“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

How Is Your Heart Today?

A Reflection for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Friday, 23 June 2017)

(The following was a prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday, June 4, 2009)

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

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

Tomorrow is the First Friday of June.  I am not sure how many of you know that on each First Friday of the month a good number of faculty and staff members sign up to spend time in the Meditation Chapel of Campus Ministry during their free period to pray for the school community.  During the hours of the school day there will always be a person there praying for the rest of us!!  This practice is part of a long tradition in the Catholic Church of perpetual adoration on First Friday—a day dedicated to the Sacred Heart.  Now you might be saying—why are we honoring a part of the body as holy and sacred?  The Sacred Heart is the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  You may have seen a statue or a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (maybe in your home or in your grandparents’ home or in your parish church)—often the picture is of Jesus from the waist up with one hand pointing to or touching his heart which is outside of his clothes and is wounded or pierced and surrounded by a crown of thorns.  The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a reminder of God’s great love for us—“God so loved the world that He gave His only Son”—and Jesus’ great love for us—“Greater love than this has no person that one lay down one’s life for a friend.”  And Jesus did lay down his life for us—for each of us—Scripture telling us that after his death on the cross one of the Roman soldiers pierced his side with a lance, pierced his heart to make sure he was dead, and immediately blood and water flowed out.  Jesus gave his last ounce of blood for us.  It is that heart so filled with love that we remember and honor on First Friday’s and indeed, in a special way, during the month of June which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart (as November is dedicated to the Holy Souls and May is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth).

 

The heart we see depicted in the pictures and statues might look like a Valentine’s Day heart or the cartoon heart that pounds and flutters to depict a budding romance; however, the heart of Jesus is far different from the sentimental, sugary, saccharine sweet heart of commercialism and pop culture.  It is a heart of expansiveness, a heart of courage, a heart wounded but still welcoming.  And it is this heart that we are challenged to make our own.  Each day we Lasallians pray that Jesus live in our hearts forever—we pray that the heart of Jesus come to life in our hearts, that the heart of Jesus become our heart.  Now that is a challenge!!

How expansive, how open is our heart?  Do I welcome the stranger, the outcast, the classmate who is different?  Or am I closed-hearted, letting in only those like me?  Do I allow my heart-strings to be tugged or am I so hard-hearted that I reject anyone or anything that might deeply touch me?  I know that many of you Seniors opened your hearts to those you served in Christian Service.  I know that those of you who went to Jamaica opened your hearts to the young people at Mustard Seed—your reflections clearly indicate that.  Will I, will you, open our hearts today and allow them to be tugged on or will we close them off—make them  hearts of stone, impenetrable, unable to be wounded?

How courageous is our heart?  When the lion in the Wizard of Oz sought a heart he was looking for courage.  Am I willing to stand up for what I believe?  Am I willing to be a leader in my group and put an end to rumors, scandalous talk, bullying, etc.?  Or am I weak-hearted and faint-hearted, afraid to say or do anything that might call attention to me?  Am I lion-hearted and a brave-heart or am I chicken-hearted and a cowardly heart?

How willing am I to allow my heart to be wounded?  A sign that we are alive is that we suffer heartache and even suffer heart-break.  If our heart does not ache after a heart-breaking loss (as last week in the lacrosse or baseball games) or after a poor performance in our school work, then our heart was never in it—it was not important enough.  Heart ache measures the strength that we desire something or want something or love something or someone.  One need only experience the loss of a close family member through death or the loss of a friend through moving away or the loss of someone we love because our paths move in different directions (as will happen over the next week of so with our Seniors and those of us who have come to care deeply for them)—one need only experience that to know that hearts can break and hearts can ache.  Yet, it is in the very woundedness of our hearts that we can become stronger and welcome another dream, another challenge, another person to love.  The heart grows stronger when we live through the wounds that inevitably come in life, when we welcome them as part of life, when we welcome them as gift.

So, how is your heart today? Expansive and open, courageous, willing to be wounded for the sake of something or someone you love dearly?  Will Jesus find in your heart, in my heart, a resting place today for his Sacred Heart?

Let me suggest that tomorrow you make some time to visit the Meditation Chapel of Campus Ministry during part of a free period or during part of lunch.  Be quiet, check your heart beat and see if the Heart of Jesus is beating within you.  Pray for the school community, pray for your classmates, pray for the Seniors who will be experiencing some heart ache, if not heart break, over the next week as they leave a place they have called home to venture into places they do not yet know.  And pray that they have an enjoyable and safe Prom tomorrow night.

 

Let us pray: Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love.  Have mercy on us!  Heart of Jesus, source of all life and love.  Have mercy on us!  Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful.  Have mercy on us!  Heart of Jesus, make our hearts like yours—full of life and love, holy and pleasing in God’s sight.  AMEN.

 

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.

May the Heart of Jesus live in our hearts…Forever.

Brother Frederick Mueller, FSC

We Belong to God AND to One Another

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 2 June 2017)

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

Recently, I heard a former professor of mine tell a story from his family that moved and inspired me.  I’d like to share that story with you this morning as our prayer this last official day of classes at the academy this year.

Michael—my professor—had been visiting his elderly mother faithfully and routinely in the nursing home every week for the last year of her life as she struggled with the ravaging effects of Alzheimer’s disease.    Two or  three times per week, he would visit with her, help feed her, tell her about his day, and read to her as she dozed off to sleep for the evening.  One night a couple of months before her death, Michael’s mom seemed particularly agitated, disoriented, and anxious.  She wouldn’t eat, she refused to sit with him, and kept asking him to go home.   Not sure how to proceed or what to say, Michael reached for his mom’s hand and asked her, “Do you remember who I am?”   Michael’s mom stood very still and stared at him for a long time.  In a soft voice, barely above a whisper, she told him, “I’m sorry, darling.  I don’t know that I could remember your name but I do know that you are someone I loved very much.”

In the Christian tradition, God’s love is referred to as agape—a complete, unconditional, “no holds barred” kind of love.  It does not depend on anything we do or do not do.  Agape is freely given.   And it is that love to which we are called, each day, every day.

As we wrap up the 2016-2017 academic year, I’d like us to consider the most fundamental of all questions—-How well have we loved this year? In a school the size and magnitude of La Salle, it is easy to get lost in the minutiae, in the details.  If you’re like me, the most honest way to answer that question is to say that sometimes I get it right—I act selflessly and give as Jesus would want me to.  But often, I fall short.  I miss the mark.  I rush to judge another, react out of fear or self interest, and count the cost of loving.

Day in and day out, in our classrooms, hallways, athletic fields, locker rooms, theater, cafeteria, and cars—we have opportunities to learn how to give of ourselves bravely and courageously to one another.   In doing so, we learn that we belong to God.  We learn that we belong to one another.

 

Let us pray

Good and gracious God,
We believe that you are present wherever love is.
Help us to remember that we are not called to success.
We are called to be instruments of love and mercy.
Alone and together, in this Lasallian community, may we discern that call daily
So that we may see where and when and how
We can give of ourselves freely, selflessly to one another.
And when everything else fades away, may it be said that we loved one another.

St. John Baptist de La Salle: Pray for Us

Live Jesus in our Hearts: Forever!

Christine Estes–Director of Campus Ministry

“Just Keep Swimming”

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 8 June 2017)

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

“Fish are friends, not food.” This is a quote from one of the greatest movies of all time, which has taught us some great lessons. And yes, that movie is Finding Nemo.

There are some pretty powerful words in Finding Nemo that convey a greater message. A couple of these include, “When I look at you, I’m home,” and when Dory says, “Trust, it’s what friends do.”

Trust- it’s truly what friends do. It might seem cliche, but trust is the foundation on which friendship is built. Along with trust, mutual love form the pillars of true friendship.

Jesus says the following about friendship in the Gospel of John: “This is my commandment: that you love one another, even as I have loved you. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -John 13: 34-35.

Jesus commands that we love our neighbor- a task that seems rather easy. Being a good friend, student, son, and so on are parts of the way in which I can live out Christ’s command to love my neighbor. But then again, I did talk about my friend behind his back, and copied another friend’s homework because I was too tired to do it last night. Oh, and I also didn’t do the chores at home and neglected to tell my mom that I love her when I left the house this morning.

It happens, though. We are humans and we are prone to make mistakes and sin. But Jesus is calling us to make a conscious effort to avoid gossiping about our friends and to discourage gossip among those we are with. He also calls us to be honest with our friends and family- especially when it is really hard. We will need to do things that we don’t want to do: like chores, or going to work, or doing homework. But wouldn’t our good friend Dory tell us, “when life gets you down do you know what you’ve just gotta do? Just keep swimming.”

Let us pray: O God, source of all goodness, you have blessed us with friends and have given us the commandment that we should love one another. Keep us faithful to your command and keep us mindful of the people with whom we need reconciliation. Help us to grow in friendship with you, who is the greatest example of friendship. We ask all of these things through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!

Nathan Ledoux–Alumnus, Class of 2016

Guided by the Holy Spirit

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 25 May 2017)

Good morning La Salle!

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

Today is Ascension Thursday, the day the Church gathers to commemorate Jesus’ return to His Father 40 days after His Resurrection on Easter. Of all mornings, it may seem particularly confounding that this morning we are being asked to remember that we are “in the holy presence of God.” After all, are we not commemorating Jesus’ return to Heaven? And so, in a way, aren’t we celebrating not God’s presence but his very absence from our lives?

In fact, this was the very fear that Jesus’ disciples faced on Good Friday: Their leader having died, so too, they must have thought, everything that they believed in.

And yet, in the scripture readings at Mass this morning, we will encounter a group of disciples transformed by the Resurrection…disciples not only filled with faith but who were soon willing to go to the ends of the Earth to preach and to die for that faith. And, importantly, we will also hear of Jesus’ promise to send His Holy Spirit upon his disciples…the very “holy presence of God” Whom you and I are asked to recall each morning and each afternoon at the start of prayer.

It was the Holy Spirit Who guided a young Fr. John Baptist de La Salle to shed his comfortable, upper-class life so that he might give himself over entirely to the education of the poor. And fifty years ago, it was the same Spirit Who guided two young men to follow in John Baptist’s footsteps. Their names were Thomas Gerrow and Frederick Mueller. We know them today as Brother Tom and Brother Fred. And for 50 years they have committed their lives to the mission and legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle.

This morning at Mass, we will have the privilege of witnessing Brother Tom’s and Brother Fred’s renewal of their vows to the Brothers of the Christian Schools. If you happen to see Brother Fred or Brother Tom in the halls today, perhaps you could pass along your congratulations and a ‘thank you’ for their lives of service. But I wonder if the best tribute you and I could pay to them would be to spend 5 minutes in the quiet of prayer asking Jesus how His Spirit is at work in our lives today. And no, He may not be calling us today to make the radical, life-altering commitment exemplified by Brother Tom and Brother Fred. But He may be calling us to say a kind word to a classmate or to a colleague who needs it. And that is a great place to start.

Let us pray.

Jesus, You once said to Your disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these.” May we, the community of La Salle, not be so timid as to think that perhaps, when you said this, You did not have us in mind.

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

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Brian Bennett–Religion Teacher

Lasts and Firsts

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday afternoon, 23 May 2017)

Good afternoon.

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

Our Senior year, and especially these past few weeks at La Salle Academy, have been filled with lasts: Our last first day of school. Our last Beehive tailgate.  Our last home football game.  Our last theater production.  Our last touchdown, goal, race, or three pointer.  Our last day sitting at lunch with friends.  Our last time hearing, “Good Evening, this is Mr. Kavanagh calling from La Salle Academy.”  Our last run in with Mr. McGinn.  And this, class of 2017, family of 2017, our final school day, together, at the A.

It is overwhelming to dwell on these lasts, and to think that our time at La Salle is ending.  As soon-to-be graduates, it is important that we focus on the firsts we encountered throughout high school and all the memories these accounted for.

Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.”

Today we smile because of our firsts: Our first day of school, and experiencing the tradition that is La Salle.  Our first Clash of the Classes, and being introduced to the zeal and energy that exists in this community, the palpable school spirit that permeates our hallways.  Our first time being exposed to the mission of the Lasallian schools and recognizing our call to serve others.  Our first time experiencing the La Salle education, something that is far more extensive than the beautiful campus at 612 Academy Avenue (being part of La Salle means being part of a global community of over 1000 schools in more than 80 countries.  Our staff and administrators are among the 90,000 men and women who minister the La Salle education to the next generation of leaders, innovators, and difference-makers. An integral part of the Lasallian education is exercising a preferential option for the poor.) We smile at the memory of our first day going out on Christian service, anxious, nervous, unaware of the challenges and joys that lie ahead. We smile at the memory of our first day being on a mission trip, the formation of bonds with former strangers and engaging in the worlds of people whom most students only read about. We smile because it happened!

So, on this day of firsts and lasts, ends and beginnings, bitter and sweet, we smile. We smile because it happened.  Because it happened at La Salle. It happened with remarkable teachers and coaches. It happened with the coolest, most compassionate dean of all time. It happened with supportive families who sacrificed for us. It happened with late nights, early mornings, blizzards, hurricanes, and heat-waves.  It happened with laughter.  It happened with stress. It happened with tears.  Nonetheless, it happened.  And for that, we smile.

Let us pray,

Lord, we have been blessed to attend La Salle Academy, a place that has taught us a great deal about how to live compassionately and with zeal.  Help us to use what we have learned in all of our life endeavors, and to look back on our time here with gratitude, with fondness, and with a smile.

God Bless the class of 2017.

God Bless The Academy.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Pray for us!

Live Jesus in our hearts, Forever!

Jack Hogan–Class of 2017

In This Last Minute

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday morning, 23 May 2017)

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

I’ve been putting off writing this prayer since the day I found out that I was doing it, in the hopes that this day would never actually come. I’ve always been a procrastinator and I’m sure that I will continue to be. I tend to think I have much more time than I actually do, and somewhere along the line I’ll miraculously find a solid amount of time and do whatever it is I have to do.  So naturally, when asked to do prayer on the last day of school, which was a day I wanted to be far far away,  I waited until the very last minute. But it is in this last minute, that I realize what the minute truly means.

Time is a very strange thing. Sometimes it seems like a school day is over in five minutes, other times, maybe more often for most, it seems like it lasts a century. If we get an assignment that’s not due for what seems like a while, we think we have enough time to wait until there’s basically no time left. And now, for Seniors, there really is no time left. The day that we sometimes said could not come fast enough or other times we wished would never catch us is finally here. Personally, I have never been one to truly understand the phrase “It goes by too fast.” Whenever I would hear someone say that, I just never thought that it would be applicable to me. An hour is 60 minutes and a minute is 60 seconds. Time doesn’t go by fast because it simply can’t.  Whenever my parents reminisce and say,  “My high school graduation feels like yesterday,” or “I can remember attending my senior prom,” I tend to look at them a little cock eyed and think to myself, your senior year was most certainly NOT yesterday. But now, after reaching this point and searching behind me to try and find where the time went, I finally understand that time does go by fast. Because here we are!

Juniors, your graduation is in 380 days. Sophomores, yours is in 744 days, and Freshmen, yours is 1,108 days away. For the Freshman, that may seem like eternities away. However, that number in seconds is only worth 18 minutes. If you do the same thing for the Sophomores, that number is only worth 13 minutes. For the Juniors that also feel like their graduation is eternities away, trust me it’s not. We all remember feeling the same way, but somehow we got here. The point is, it seems like you have forever. It seems like your time at La Salle is never going to end. It seems like there will always be another Friday night football game. Like there will always be another Clash. Like there will always be one more day to spend in this building. Until one day, there won’t be. And that’s where all of us Seniors are now. So make sure you appreciate the time you have. Because one day, 16 days from now or 1,108 days from now, you’re going to be wishing that you did.

We are all guilty of counting down until the last days. We are all guilty of wishing for the weekend or for the final bell of the school day. But now, for us Seniors, we’re even MORE guilty of wishing that THIS day never had to end. Sometimes we get so caught up in the moment, we forget that this moment is shortly going to become a memory. And soon enough, that it is what all of this will be—a memory. Walking with each other from class to class, cramming in last minute studying in the hallway, laying outside on a nice day during lunch. I finally understand the statement that has so long confused me. Time goes by fast, but it’s not the literal time, the hours or the minutes, that are speeding up. Rather it is that when you love a place so much, it makes it seem as though time stops. So we forget about time, because it is not pertinent to us when we are spending all of our time in a place that has so many opportunities, so much love, and so many of our memories. To the Freshman, Sophomores, and Juniors, pay attention to the little things, because now, as all of us are approaching the end of the end, we are realizing that these little things are the big things. And these big things are what make La Salle.

If any of you have spoken to me, you very well know that I can’t go longer than five minutes without making a Disney reference, so in the wise words of Russell Fredricksen from Up, “It might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember most.” Yes, I’ll remember the big stuff and yes, the big stuff was great, but it’s the little stuff that I’m going to want back. I’ll always remember how much everyone was amused by the kiwi spoons I used every day at lunch. I’ll always remember attempting to spend my mornings studying, when in reality I just jammed to Treasure by Bruno Mars. I’ll always remember the outrageous capitalization of all of Mr. McGinn’s emails. I’ll remember a lot of things, and I hope that you all use your time wisely enough to do the same, because time and your life does go by fast. And if you don’t stop and look around once and awhile, you could miss it!

Let us pray.

Lord, help us to not take time for granted. Help us to appreciate the little things, to appreciate the time we have here at La Salle, and to make the most of it. Please watch over the Seniors and continue to guide them as they embark on the next step in their journey. Thank you for this time, these memories, and this adventure.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.

Allyson Desrosiers–Class of 2017