.  Jesus reaches his hands out to him, leads him back to the safety of the boat, and the storm subsides.

Two weeks ago today on the Gulf Coast of Texas a mighty storm, Hurricane Harvey, brought destructive winds, enormous storm surge, and torrential rains to millions of people in Texas and Louisiana.  People cowered in fear on the second floors of their homes as the waters rose; some people ventured to their rooftops, their courage ebbing, yelling for help as their neighborhoods became lakes.  In the midst of this chaos and destruction, Dr. Stephen Kimmel, a pediatric surgeon and a graduate of La Salle Academy (Class of 1981) ventured out in the dark at the height of the storm in a canoe to paddle to a nearby hospital where a 16 year old young man needed emergency surgery.  Dr. Kimmel performed the successful surgery—yes, through his hands holding a paddle and a scalpel, Jesus reached out to that young man and saved him.

Matt Maloney, a La Salle grad (Class of 2005), an all-state athlete, a teacher at Saint Michael’s Academy in Austin, Texas, and the brother of Mrs. Megan Maloney Carey of our faculty, joined with his fellow members of the Texas Search and Rescue Team and went into the face of danger in Port Aransas, Texas, to save people both by amphibious vehicle and by boat—yes, through his strong hands and arms, Jesus reached out and saved many.

Three high school students from Strake Jesuit in Houston, a school much life our own, took their boat through their neighborhood to rescue those who were cut off from the rest of the world; and, workers in a Mexican bakery surrounded by flood waters and unable to escape did not cower in fear—they baked 2 tons of bread to feed the homeless in the shelters of Houston.  Through the hands of those high students and the hands of those bakers, Jesus reached out to those in need.

I have no doubt that were such a catastrophe to occur here in RI (God forbid!) members of the La Salle Academy community would find ways to reach out to those needing assistance, much as Dr. Kimmel and Matt Maloney, our fellow Lasallians, did.  Being 1,500 miles away from Houston should not stop us from being the hands of Jesus that reach out to our brothers and sisters in Texas and Louisiana, people who are desperate for assistance and still are fearful about their future, people like the Lasallian Sisters of Vietnam (a group of religious women associated with the De La Salle Christian Brothers) whose convent, chapel, and educational center serving Vietnamese children in Houston were completely destroyed.

This morning we too are invited to allow our hands to be the hands of Jesus.  We use our hands today to reach deeply into our pockets and pocketbooks to give not only the minimum donation but to go above and beyond that, as Dr. Kimmel and Matt Maloney did.  Through our hands and our sharing some young people in Houston might be able to get clothes to wear to school when they start in a few weeks; through our hands and our sharing some families might be provided a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving in a shelter because they have no home to return to; through our hands and our sharing some kids might get gifts for Christmas to have a little joy as they live as displaced persons; through our hands and our sharing the Lasallian Sisters might be able to re-open their educational center.  Through our hands and our sharing, we allow Jesus’ hands to reach out to save the thousands drowning in desperation and hopelessness.

And, after we have given, we use our hands in another way, clasping them in prayer that God might look with favor on our brothers and sisters in Texas and Louisiana and now in the Caribbean islands and soon in Florida as they face the devastation of Hurricane Irma.

So, let us pray now in the words of Saint Teresa of Avila:

“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”  AMEN.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Brother Frederick Mueller, FSC

What Inspires You?

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 6 September 2017)

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

What inspires you?

There are many things that can provide inspiration: Witnessing individuals or groups of people accomplish great things, even a seemingly small random act of kindness, a majestic sunset, a beautiful piece of art, a song that speaks to you, an individual who strives to overcome adversity, all of these and other inspirational experiences seem to strike to our very core. There seems to be something inside of us that yearns to be inspired. When inspired we seem to work toward becoming the very best version of ourselves with an extra dose of enthusiasm and energy.

So I ask again, what, or who, inspires you?

I want to share two experiences of inspiration I have had during the past week.

Watching the news a few short nights ago, I saw a story about Bert Ramon. Ramon is a Houston police officer who has helped to rescue over 1,500 people over the last week in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Ramon also happens to be undergoing treatment for his stage 4 colon cancer. His positive attitude and selfless action in the face of personal and national adversity, really touched me. Ramon said himself that he is hoping his story will inspire others and witnessing Bert’s courage certainly inspires me to to be a better person, to minimize my complaints and negativity, and to strive to be a man for others no matter the circumstances.

Over the long weekend, our children were gathering their school supplies and trying on their first day of school outfits. When our Gracie’s dress didn’t fit, my wife took her to find an outfit that did. Not too long after they had left, I received a text from my wife telling me that they had driven by a man who was homeless and Gracie was in tears because she wanted so badly to help that man. They ended up bringing him a meal and making his day a little bit brighter. I was so touched by the compassion demonstrated by Grace. Like any other 9 year old diva, she can certainly be a handful at times, but she has a heart for others and showed me in that simple action of mercy what it means to have a heart like Jesus.

I am inspired every day. I am blessed with an amazing wife who is constantly putting our family’s needs before her own in big ways and small. I have two children who awe me with their genuine goodness and love. I get to work with amazing colleagues who inspire me with their endless supply of kindness and generosity. I am privileged to work with young people who inspire me with their multitude of gifts and talents.

Inspiring others always involves some level of sacrifice—sacrificing one’s time and talent to make someone else’s day a little brighter. Let us continue to inspire one another this year. We all have gifts and talents to share and with God’s grace working in and through us, we can provide the inspiration that others are yearning for.

Who can you inspire today?

Let us pray,

Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire our thoughts and our actions this day and every day. Open our hearts, our minds, and our eyes to see the inspiration all around us.

In moments of doubt and discouragement, inspire us to rise above adversity.

Lord Jesus, we continue to pray for all those affected by the hurricane in Houston and we pray for all those who may be impacted by Hurricane Irma. Comfort all those in need, and continue to raise up heroes to inspire those in despair.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Anthony Russo–Campus Minister

 

Life Is Hard

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday, 5 September 2017)

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

At the beginning of any new undertaking, spirits are high, expectations are higher and life is grand! Whether it be the start of a new theatrical season, a new sports season, a new school year, a new job, or even a new life as a newly married couple, or a new life with a newborn baby, the high can be exhilarating! But as some many of us discover, the grand beginning, the “high” of a new life can be laid low….FAST! For some this reality can be made apparent; not doing well in an audition, suffering an early defeat for a team, or an injury to a key performer – like Julian Edelman for the Patriots. These “downs” can bring even the strongest among us… crashing down. And what a crash it can be.

Life for all of us is HARD! There are highs and lows, good times and hard times, times when we feel like we can conquer the world, times when it’s a struggle to get out of bed in the morning. There are times when school is going great, and times when everything is going wrong, times when everybody is your friend and times when nobody knows your name.

Up and down, up and down, up and down. And no YouTube video can bring you out of it, no funny cat video, no instagramming with friends, nothing.

 

Perseverance and faith are virtues that ALL of us must pray to possess to deal with the ups and downs of this life. Just like all theatrical seasons, sports seasons, school years, new courses, jobs and marriages, babies, persevering and trusting in all those scary “downs” are essential to finishing the ride. Sometimes I find most sinister about our current culture is the illusion painted that life can be one big HIGH. Funny shows, cool songs, entertainment, entertainment, entertainment paint that picture EVERY DAY. But it’s not real.

Life is hard. Life is a roller coaster, no matter our best attempts to control it. What is needed MOST is a realization of this fact; and perseverance and trust to get us through those ever dreaded down times.

Let us pray:

Almighty God,

We come to you with a heavy heart for Houston and all those communities affected by this storm. While it’s tempting to ask you “Why did this happen?”, we humbly submit to your will and instead ask, Lord, for you to be a beacon of hope among the wreckage.

Grant safety to the men, women, and little children navigating the dangerous flood waters. Strengthen local the citizenry as they provide shelter and aid for their communities. Specifically, give wisdom and present resources to workers to provide for the physical needs of those who have lost homes, precious belongings, and are possibly separated from their loved ones. Give them courage to minister to the spiritual needs as well.

No doubt considerable fear and anxiety haunt those in affected areas. Grant unshakable peace and rid this storm’s victims of the spirit of fear. Show us all how to respond to the needs of those struggling with frustration and fear, that we may serve you well through your son Jesus Christ.

Guide us Lord as we attempt to help the victims of this hurricane from afar by our efforts this coming Friday as we celebrate Maroon and White Day in the High School and Blue Day in the Middle School.   Help direct the funds we raise to help alleviate some of the stress in Texas.  AMEN.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Donald Kavanagh