In the Spirit of Saint Nicholas

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 5 December 2014)

Many centuries ago, in the Middle Eastern country of Turkey, there lived a boy who spent a great deal of time in church praying daily to God.  As the years passed, this young lad grew up and became a priest, spending even more time in church close to God.  It is believed that his faith far surpassed that of all his neighbors and fellow priests.  The villagers where he lived knew that this man, Nicholas, the future Bishop of Myra, was special.  Throughout his adult life, Nicholas encountered many adventures, adventures that tested his faith, adventures that brought out the best in him, adventures that led him closer to God.  Once, after being wrongfully accused of a crime by the authorities, Nicholas graciously forgave his lying accusers once his innocence was established.  Another time, Nicholas was on board a ship traveling to the Holy Land when he miraculously saved the ship and its crew from disaster by praying to God, asking Him to stop the terrible storm at sea.  Nicholas is most famous for the story of how he secretly dropped money in an open window of his neighbor’s house so that the neighbor could offer the money as a dowry for each of his three daughters allowing them to be married in lieu of being sold as slaves.


This man, this Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, lived a life close to God, forgiving the offenses of others and helping the less fortunate as much as he could.  In today’s Church, we recognize this man as St. Nicholas and tomorrow, December 6, we celebrate his feast day.


St. Nicholas’ popularity grew throughout the world as sailors went from port to port around the area of the Mediterranean Sea telling of his miracles and tremendous faith in God.

As centuries past, his stories lived on and reached the New World as settlers came in from many European countries.  It is thanks to those little Dutch children who celebrated St. Nicholas’ feast day that the spirit of St. Nicholas became that of “Sinta Klaus,” the Dutch equivalent of St. Nicholas.  As the children of other nationalities learned more about this great saint, they, too, celebrated his day, the day of Sinta Klaus.

As they tried to pronounce his name, it became a bit fractured and eventually turned into the name “Santa Claus.”  Yes, it became Santa Claus, that jolly old figure dressed in red carrying gifts to the entire world, that character whose generosity and popularity are rooted in the life and times of the real St. Nicholas.

newer nicholas

Later on, writers, artists, and big companies, like Coca Cola, Hallmark, and Macy’s, took the image of a bearded St. Nicholas dressed in red, white and gold church vestments and turned him into the figure we see greeting young and old alike in the center of shopping malls.  Santa Claus was made in the image and likeness of St. Nicholas, our church hero.  And for those of us who believe in Santa, we know that he embodies all of the goodness and generosity witnessed during the life of this wondrous saint.


We, too, act as this great man did when we express our belief in God and His power, when we forgive those who harm us, and when we open our hearts to those in need around us.  As we celebrate the greatest birthday known to man, that of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we spread Nicholas’ spirit to others each time we offer a handshake or a hug or kiss to family members and friends and wish them “Merry Christmas.”

Let us pray today that we can be Nicholas-like, faithful, generous, and loving, not just for the next 20 days, but for tomorrow, next week, and throughout the entire year.


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

St. Nicholas, pray for us.

Live Jesus in our Hearts.  Forever!

Robert Lisi—Principal (PEGASUS 7-8)

When Is God Present?

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday morning, 2 December 2014)


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

Let us remember

How many times a day do we make that statement without even thinking about what we are really saying? What does it mean to be in God’s holy presence? Does it mean that we are in His presence when we feel happy or peaceful? Does it mean that we are in His presence when everything is going well in our lives? Does it mean that God loves us more when we are doing good things or helping others?

No! I think it means just the opposite. I always feel God’s presence more when things are not going well. I know He is present when things are out of our hands and it seems like we have no control over the situation.

out of control

He is present when family members are at odds with one another. He is present when you are sitting at the bedside of a sick relative or a loved one who is going to pass away. He is present in Ferguson, Missouri with all the unrest and violence.

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

Was He present on Black Friday in front of the RI State House as we passed out coats to those in need? Yes, He is there in all these things. Even as things got a little tense at the State House and people started to fight over the coats, God was there in their midst.

coat exchange

The one thing that all these situations have in common is that God is there waiting for us to notice Him. Notice Him in all the attempts that are made to bring help and understanding and peace to the world.


During this time of Advent let our prayer be, Come Lord Jesus. Come into our world. Emmanuel. God is with us.


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

Our Lady Queen of Peace…pray for us

Live Jesus in our hearts… Forever.

Patricia Ducharme—Religion Department