(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday, 11 May 2015)
Let us remember we are in the Holy Presence of a Loving God.
At this moment, as I’m sure most of the seniors already know, we have approximately 24 days until graduation. Wow! that doesn’t even seem real. How did four years turn into 25 days? I’m sure most of us are way too excited to even be nostalgic at this time but let’s not overlook our last moments at La Salle, as worried as we are about the future, because it is going to be here before we know it. This morning I would like to just take a minute to reflect on our time here and draw attention to all of the individuals that have helped us get to this moment.
Let’s start with our first moment at La Salle. This seems like a lifetime ago but try to remember; maybe it was an open house or the entrance exam. Then acceptance letters arrived and from that moment on each of us became part of something bigger than ourselves. We became part of a team, a club, a cast, a class, and a family, our Lasallian family. Since that day we have changed so much. None of us is the same person we were when we entered La Salle Academy four years ago. Each moment creates a chain reaction in our lives whether we know it or not. God has a plan and gives us opportunities and we need to take them. I truly hope that you took advantage of all the opportunities La Salle has had to offer. Just think of all of your favorite memories and moments at La Salle: prayer before opening night, singing on the bus ride home with the team, Kairos retreats, Mission trips, ultimate Frisbee in the pouring rain, storming into Clash of the Classes (and winning), chanting with the Beehive, winter balls and proms, tackling your teammates after that state championship win or just hanging out in Campus Ministry.
We also need to recognize that we would not be graduating without the help of so many people in our lives. Our parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, teachers and school administrators have made every day at La Salle not only possible, but enjoyable. It is hard to even fathom the amount of sacrifice these individuals have made for us. Our families have sacrificed financially to offer us the opportunity of a Lasallian education, as well as sacrificing so much of their time coming to support us at games, competitions and plays. As underclassmen, how many times did our parents chauffeur us around Rhode Island? I’ve lost track. Our teachers have been a bigger part in our years at La Salle than most of us are aware. I can think of many examples of teachers genuinely caring about our well being: pulling us aside in the hall or in class to ask how we are doing when its been a rough day; writing our college recommendations and probably painting us in a better light than we deserve; coordinating mission trips and retreats and giving up their vacations and weekends; coming in before school to supply us with review sessions for work we don’t understand; reading some of our awful essays that we wrote at 2AM and then providing extra credit; decorating their entire classroom to spread Christmas cheer; helping us find prom dates and supplying us with truck loads of Hershey kisses; or staying at La Salle until late hours to build sets for shows and ensure we shine on stage. Our Guidance counselors comforted us during breakdowns while they helped us send out college application, after application, after application. What about coaches? Sacrificing an entire season to help us win a championship. Or even the lunch staff. I can’t think of another school where a lunch lady would know a student by name and their usual lunch choice. Most importantly our dean, Mrs. Kelly. She has practically been a second mother to us these past four years. Mrs. Kelly took the time to not only learn every single one of our names but actually know us as individuals. Mrs. Kelly knows our names, what classes we’re in, what extracurriculars we participate in, that we won the big game last weekend, received a part in the school musical, or…. were late for school that morning. We have taken this for granted over the years. It is hard for us to understand that not all schools have such amazing staff as La Salle. Not every school cares so much about their students’ successes not only in the classroom, but in the community and their personal lives. God has a plan for each of us and we need to appreciate every day, person, opportunity and moment on this earth he gives us. Perfect moments are rare and hard to come by but our moments at La Salle are some that I hope will be in our memory for a long time.
All I’m trying to say is that moments are there for a reason. Appreciate them and live in the moment because some day you are going to look back and your whole life will be nothing but memory. We never realize how important a moment is when it happens because we always think there will be another tomorrow, but sometimes there’s not. One day there isn’t going to be another moment so appreciate every single one you have. Try to appreciate the moment you are in before it’s gone because before you know it, it will be.
Dear God, help us be aware of the moment we are in and thankful for every moment that we have experienced, especially at La Salle. Allow us to be mindful that our moments on earth are numbered and to take every opportunity given to us. Help us to be more thankful to the individuals who make the moments unforgettable and have affected us most at La Salle.
St. John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.
Veronica Berretta–Class of 2015