We Celebrate Our Differences

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system and intranet for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 7 February 2018—Black History Month)

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

I will be reading a poem by Lucille Clifton

won’t you celebrate with me

what i have shaped into

a kind of life? i had no model.

born in babylon

both nonwhite and woman

what did i see to be except myself?

i made it up

here on this bridge between

starshine and clay,

my one hand holding tight

my other hand; come celebrate

with me that everyday

something has tried to kill me

and has failed.

Let us pray:

God, thank you for making each one of us different. Help us all come together and celebrate each other’s differences: that even though we may not all look or act the same, we were created equally with your love. Make us strong and able to defeat our fears and the people who fear our differences.  May we come together to defeat evil and become one.  Amen.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.

Monique DaFonseca–Class of 2019

“Graduates From La Salle Always Go Far In Life”

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 2 February 2018—Catholic Schools Week)

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

A few weeks ago, while doing my weekly grocery shopping, I saw an elderly man in a wheelchair trying to reach a can of soup that was just out of his reach. After watching him struggle for a moment I approached him and asked if I could help. He said yes, so I handed him the can that he was reaching for. He turned to thank me and noticed that I was wearing a La Salle hoodie. “Ah, La Salle Academy!” he said. “I should have known. Graduates from La Salle always go far in life.”

What the old man didn’t know is that, geographically speaking, I haven’t gone very far at all. I spent six years as a student here at La Salle, and after going off to college, I came right back here to be a teacher. It was never a secret that I wanted to return here to teach – I had barely graduated when I started wondering if there would be an opening in the math department by the time I finished grad school.

What called me back here wasn’t just the quality of the education that I had experienced first hand. It was about the people I had met and relationships I had built that made La Salle feel like my home. When I walk by Mr. McNamara’s calculus class or Mrs. Chapman’s psychology class, I see students sitting in the same seats that I sat in – and I know that they are learning so much more than the content in their textbooks. They’re learning the values that make them Lasallians.  I know this because I learned those values as a student myself, but also because I see those values today, and every day as a teacher. I saw charity and generosity when my homeroom brought trash bags filled to the brim with adopt-a-family donations. I saw love and acceptance when students spent last weekend on a Kairos retreat. I saw kindness and support offered to someone who recently lost a loved one.

The old man in the canned-good aisle at Shaw’s may have thought I was going far, but to me, the opportunity to go far, and to see and do great things, happens every day when I walk into this building.

Let Us Pray:

God, thank you for the many gifts that we receive here at La Salle – the high quality education present in our classrooms, the meaningful relationships that are developed, and values of generosity and love that are witnessed here every day. Continue to bless all those who enter this building so that they can go out into the world with the knowledge they have gained here, whether they travel far away or return right back here to be within these walls.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Pray for Us

Live Jesus in Our Hearts, Forever

Kathryn Thompson–Alumna (Class of 2010) and Teacher of Mathematics and Computer Science

“The Lasallian Mission Is Now In Effect!”

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 1 February 2018—Catholic Schools Week)

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

During my four years at La Salle, a phrase that stuck with me was “The Lasallian Mission is now in effect.” This saying was announced over the loudspeaker for emergency drills, a way of notifying everyone to shelter in place. In this situation, the Lasallian mission was only in effect for the people who were in this building and heard the message. But I’ve come to find out that the Lasallian mission spans so much further than this brick building on the corner of Academy Ave. and Smith Street. Being a student at La Salle Academy introduced me and everyone else who has walked through its doors to the Lasallian mission- one that has the potential to change the trajectory of your life like it has changed so many.

My Lasallian journey began just as yours did, with an acceptance letter and a new opportunity. I came to La Salle not knowing many people, and I did my best to get involved and make friends. I found my place here through athletics and service. I was part of a sports team in every season during my 4 years, proud to represent La Salle on the ice and on the field. My teams turned from friends to family, and many of my closest friendships were made during these seasons. I felt at home being a member of Lasallian Youth, taking part in coat drives, bake sales, service trips and more. My time at La Salle flew by, and it was filled with memorable times alongside great friends made here.

At first glance, my experience at La Salle sounds pretty typical. I’m sure there are many of you who have found your place at La Salle by being part of a team, whether that be through sports, performing arts, or math and science. And I know that so many of you are involved in community service at La Salle because helping those in need is a pillar of being a student here.

We all share those common high school experiences and that’s why we love La Salle. But when I take a more meaningful look at my four years, the impact that this school has made on me is what makes my experience so special. It is astounding all the ways that this school and its mission have become a part of who I am. For example, being a part of a team has taught me what it means to be united and work towards a common goal. Taking part in service has taught me the importance of putting others before yourself and doing God’s work where He calls you. My teachers and coaches taught me what it is like to feel supported and have someone believe in you. All of those small things that were part of my life each day here taught me more than any textbook ever could.

These lessons are so important and I am thankful that I learned them at La Salle. But I wasn’t satisfied with just harboring these lessons and memories. I felt that my obligation as a graduate of La Salle Academy was to pass these lessons and this mission onto someone else.

After college, I was chosen to take part in a post graduate service program called Lasallian Volunteers-a Catholic organization founded upon the 3 pillars of faith, service and community. As a volunteer, I spent a year of service in San Francisco, California. I taught 5th grade at a Lasallian School named De Marillac Academy, which was located in the Tenderloin, a part of the city that had a brutal reputation for drugs, violence and danger. It was here, as a part of this program and in this city, that I realized how far and wide the Lasallian mission spreads. It was here, in the Tenderloin, that I put those lessons learned at La Salle into place, passing them on to someone new. At school, I filled the hearts and minds of my 5th graders with knowledge and faith each day. I reminded them that their future was in their hands, that this neighborhood they lived in did not define them. I supported their dreams just like my teachers and coaches at La Salle supported mine.

In addition to my service site, Lasallian Volunteers also provided me with the opportunity to live in community with Christian Brothers, our home adjoining a Lasallian high school named Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. Living in this community gave me the opportunity to get to know the Brothers, and the stories of their journeys and where their Lasallian Mission had taken them inspired me to continue spreading mine. Sacred Heart reminded me so much of La Salle and that along with the sense of family that I gained from my community made me feel like home wasn’t so far away.

Each day while walking through the Tenderloin to and from school, I treated each person who was homeless on the streets of the Tenderloin with love and respect by offering a smile and saying hello, which was all that most of them were looking for. Here I felt myself going out of my comfort zone to do God’s work and make each of them feel like human beings, deserving of God’s love and life. In the moment, I didn’t realize the meaningfulness of what I was doing, but looking back on all these experiences, I see that my year of service was my own Lasallian mission in affect.

Statue of the “Homeless Jesus”

My journey of spreading the Lasallian mission has guided me to the place where I am meant by God to be right now. The mission became a part of what I do each day in my path of educating the next generation as a teacher, and now the question is where will it take you? How will the Lasallian Mission become a part of you, grounded in the beliefs of serving others? The Lasallian Mission can transform your future- but you have to make the effort to keep the Lasallian Mission in effect beyond your four years at the Academy. When you keep that mission alive in your heart, the possibilities are endless.

Let us pray:
Father in heaven, God of love, all I have and am is yours. Grant that I may become a living sign of your compassion in this world. Grant me the faith to live my life, always in the awareness of your loving presence. Grant me zeal to serve without thought of reward, those to whom you send me. Grant me charity to bear the burdens of my brothers and sisters. Teach me to seek your Son’s face, in the last, the lost, and the least. In whatever I undertake, may I seek above all things, to procure your glory, as far as I am able, and as you will require of me. Strengthen me by your Holy Spirit, to follow Jesus by living the commitment I make this day. Amen.

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

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever!

Abbey Sorensen–Class of 2012

Not Just Awareness BUT Action!

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday morning, 30 January 2018—Catholic Schools Week)

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

My name is Annie McGunagle and I graduated from La Salle in 2012. I loved my time here at LSA, but never expected my experiences here to have such an impact on my day to day life.

I remember coming to this school not knowing what to expect. I worked hard in my classes and auditioned for roles in plays and musicals; I did my best to engage in this incredible and overwhelming community around me. Never before had I been around religion in an academic setting. During my first two years here, I had to learn the Hail Mary in Spanish and pray before every class.  I didn’t think much about my faith.  But that was about to change.

Between my sophomore and junior year, my mom was diagnosed with a serious illness.  Going through that experience with my family that summer and into the following year really made me question my faith in God. I had a hard time believing that this all knowing being could exist if something this horrible could happen to me and my family.

During those first couple of months of my junior year I heard about a new retreat that campus ministry was starting, called Kairos. It was incredibly intriguing so I immediately wanted to apply and was accepted to attended the 3rd implementation of this retreat, also known as K3.

K3 changed my perspective of myself and those around me. I learned more about my strength as well as the strengths of others in ways I couldn’t imagine. I was overwhelmed with the love and compassion I received from my fellow students. This weekend allowed me to understand that God didn’t give my mom cancer—life did. It allowed me to reframe my negative thoughts and become aware of all of the positivity and support I was receiving in that retreat, but also from family, friends, and strangers who knew what my family was going through.

Fast forward another year, my mom was free of cancer and I was a leader on K8. This was the first time I was allowed to lead a group of peers in honest and real conversations. I was terrified, but I helped build a space of love and respect which allowed me to openly share my struggle with faith. It also allowed the students I led to be open and honest with the challenges in their own lives.

Fast forward to now. I am a licensed clinical social worker after graduating with my masters of social work. La Salle prepared me not only academically for my Bachelor’s and Master’s in social work and maintaining a 4.0 at an Ivy League institution, but spiritually.

My relationship with God was informed by Lasallian values, specifically concern for the poor, social justice, and respect for all persons. This relationship supports my ability to offer intensive therapy to youth ranging in ages from 3-18, many of whom have experienced repeated trauma and poverty. My faith based experiences and the academic rigor of LSA prepared me for what I experience daily–facing the realities of the world with care, compassion, and an open mind.

Let us pray—

God help us use our Lasallian values to become not only aware of the injustices around us, but to take action and help arrive at solutions for them.

St. John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for Us.

Live Jesus in our Hearts…Forever!

Anne McGunagle—Class of 2012

Hindsight Is An Amazing Thing

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday, 29 January 2018–Catholic Schools Week)

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

I’ve been asked to pray this morning to start off Catholic Schools Week.

I started at La Salle, not because I wanted to, but because my parents forced me to.  I was at public school and didn’t want to leave my friends and thought I would get an education in Woonsocket that would be fine.  I was determined to get one year under my belt at La Salle and head back where I thought I belonged.  Needless to say, by the end of my freshman year I knew my parents were right and where I needed to be was at La Salle.  I often tell people to this day, that the best decision my parents ever made for me was to  send me to La Salle.

At the Academy I was surrounded by people who had a desire to learn and set goals for themselves, as well as adults who fostered that within us.  Some of teachers that I had at La Salle were the reasons why I went into education myself.  I had teachers who believed in me, helped me to see my own potential and made my high school experience enjoyable.  I walked away knowing that I wanted to make other kids feel like they were special and important and had something to offer to the world, just as my teachers had done for me.

La Salle not only was about providing me with an education that prepared me for college and the real world, it was also about building my faith.  It is not uncommon for many teenagers to turn away from their faith, question it or live more selfishly.  Having a place where spirituality  is around you throughout these years helps to center you and remind you of what is important and especially to think of others.  I had the opportunity to give back to my community and help others in need whether it was my homeroom adopting families in need at the holidays or being a part of Lasallian Youth.  The Lasallian Youth summer assembly allowed me to meet other Lasallians from across the country, to come together with the same mission, to help and educate others in need.  This is something that I am able to carry out throughout my life: to stop and say a prayer and know that I am not alone when times are difficult, or to take time to help others on larger scales and just in small ways, such as holding a door open for someone.   I have tried to raise my children with  the Lasallian beliefs, to be thankful for all that we have, to think of others, and to be humble and kind, and proud of who you are.

When you entered La Salle you were probably told that you are now part of the Lasallian community and family.  It wasn’t until after I graduated La Salle that I truly understood what this really means.  When meeting other alumni, there is always a connection, a quiet understanding that we are part of something special because of La Salle.  There is a feeling of pride in saying that you are a Lasallian.

I can proudly say that I am not only an alumna, but also a parent of a La Salle student.  Knowing all of what La Salle has to offer, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for my child to attend.  There are boundless opportunities that are presented here and I know that being at the Academy allows him to become more than he even knows he is capable of.   Please know that each and every one of you will graduate from La Salle a better version of yourselves.  I didn’t realize this until I was older, but hindsight is an amazing thing.

Let us pray:

Lord, please help all of the students at La Salle along their journey.  May they appreciate the opportunities that are given to them and provide thanks to those who allow them to attend La Salle.  May they know that they are never alone and that there is community of Lasallians who will always look out for them.  Assist them to carry over what they have learned as Lasallians beyond the school walls and into the rest of their lives to better than own lives and those around them.  Thank you for having teachers and administrators who take the time to care about the future of their students and are there for them educationally and spiritually.

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

Live Jesus in our hearts……forever.

Emily Dursin Turgeon–Alumna (1997) and Parent (2020)

“You Did It For Me”

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 12 January 2018—the 5th and final day of Haiti Solidarity Week)

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

Haiti-school-1ldz9wx

As we prepare to give our offering to the Hands Out For Haiti Campaign on the 8th anniversary of the earthquake, let us listen to the words of Matthew’s Gospel:

Jesus says to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

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Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’

And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

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Let us pray,
Jesus, our Lord and our brother, open our hearts today so that we might generously respond to the young people of Haiti who really are the least members of your family. Remind us that whatever we do for them, we do for you. Amen.

which-side-do-you-belong

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Ryan Schwender–Class of 2018; Co-Captain of Boys’ Hockey Team

Making a Sacrifice—Who? Me?

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 11 January 2018—Day 4 of Haiti Solidarity Week)

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

De La Salle and Poor
It is the winter of 1683-1684 and the high price of food and the harshness of Winter turned the city of Reims, France into a huge poor house of starving people. To the three newly-started schools of the Brothers and to the Brothers’ House on Rue Neuve the poor came in droves, adults and children alike, many of them close to starvation. None of them went away unprovided for. John Baptist de La Salle, the wealthy priest and reluctant founder of schools for poor boys, now lived with the handful of new Brothers. He had decided after much prayer and spiritual direction, to hand over his wealth so that he too would be poor like his Brothers. So the daily distribution of food went on until there was nothing left; and then, De La Salle himself had to beg for the bread he could no longer afford to buy.

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Flash forward to the winter of 2010, January 12th, and the devastating earthquake that flattened much of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing an estimated 316,000 people, leaving 2.0 million people homeless, and making orphans of hundreds of thousands of children. Like its Founder, Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the Lasallian World could not just stand-by and watch the suffering of people that they had so long served in Haiti. Through world-wide donations, including a substantial gift from the faculty, staff and students of this school, the educational and health needs of hundreds of young people and their families is being met by our brother school, the St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle School in Cazeau, a small town on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Each January, since that initial gift, our community has donated about $10,000.00 annually through our Hands Out to Haiti Campaign—to help build the Health Center, to build additional classroom space, to build athletic fields and provide athletic equipment, to purchase uniforms and books, to hire native Haitian teachers of English, and to provide tuition help to the now 645 youngsters being educated in Grades pre-K to 9.

schoolyard haiti

Unlike John Baptist de La Salle, we are not being asked tomorrow to give away all our wealth and to go out to beg for food. We put in our $5.00, get a chance to dress-down for the day, and go home tomorrow night to a good meal and a warm house—with all our toys (cars, I-pads, X-boxes, etc.) to keep us occupied.

However, I ask you to find a few minutes during the rest of this day and tonight to be quiet and to reflect. What if the earthquake or another natural or man-made disaster happened here in Rhode Island? How would we feel if we were deprived of everything we take so much for granted? Well, that is how De La Salle and the starving of Reims felt during that bitterly cold Winter and that is how the students of the St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle School felt following the earthquake! I would never wish that feeling or those disasters on anyone, but it is good from time to time to ask ourselves: what really counts, what is really important, when it comes down to it, what do I truly need?

Sacrifice-Mother-Teresa

Maybe, after some moments of reflection (if you dare), you might decide tomorrow to forego that Dunkin Donuts flavored coffee and bagel or those extra fries; maybe you might decide to skip the movie you are planning to go to over the weekend or to not buy the CD or DVD or Apple i-tunes you saved for with your Christmas money. Are those things REALLY necessary? Making a sacrifice is not something we hear about often. However, today I ask you to consider making a sacrifice, making a sacrifice like John Baptist de La Salle, making a sacrifice that hurts a little bit—making a sacrifice tomorrow when the envelope is passed in your classroom, as you sit comfortably in your dress-down clothes in a warm building. And as you consider this request, think about the young people of Cazeau, Haiti who are being clothed in school uniforms, and given medicine, and being taught because of the extra dollars that you contribute.

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They will not be able to thank you in person; but, believe me, your reward will be great when our loving and merciful Father welcomes you into his Kingdom, there to share eternal blessings with so many other generous Lasallians, like Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Jesus will say to you and me, as he did to his disciples on the Mount: “Come to me, you blessed of my Father—for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was without clothes and you gave me school uniforms, I was sick and you provided medication, I had no opportunity for education and you provided a school and you taught me.”

least-of-these

Let us pray,
Jesus, our Lord and our brother, open our hearts today and tomorrow so that we might generously respond to the young people of Haiti who really are the least of your brothers and sisters. Remind us that whatever we do for them, we do for you. Amen.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Brother Frederick Mueller

HAITI–Rich in Happiness and Joy

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 10 January 2018–3rd day of Haiti Solidarity Week)

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

What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word Haiti? The Caribbean? The major earthquake in 2010? Hurricane Matthew? How it is a poor third world country? Yes, these facts are all true, but what most people don’t know is the fact that it is the first black independent nation in the world and has a strong culture, beautiful beaches, amazing food, and bright and beautiful people. I traveled to Haiti this past summer and I experienced so much. I got to experience the fine beaches with the crystal clear water that allows you to see the ocean floor and aquatic life, the soft white sand and tall coconut trees The horizon can be seen at a very distance as well as the fleet of sailboats taxiing merchants from one end to the other.  It is common to have troubadour players drumming Haitian ballads at the beach.  It will not be a complete picture if I don’t put emphasis on the various delicious seafood dishes whose fresh smell is very enticing.   The popular grilled conch served with fried plantains,  with a side of onions, tomatoes, lettuce and slices of juicy avocado are to die for.   

What truly amazes me to this day is the joy the children had making kites out of broken pieces of wood, string, and black plastic bags. I got to witness what truly makes Haiti a beautiful country: its people. The friendly people who greet you with a smile, the people willing to help who ever in need, the people who know they have less and make the best out of each day.  This is what truly makes Haiti beautiful. Though Haiti itself is a poor country, the people are rich in happiness and joy.

Let us pray:

God of all people,

This morning we pray for the people of Haiti.

Although they lack material wealth, there is much we can learn from their joy and their simplicity.

And help us all to work together so that all your children can enjoy the abundance this world has to offer.  Amen.

 

St. John Baptist de La Salle: Pray for Us.

Live Jesus in our Hearts: Forever!

Sara Gedeon–Class of 2018

One Lasallian Can Change the World

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday morning, 9 January 2018—the 2nd day of Haiti Solidarity Week)

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

Every weekday morning, in the Cazeau neighbor of Port au Prince, Haiti the roosters crow to welcome the rising sun over the mountains that surround the city while students and their families arrive to the gates of College de Saint Jean Baptist de La Salle. By the time the school bell rings to begin the day, over 650 students line up according to grade in their neatly pressed white and blue uniforms and they too begin their day with prayer, “Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.”

Over 300 years ago, our Founder, Saint John Baptist de La Salle realized the transformative power of education. Being well educated himself, he was fully aware that to give a child, a young person, an adult the gift of an education was to unleash human potential—the potential to transform a person, a family, a neighborhood, a community, a society and yes, a nation.

That is why, after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010 the Brothers of the Christian Schools along with an Order of Sisters from Argentina, fondly referred to as the “Blue Nuns” because of their blue colored habits, began the project of building a school and a health and nutrition educational clinic in this section of Port au Prince, Haiti. What were once barren fields welcomed a small endeavor and what began with one building is now a thriving educational compound with 5 buildings that include a wing for pre-kindergarten classrooms, a main building for Kindergarten-8 grade classrooms, a new building for the developing secondary school, the Health and Nutrition educational center and the Brothers’ residence. It is a source of great hope in this neighborhood and a source of great hope for the future of the students who attend, indeed for the future of Haiti.

Permit me to share with you a story or two. Within walking distance to the school is an orphanage, New Life orphanage. It is supported by a Protestant denomination and the Director, a woman named Miriam, hails from Newtown, CT. One day, when I was visiting the orphanage she told me the story of how after the earthquake the number of children in the orphanage doubled within 72 hours. One of the concerns that was keeping her up at night with worry was the thought of how were all the children, especially those newly orphaned by the earthquake, going to receive an education? These children had arrived at her orphanage from all over the Port au Prince area with little or no information about themselves. It was clear to Miriam that many of them had not attended school before the earthquake and the ones who had received a minimal education at best.

Then one day Brother Nicholas, a Brother from the school community who was in charge of overseeing the construction of the first school building and the Health and Nutrition center visited the orphanage to tell Miriam about a new school that was being built within walking distance. When Miriam explained that she had children who should be in third or fourth grade but they had never learned to read or write, she shared “what Brother said next were miracle words, his words answered my constant prayer.” She continued, “Brother replied in response to my concern, don’t worry, we will take the students where they are at, regardless of age and steadily bring them up to grade level so they can successfully continue their studies with us.” Miriam’s eyes were filled with tears as she expressed her gratitude to all who made this possible.

You helped to make this possible…by your support and generosity throughout these past years- you have given the miracle of education to hundreds of young boys and girls and by extension their families. You have given them hope and the possibility of a brighter future.

Last spring when I was visiting the school, I attended the seventh grade English language class. Remember: for most of the students their first language is Creole and then French. Therefore, learning English would be their third language! The students were very interested in hearing about the Lasallian schools in the United States. They had many questions about your school day and what you are studying and the various sports and co-curricular activities you have here at La Salle. One young man raised his hand and said “whenever you can please let the Lasallian students know how grateful we are for all they are doing to help us receive an education. We are so proud to be part of the Lasallian family and we work very hard in our studies, please tell them thank you.”  So let me now say “thank you.”

Right now, this morning at the school, there are 15 Lasallians from La Salle University on a service immersion trip. They are engaged in tutoring students, organizing art classes and coordinating athletic activities. There is also a delegation of nurses from La Salle University who are working with the Sisters at the clinic to provide basic health care to the students, their families and those in need from the neighborhood. Let us keep them in our prayers.

By your generosity over the years you and other Lasallians have assisted in providing classroom resources, computers, an English teacher, the construction of new classrooms, sports equipment, a van for school transportation and an incredible transformation of the school’s aquifer into clean drinking water for the school and the neighborhood-just to mention a few items.

There is a famous quote from the young Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai “one child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

Permit me to add, one Lasallian caring for one Lasallian can change the world as well.

So on behalf of Brother Dennis Lee, Visitor of the District of Eastern North America, Brother Lanes, Principal of College de Saint Jean Baptist de La Salle School and especially the students and their families: Thank you, to each of you for being that one Lasallian changing the world…together.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us

Live Jesus in our hearts forever.

Maryann Donohue-Lynch–Associate Executive Director, Office for Mission and Ministry (District of Eastern North America)