The Lasallian Community–Try It

(Morning Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday, 13 May 2014)

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

La Salle Academy strives to fulfil St. John Baptist de La Salle’s ideals of faith, service, and community. Throughout the year during Morning Prayer we hear a lot about faith from many teachers as well as service like we have just recently heard from those who went on mission trips this year. Community is a topic we hear less about, but I find it to be something that made a very large impression on me throughout my four years at La Salle.

 community hands entwined

I am sure that, upon entering La Salle, you were told, “Become a part of the Lasallian community. Get involved with your school.” This was something that my parents repeated to me many times. I always thought that this meant I had to be involved in multiple athletic teams or clubs. It was not until this year that I felt that I was able to really see what everyone talks about as “the Lasallian Community.”

Some of you may have tried to join multiple activities starting freshman year, and it may have worked out for you very well. I did not do that. I participated in a sport each season my freshman year, and loved the sense of community I experienced on each of my teams. Being a part of a team at La Salle gives you a unique sense of belonging. There is a group of people that you know will always have your back and a group of friends right away.


It was not until my sophomore year that I began participating in a club in addition to being involved in athletics. I joined SADD and had the same sense of belonging that you can find in any club or group here. Being surrounded by people who believe in the same things you do is an amazing thing. I strongly encourage you, if you have not already done so, to join a club. It may require going out of your comfort zone at first, but it is something that you will not regret.


Junior year is when I embraced Campus Ministry, another thing I encourage all of you to do. I became a retreat leader for freshman/sophomore retreats and went on one of the Kairos retreats. Again: another place where I felt community. The campus ministers are a huge part of that. They are welcoming to everyone and encourage people to become involved in different retreats and events throughout the year. They’re also there as someone who you can talk to and always seem to genuinely care about how you are doing or how your day is going.

This year, I feel that I have been able to look back on events and see that even if I hadn’t participated in extracurricular activities, I would still be a part of the Lasallian Community. This year I had the opportunity to shadow Trainer Rob Riebe at many of the football games. Although there was the obvious bond among the players, it was the group in the stands that truly amazed me. Whenever I would turn around on the sidelines, I would see the Beehive. It amazed me how so many people could be so organized at a sporting event. Whether it was cheering on one of our peers after beautifully and  bravely singing the national anthem, running in the stands with a flag, doing the roller coaster thing that seemed to happen at every game, or watching Father Najim do pushups on the sidelines, it was clear that this was the physical community that I had felt at La Salle over my four years here.


Finally, I would like to talk about the community that all of us can feel, and that is the community in our own class. While looking forward to graduation, I have realized that many people that I see every day, I may not have the chance of seeing again. We are all going our separate ways after graduation, but I hope that we do not forget the community that we have worked so hard to build in the past four years.


Let us pray:

Come, Holy Spirit. Allow us to appreciate our friends. Give us a moment to see their goodness. Help us to be always faithful to them. Always give us the opportunity to stay close to our friends, whether we are physically near or far apart.

Come, Holy Spirit.  Continue to inspire our teachers, counselors, deans, administration, and coaches who have inspired us. In these last days of high school for seniors, give us the courage to truly follow their lessons. Allow us the inspiration to thank them for their gifts with sincere appreciation. Amen.


St. John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Katelyn Primmer (Class of 2014)


A Little Bit of Lasallian

(Prayer delivered over the Public Address system to the La Salle Academy educational community on Monday morning, 12 May)

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

As strange as it may seem, Morning Prayer has been something that had fascinated me since I was a freshman in Homeroom 105. The thought of one person speaking over the intercom while the entire school is silently listening to them is both terrifying and admirable. Therefore, when Mr. Daly approached me and asked if I would do prayer this morning I was just that, terrified and honored. I had no idea what I would talk about and was nervous that it would be a prayer everyone would forget even happened by first period.

He told me I should write about “high school” and my time here at La Salle.


 So I thought to myself, how am I supposed to write about a simple two words, high school, that held four years worth of memories? I could talk about my time spent in the theater and all the friends I’ve made throughout the years, but I would be excluding those who have not participated in the arts here at La Salle. I could talk about sports, but we all know that isn’t a very good idea either seeing I couldn’t even get through a gym class of basketball without spraining my ankle leaving me in a cast for eight weeks. The search for something we all shared, freshman, sophomore, junior and senior, was difficult until I realized the thing we all had in common is the reason we are all here today. Each one of us has a little bit of Lasallian in our hearts and in our actions, some more than others depending on how long you’ve been here.

Each year you learn a little bit more about St. John Baptist de La Salle and therefore can live a life more like his. Some of these things teachers have probably told us but we don’t always listen to what they say, and others are things that I have found to be true myself over these past four years. For example, Mrs. Cerros has taught me the importance of positivity and teamwork when getting a job done; Mrs. Chapman and Ms. Sanga taught me the value of friendship and how one must put the needs of another before themselves; Miss Brown and Mr. B [Brouillard] taught me that the future is in our hands and we must do our very best to help those in need, and most importantly, Brother Paul and Brother Gerard have taught me how to be humble and gentle, but still strong enough to leave your mark when you are gone.

Paul and Gerard

It is important that the seniors take these lessons, as well as ones taught to you on your own high school journey when we enter the next chapters in our life. Juniors must remember that they are now the positive role models of the school who are called to live the De La Salle way so that others may look up to them. Sophomores and freshman, continue to learn the lessons taught to you by your mentors and your friends that inspire you to act with a “enter to learn, leave to serve” attitude.

lasallian cares

Let us pray,

Father of Light and Wisdom, thank you for giving us a mind that can know and a heart that can love. Help us to keep learning every day of our lives– no matter what the subject may be. Let us be convinced that all knowledge leads to you and let us know how to find you and love you in all the things you have made. Encourage us when the studies are difficult and when we are tempted to give up. Enlighten us when our brain is slow and help us to grasp the truth you give us. Grant us the grace to put our knowledge to use in building the kingdom of God on earth so that we may enter the kingdom of God in heaven.  Amen.

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

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

John Carpentier (Class of 2014)

“Good-night, Sweet Prince….”

(Prayer offered on the Pubic Address system for the La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 9 May 2014–day of the wake for Brother Amian Paul Goodwin, FSC)

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

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

It is the Fall of 1962 and a young Freshman, 14 years old, sits in Room 103 among his 47 classmates awaiting his English teacher.  In walks a young dark-haired medium-sized Brother with a sprightly gait, his black robe following him through the door.  His complexion ruddy, neither a smile nor scowl on his face, he is carrying a number of books and, they notice, a copy of the New York Times.  As he asks the students to stand for prayer they note an accent different from their Rhode Island accent—is it British? Irish? New York?  They cannot be sure.  Each day this Brother was a dominant presence in the classroom.  He was bright, articulate, quick with a quip or a correction; he was demanding; he did not take to foolishness or laziness.  AND the students worked: they wrote and wrote and wrote; they memorized poetry and stood around the classroom spelling and defining words; they read—a lot—a book a week in the second semester.  I was that Freshman and the teacher a 26 year old Brother Amian Paul Goodwin.  He was absolutely the best teacher I ever had in all my schooling.

young Brother Paul

Brother Amian Paul was not simply a master English teacher, but he also was a teacher in the model of Saint John Baptist de La Salle.  He took seriously the injunction given by the Founder to his first teaching Brothers—“To touch the minds and hearts of your students is the greatest miracle that you can perform and one that God requires of you.”  Yes, Brother Paul challenged and stretched and touched minds, but he also touched hearts.  He loved his students—not in a warm, fuzzy, sentimental way (he never tolerated sloppy sentimentality), but in a deeply caring way, recognizing goodness and potential and pulling it out of his students, sometimes like a dentist pulling teeth, but always with love.

Brother Paul was a lover of words.  He was a brilliant writer (if you listened to his prayers on the PA or had him in AP English class you know that his prose was crisp and to the point).  However, he was also a poet who loved to play with words and their meanings.  He was a master of the NY Times crossword puzzle and did the Providence Journal Sudoku religiously.  He used to look forward to reading William Safire’s weekly column in the NY Times Sunday Magazine on language and he delighted at the morning breakfast table in critiquing faulty word choice in the newspaper headlines and articles.  He was a voracious reader—from New Yorker Magazine to the classics of Shakespeare to new authors like The Road’s Cormac McCarthy.

However, Brother Paul was also a lover of The Word, the Word of God.  Each day he meditated on that Word alive in his life and each morning with us, his Brothers, he worshipped the living Word in the Eucharist, daily Mass.  This living Word, Jesus, was alive in his heart till his very last breath.

Frequently Brother Paul would walk the upper hallway of the Brothers’ Community in the late evening, looking for a snack or a can of diet soda.  Brother Paul did not go to bed early.  As he would pass my room and saw that I was getting ready to retire he would either greet me with his endearing, “Fritz Kinder” (which means Child Freddy), or bid me goodnight using Shakespeare’s words from Hamlet: “Good-night, Sweet Prince And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”


This morning we say to Brother Amian Paul: “Good-night, Sweet Prince And flights of angels sing thee to thy eternal rest.”

Let us pray—

In the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins, one of Brother Paul’s favorite poets: “Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east…”  And may the soul of Brother Paul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.  AMEN.

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

Live, Jesus, in our hearts…forever.

Paul tribute

Afternoon Reflection

Friday, 9 May 2014

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

This morning we reflected on the life of Brother Paul—teacher, lover of words, and lover of the Word of God.  A question for us to ponder:

Will someone say of me at my death that I was a lover of the Word of God, that Jesus lived in my heart to my last breath?

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

Live, Jesus, in our hearts…forever.

Brother Frederick Mueller



Love Life

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday morning, 6 May)

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

I know that I am not the only one who loves Pope Francis. I think what I love most about him is that he shows we should celebrate life in all its forms. He’s done this not by magnanimous acts, but by simple gestures such as calling students on the phone, kissing people with disabilities, washing the feet of poor women, and embracing prisoners. In his words, “God is in every person’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else — God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life.”


Our theme this year for Pro-Life week is “Love Life”. In many ways, everyone would agree with this statement and it is a basic human instinct to strive to live. However, there are many instances where our culture has, in the words of St. Pope John Paul II, become a culture of death where human life is expendable if it does not fit our definition of “something worth living.”  It is not always easy to follow the Church’s teachings, however. Sometimes we hear of babies born without a brain or someone suffering through a disease where they have much suffering, or prisoners who have been accused of committing horrible crimes. But again we can be guided by the Pope who says, “Although the life of a person can be a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.” Life is not something that any human has the right to determine that the best action is to deny life for someone else. We have seen the anencephalic baby born in RI who has defied all doctors’ predictions of instant death, yet she continues to live nearly 2 months later. There have been so many prisoners put to death who have been proven later by DNA to be innocent. Every day science has a new cure or treatment for those whom doctors previously predicted would soon die.


So it is simply the fact that we don’t get the choice to decide who gets to live or die. Let’s speak up for all life, from conception to natural death, as a matter of social justice.

Let us pray,

The Pope sent this Twitter message to those who marched in D.C. on Jan.22:

“I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable”. Lord, give us the courage as Christians to follow the way of Christ in seeing that His face is in the face of every human being on Earth.  AMEN.


Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Afternoon Meditation: Look at the injustices in our world that deny life and pray for our culture to Love Life and let God decide.

Leslie Martinelli (Science Department)

Our Experience: Enter to Learn—Leave to Serve

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 1 May)

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

 On Easter Sunday afternoon, armed with leftover Easter candy, luggage, sleeping bags, and the all important air mattresses, 10 travelers headed to Logan Airport and flew to Tucson, Arizona for a week in the desert. We stayed at San Miguel High School in Tucson, sleeping on the floor of their dance room and cooking our meals in their kitchen. Every day we traveled to various spots along the US/Mexican border in our attempt to understand the deeply complicated issues surrounding immigration.

group and arizona

 On our first day we visited the courthouse in Tucson where criminal prosecution of undocumented migrants takes place. The first thing that hits you when you walk into the courtroom is the smell. Migrants have been in the desert and then in detention for days, without access to showers or fresh clothing. The migrants are processed en masse, all pleading guilty together, with no opportunity to address the court and with only a 20 minute visit with an attorney. This is called Operation Streamline and the constitutionality of the process is winding its way through the courts. An attorney we spoke to commented that it is a sad day in America when large groups of dark men are shackled together and treated like animals. The historical parallels are incredibly frightening. A border patrol agent we spoke to was very proud of his tracking and hunting skills and again we were reminded of how these desperate people are viewed as less than human.


 On another day we hiked a trail that migrants routinely travel to view a shrine that the travelers have set up. It was 90 degrees and only a two mile hike, but it was hard. We continually stumbled on rocks, climbed over brush, scaled a small rock wall, and slid down steep trails. Along the way we encountered items left behind by migrants including clothes, personal items, backpacks, and shoes.

cross in desert

We carried cans of food to place near the shrine and wrote messages of support on them. For a short time we traveled in the steps of migrants and found it a profound experience.

water and food

The motto of the Lasallian community is “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve”

Each time we met with someone new, they would ask us to introduce ourselves by name, grade, and why we came. Each time, every single person would say “I wanted to come on this trip to learn more”

Enter to Learn.

Then, those in charge of the activity would continue on to enlighten us about an aspect of the immigration issue. They told us stories both of despair and of hope. When we left, each one of us was inspired to make a change. We each felt influenced by the information we learned, the experiences we had, and felt saddened by the realities of what we saw. We all want to continue to advocate for change.

Leave to Serve

Enter To Learn Leave To Serve

 Let us Pray…

 For all those who see “home” and all it means disappear behind them;

For all those who cannot see a home in the days ahead of them;

For all those who dwell in daily insecurity;

For all those who are weary and without a safe place to rest their heads;

For all families in migration we pray.

May the image of the Holy Family fleeing oppression stay with us every day and stay with us each night as we are blessed with returning to a home.


May we also be blessed with compassion for those still weary, still seeking, still with so far to go.  -by Jane Deren, 2007


St John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

San Miguel…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Students: Katherine Kerwin, Hanna Fuchs, Maura Sharkey, Regina LaPietra, Jessica King, Samantha Smith, Madalyn McGunagle, Grace Feisthamel.

Chaperones: Judith Maloney (Science) and Kristine Chapman (Social Studies)