Our Lady of Guadalupe

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 12 December 2014)

Done in dialogue form for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

M: Recordamos que estamos en la presencia sagrada de Dios.

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

D: God will surprise you sometimes. Throughout the course of history, He often chooses the lowly and outcast to deliver his message of love to the powerful. 483 years ago outside of Mexico City, the Virgin Mary appeared to a Native American Aztec youth named Juan Diego on Dec. 12th.


M: Even though Juan Diego spoke Nuahtl, the language of the conquered Aztec Indians, la Vírgen María spoke to him in su propia lengua– in his own language. This was not the Mary you’re used to seeing portrayed in European Renaissance art-with blond hair and dressed in blue.

D: No. This was La Morenita, a dark-skinned appearance of Mary with whom Juan Diego could identify, because she spoke his language and she looked like him.

M: La Morenita commanded Juan Diego to go to the Mexican Bishop Juan Zumárraga, and have him build a church on Tepeyac hill in Our Lady’s honor.

Latino members of Holy Spirit celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of Mexico

D: The bishop refused, demanding proof from this native American that he really did see and talk to la Vírgen María.

M: La Vírgen appeared again to Juan Diego and said, “¡Vén aquí, Diegito! Míra las rosas. ¡Llévalos al obispo como prueba de mi aparición!

D: “My dear Diego-come here and take these roses to the bishop as proof of my appearance to you.” He thought that this miracle- blooming roses in the December cold- would be the proof he needed to convince the doubting bishop.

M: Juan cut the roses and carefully wrapped them in his tilma, his native cloak, and took them to the bishop.

D: When Juan unfolded his tilma before the bishop, the flowers had disappeared and had transformed themselves into the same image of the Virgin Mary that he had seen earlier. La morenita, was now imbedded into the threads of his cloak.


M: This 483-year old cloak can still be seen today in la basilica de nuestra señora de Guadalupe en la ciudad de México.  Today thousands of Americans from the Western Hemisphere will come to this same spot to offer up their prayers and petitions to God and Mary.


D: La Virgen de Guadalupe unites us spiritually throughout the Americas, as the patroness of both North and South America.

M: Our Lady of Guadalupe has been adopted as a patroness of the Pro-Life movement and of Latino migrant workers who labor in the fields of California, Arizona and Texas. Saint Juan Diego is a model of persistence. Sometimes we have to work hard to share God’s message with the close-minded.

D: Throughout the course of Christianity, whether at Fatima, Lourdes, LaSalette, or Tepeyac hill, Mary has spoken to us as God’s messenger, to help all peoples in whatever situation they find themselves; with whatever needs they have.

M: Roguemos:

D: Let us pray:

Loving God, you first sent Mary, Mother of God to bring your own Son, Jesus, into the world 2,000 years ago. You have sent the Mother of Jesus to us throughout salvation history to comfort us in our sorrows and to help us turn our hearts to Jesus.

M: Por favor Dios, open our eyes here at LaSalle Academy, so that we may see how you reveal yourself to us today. Help us to see you, Señor, in those we meet today.

D: Help us to see you in the scriptures we read today and in the religious teachings we will ponder. Querido Señor, dear Lord, as we notice more and more your loving presence here at LaSalle, may we be transformed during this Advent season, to be Christ’s light for others.

La Salle and Guadalupe

M: ¡San Juan Diego, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y San Juan Bautista de La Salle,

D: ¡Ruéguen por nosotros!

M: Juan Diego, Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. John Baptist de La Salle,

D: pray for us!

M: ¡Víva Jesús en nuestros corazones!

D: ¡Para siempre!

M: Live Jesus in our hearts!

D: Forever!

Mercedes DiMascio (Spanish Teacher) & David Martínez (Religion Teacher)

Making a List and Checking It Twice

(Prayer offered over the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 11 December 2014)

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

 Good morning, La Salle.

In schools across the country, just like here at La Salle, both teachers and students are looking forward to Christmas and other Holidays that bring along a 2 week vacation. This will bring much-needed rest and distance from the classroom for all of us. But, there is a little over a week to go, and a great deal to do and think about in preparation for an organized and effective start to the New Year.


Returning in January from more than a week away from school can pose quite a challenge; after all, time away is time away. Before students head out, I try to engage in one-on-one conversations. Like a department store Santa, I’ll try to uncover what they would like to get out of the second half of the year, either related to content knowledge and/or creative productivity. I am sure to check my “list” more than twice, reviewing and re-evaluating interests and learning styles, and noting who has been naughty and who has been nice.


For students who are organized, productive, enthusiastic, and respectful, the goals set for the second semester will be clear and understood. After writing down three goals and three ways to meet them, they are ready for the increased challenge. Other students need a bit more direction, and so discussions will focus on opportunities and strategies for improvement. One thing is certain, while expectations and offerings come wrapped in ribbons and bows, and gifts aren’t really gifts until they are given.


The cycle of giving and receiving goes beyond the holiday season. Feedback and evaluation follows new assignments, and with hope, makes a difference in the next piece of work completed. Once illuminated, the lights ignited shine brilliantly, and when the visions of sugarplums fade, real dreams can begin.


As we all settle down for a long winter’s nap, let’s take the time to thank God for all that we have in our lives.

Let us pray

Lord, we thank you for the true gifts of the season. Our families, our friends, our lives, our passions and talents. Send us the guidance we need to keep those relationships strong and the desire to seek out the best opportunities we have as individuals.



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

Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.

Jeff Danielian–Science Teacher and Director of La Salle Scholars Program