A Day To Celebrate Our Teachers

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday, 8 May 2018—Teacher Appreciation Day)

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

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day, a time to celebrate the guidance of all of the teachers in our lives. Members of Student Council have chosen eight words that encompass what our teachers mean to us.

The first word is gratitude: Today is a time for us to step back and thank God for giving us teachers who not only work persistently to ensure our academic success, but who genuinely care about our development as people. We are grateful to our teachers for all of their hard work.

The second is faith: In the Lasallian community, especially, our teachers show us what it means to live out our faith in and outside of the classroom.

Next, is compassion: Today we celebrate the compassion our teachers have for us, understanding and helping us through the challenges we face. They are examples to us of how to be compassionate to others.

Inspire: Sometimes we all have those moments where something clicks. We understand that difficult concept in class or we discover something we love or we’re good at. Many of these moments come at the hands of our teachers.

Create: Teachers help us to use what we learn to create projects or form ideas that we can be proud of.

Motivate: When we begin losing our motivation, as many of us are at this point in the school year, our teachers are always there behind us offering us a push to follow through.

Determination: Teachers always seem to have the remarkable determination to help us learn in any way they can, because they are passionate about what they teach and want us to be too.

Finally, success: When we reach our goals, we can be proud of all that we have accomplished. And standing right behind us is an equally proud teacher, happy that they could guide us to success.

Looking to the examples of Jesus, St John Baptist de La Salle, and the Brothers of the Christian Schools, we as Lasallians have a special connection to all of our teachers. Yes, this includes those teachers in the classroom, but also those other teachers in our lives: like our parents, coaches, club leaders, and anyone else who acts as a guiding presence for us.

Teacher Appreciation Day is about reflecting on our teachers’ impacts on us. With this in mind, let us pray.

 

Heavenly Father,

Grant our teachers an abundance of your wisdom. Prepare their hearts to welcome all of their students and families, and remind us to show them love and respect in return. Give them grace as they guide their students, courage to say what needs to be said, and strength when they feel weak. When they feel unappreciated, remind them that their efforts do not go unnoticed. They are shaping the future by nurturing our generation through their actions, large and small. We are thankful for the knowledge that they share with us. Bless them, Lord, and may they understand how their hard work and faithfulness have impacted us, their students.

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

Live, Jesus, in our hearts… forever.

Katie Kerr–Class of 2019

The Student Council invited teachers to choose a smooth stone with one of the eight words inscribed upon it from its display (see picture above).

Are We Really Connected?

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 26 April 2018—Intercultural Week)

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

Nowadays, we are constantly connected to our phones, laptops, and other devices, which have great chances of causing many negative differences in our social lives. Especially when communicating with other people, we can easily use our texts to avoid problems in the long run. Sometimes, we even use words less sincerely than we would if we were talking to someone face to face. We should not hide from true reality. Lots of people post pictures of themselves and others usually comment with a “heart eyes emoji” with the intention of showing support saying “You look great” or “This is a really cool picture,” but would the commenters have the courage to walk up to the person in the picture and say, “Wow, I thought your recent Instagram post was really cool” or “You looked really pretty in the picture you just posted”? Many people act in a specific way over text but may act completely different in person. Once in a while, we may build what we believe is a “friendship” over texting, but in real life, the most we say to each other is a simple greeting when passing by each other in the hallway. This frequently occurs because many would agree that sending a text message is much easier than talking to another in person. We should identify the areas of our social lives with which we struggle due to how we depend too much on technology. In what ways can we use texting, snapping, and other sources of technology to help us build more sincere relationships with others?

Let us pray: Dear God, Please help us to not only identify the areas of our social lives that we struggle with, but also help us to use our technology appropriately to improve our relationships. Guide us to understand the fact that tapping a few buttons and hitting send is much easier than communicating with others in person.  However, in order to build strong, healthy relationships, we must bond with those who are close to us by speaking face to face. Let us not hide our identities and problems through texts and messages. Give us the courage and strength to be sincere with those who are close to us and to find a balance between our use of technology and the relationships we choose to build.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.

Megan Chan–De La Salle Middle School–Grade 8

Mission into Creed

(Prayer offered for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday, 27 April 2018–Intercultural Week)

Good morning….

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

You are who you are when no-one is watching.  If you have had the pleasure of working alongside Coach Marcone or as one of his players you have probably heard this saying before or something quite similar.  Mr. Pacia shared a prayer with us in the past centered around this idea and I would like to make a connection as well as it relates to mission. Mission is not a catch-phrase, slogan, or marketing campaign.  Mission is not words; it is action. As Lasallians we are called to live our mission each day. I was recently reminded of a school in Chicago that transformed its mission into a creed. Each morning the faculty, staff, and students recite this creed as a reminder of who they are and wish to be.  I would like to share this creed with you as I have altered it slightly.

Your homeroom teachers will have the words displayed on the SmartBoard and I would ask that you silently read along.


Let us pray,

We are the young men and women of La Salle Academy.

We are exceptional—not because we say it, but because we work hard at it.

We will not falter in the face of any obstacle placed before us.

We never succumb to uncertainty or fear.

We are dedicated, committed, and focused.

We never fail because we never give up.

We make no excuses.

We choose to live honestly and with integrity.

We respect ourselves and, in doing so, respect all people.

We have a future for which we are accountable.

We have a responsibility to our families, community, and world.

We believe in ourselves.

We believe in each other.

We believe in La Salle Academy.

We believe.

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

Live Jesus in our hearts…..forever.

Stephen Emerson–Math Teacher

The Beauty of Every Culture

(Prayer offered for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 25 April 2018—Intercultural Week)

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God

It may come as a surprise to many that I’m Mexican, but I am. Both my parents came to the United States about 20 years ago from Mexico. My mom is always telling me stories of when she first came to the U.S. One story I’ll never forget is the one she told me about visiting a store in her early days in this country.  One time she went to go buy food and the cash register guy charged her more than she was supposed to pay because he saw that she didn’t know English. Luckily, there was a nice lady who saw what was going on and stood up for my mom. Today my mom knows some English, so when she sees someone struggling to communicate with someone else because of the language barrier, she’ll step in and help.  This story has stayed with me and reminded me of the need to use our knowledge to help others in need.

Let us pray—

Dear Lord, we thank you for making every culture beautiful in its own unique way. We thank you for the opportunities we get to enjoy the beauty of every culture. We ask that you give us the strength to overcome challenges we may face and the courage to help someone who may need our help.

Amen.

 

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for Us

Live Jesus in our Hearts…Forever

Emiliano Moreno—Class of 2019

We Are An Evolving Fabric of Diversity

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday, 23 April 2018—Intercultural Week)

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

The United States of America holds the reputation of being  one of the greatest countries in the world. But it is also known as the multicultural center, because of the wide variety of people with different cultural, racial and ethnic identities. Immigrants from all over come here holding their own ideal of the “American Dream.”  We have the opportunity to share in how other people experience the world differently. Much of today’s society has forgotten that. “So God created mankind in his own image,” yet on the news we see  discrimination and violence all over the world against people who are considered other. The Diversity Committee has organized Intercultural Day this week so that everyone can express themselves and witness that within our own community we are an evolving fabric of unique threads, colors and textures.

Let us pray,

We thank You God, for the diversity we see all around us. You created all people in your image. We rejoice in the astonishing variety of races and cultures in this world and within our own community. Help us celebrate the wonderful blend of skin colors, languages and customs and teach us to accept one another, and to realize that our differences are what makes us unique.

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

Live Jesus in our Hearts: Forever!

Alejandro (Victor) Jimenez–Class of 2018

 

Where Is God Calling You Today?

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday, 9 April 2018)

Good morning. First let me wish our Orthodox brothers and sisters a happy Easter.

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

There is an old saying that says: “When God closes a door, God opens a window.” Let me say that again, “When God closes a door, God opens a window.” The idea behind this saying is that we never really know where life is going to take us and rarely do we end up where we think we’ll end up.

I know this has been true in my own life. Maybe it has been true in yours. It was certainly true for our Founder, John Baptist de La Salle. He was a wealthy man on the fast track to becoming an even wealthier Church leader in France when God, through a chance encounter with Adrien Nyel, led him to give up his wealth and found schools for poor boys. We would not be sitting here today, if it were not for that. His decision to follow God’s will was not the easy thing to do – it led to much pain and suffering for John Baptist de La Salle, but also to much joy and satisfaction. After all, the old saying says that God leaves a window open for us and climbing through a window is much more difficult than strolling through a door … even if it does give us a chance to see the world from a different – often more beautiful – perspective.

Today, we Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the day when Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Today we remember the day when God closed the door of a normal life to the teenaged Blessed Virgin Mary and opened the window to a life full of tremendous sorrow and tremendous joy, a life full of grace. Mary’s life was anything but ordinary from that day forward. But it was the life that she was called to live so that she could be most fully the person that God made her to be. She’s a perfect example of how following God’s call – whatever it is – can change your life, fulfill you, and make you into the person you are meant to be. “When God closes a door, God opens a window.” Climbing through a window is never easy, but – with God’s help – it is always worth it.

My challenge to you today is to just listen. Take the ear buds out. Close the screen. Shut off the television. Find a quiet spot and listen. Where is God calling you today?

Let us pray:

Lord God, we know that following you does not always seem easy. Give us the grace to follow you anyway, just as the Blessed Virgin Mary made a decision to follow you two thousand years ago. Amen.

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

Live Jesus in our hearts … forever.

Charles da Silva–Religion Teacher

They Are Our Children—-They Are Our Students

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday morning, 27 March 2018)

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

This past weekend I was riveted to the news, watching young people from all over the US march for a cause they are passionate about, searching for a way to express their beliefs, and demanding to be heard. The signs they held were barbed, ironic, and just plain funny. Their speeches were thoughtful and delivered from the heart. Yes I realize that not everyone believes in their cause, although no one on either side wants to see children die.  But if we could, for a moment, push political rhetoric aside, what we would see are amazing children and young adults participating in the wider community. What I saw made me proud to be a parent and an educator.

And what I saw was another movement, in the summer of 1963, where Americans from all over the US marched for a cause they were passionate about. In fact, much like our children today, their very lives depended on it. Unfortunately, the passage of time has condensed that march to a single speech, Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech. And no disrespect to Dr. King, but history has forgotten the hundreds of thousands of young black Americans who demanded their civil rights and freedom on that day, on the days to follow, and still today. Although the causes are very different, the marchers on Saturday are much like those who stood in solidarity 55 years ago. Like their historical brethren they are enduring discrimination and hatred not just for their cause and but for who they are.  And who they are, are beautiful, talented, articulate, flawed, mature and immature, complex, nuanced, and incredibly important members of our society. They are our children, our students, our friends, our loved ones, and our future. Our community is strengthened by their activism as opposed to the people who sit back and hate.

Let us pray:

Dear God,

Help us to come together to stop the gun violence in our communities that kills so many of our young people.

Help us to see how our perceived cultural norms alienate so many.

Help us to understand the pain of mental disease.

Help us to celebrate those who actively participate in their communities and show passion for social justice.

Help us to put aside our differences and come together to solve real problems.

We ask this in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ.  Amen

 

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

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Kristine Chapman—Social Studies Teacher

A Chance To Chase Our Dreams

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system and via the school-wide intranet for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday, 16 February 2018—Black History Month)

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

Today I will be reading a poem called,

Harlem

BY Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore—

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over—

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Let us pray,

For a promising future where we unite as human beings and strive for a community that provides equal opportunity to all regardless of race or socioeconomic status—a community where everyone is entitled to the chance to chase their dreams. Allow those who wish to make a positive impact in our world the opportunity to make their dreams become a reality.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.

Beah Cyrus–Class of 2018