Our Lasallian School in This Lasallian World

(Prayer offered for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 29 August 2014)

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

I am grateful to have this opportunity to welcome everyone back for another school year and to lead our community in prayer.  Certainly, I extend a special welcome to all the students, many from around the world, who are new to La Salle—know that we are pleased that you are joining us on your educational journey.

Hopefully you all noticed the additions to our Heritage Hallway.  The new display outside the Deans’ Offices helps to show us how we here at La Salle in Providence, RI are just part of the Lasallian World which extends to 80 countries around the world.


In understanding how we are connected to our Lasallian brothers and sisters throughout the world, we can be grateful that we can come together today in peace and safety, and we remember our fellow Lasallians who are beginning the school year in very difficult circumstances.

Think about our Lasallian schools in West Africa and the impact of the Ebola virus epidemic.  Our schools in Nigeria are closed for what would have been the first three weeks of school.


Remember those at Bethlehem University in Palestine and our high school in Jerusalem in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

bethlehem univ

And we cannot forget the students at our brother school, Justin-Siena High School in Napa, which had to delay the opening of school to clean up after the earthquake and to allow the students and their families to get their homes back in order.


Finally, we remember the students and faculty at Christian Brothers College High School just on the edge of St. Louis only a few miles from the turmoil of Ferguson, Missouri.


How fortunate we are to live here in Providence, RI!

Let us pray:

Lord, I ask you to watch over and protect all of our students, teachers, and staff during this new school year.

Help each of us to fully understand and fulfill the responsibilities of our present vocation as student, teacher or administrator.

Lord, help us to be grateful for all of the blessings you have bestowed on us and help us to fully appreciate the many advantages that we have been given in life.  We also implore you to aid our fellow Lasallians around the world who face great challenges at the start of this new school year and we ask all of this through Christ our Lord.  Amen


Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Brother Thomas Gerrow, FSC (President)

“It Didn’t Make Sense, But Faith Did”

In a few short days the halls of La Salle Academy will be filled with 1,475 or so young people entering school or returning to school.  Already hundreds are on the playing fields and in the athletic center getting ready for Fall sports.  The building is readied–walls repainted, floors shining, new construction, even a brand new entrance to the school!  Staff and administrators have toiled all Summer to be prepared for another year of grace with young people from ages of 12-18.

In the midst of all the turmoil engulfing our nation and our world La Salle Academy is ready to provide safe haven to the young people entrusted to its care.  As a Lasallian Catholic school we are aware that our Mission extends beyond providing an excellent, 1st rate education.  We are Gospel-centered and we are charged to present to these young people an alternative vision to a world of violence, racism, religious intolerance and persecution.  Through what we say and what we do we proclaim that God’s love and mercy are the foundations of our vision of the world.  Prayer and service and community and a values-driven curriculum are the tools of our educational practice.

The recent cruel and senseless killing of the American journalist, James Foley, by ISIS (a jihadist group indiscriminately killing Christians and Yazidis in Syria and Iraq) reminds us all too clearly of the world in which our young people live.


However, James Foley has reminded us in a reflection written for the Alumni Magazine of Marquette University, a Jesuit Catholic university, that there are some things more powerful than the evils he had encountered in his life.  His words challenge Catholic schools and universities to offer their students the experiences that he was able to draw on in his life as a journalist.  When everything else didn’t make sense, faith did.  Read his powerful reflection here.

So, as we begin the school year, our challenge is all the clearer in the words and in the life of James Foley.  Our prayer and hope at La Salle Academy is that our young people will receive the type of Catholic education that James Foley did and that, in times of trouble, they too would have recourse to their faith and would pray, as did James Foley over and over again, in the words of the “Hail Mary”–“pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.”

Christ of saint john of the cross

May the crucified Lord embrace James Foley in his outstretched arms and may the risen Lord look upon His world with love and mercy.

Brother Frederick C. Mueller, FSC