Pope Francis’ Encyclical and LSA Service Trip—“Praise be to you, my Lord”


During the week of 13-20 June 2015 twelve La Salle Academy students (Class of 2016 and 2017) and two faculty members from Campus Ministry traveled to the Glenmary Group Volunteer Program in Grainger County, Tennessee.  There they volunteered to serve those living in need in Union and Grainger counties, native Appalachians and Latino farm workers.


Alison Altshuler, Matt Bacon, Madeline Lombardo, Maddie Mahoney, Rebecca Malachowski, Evan McGreen, Will Messner, Dylan O’Donnell, Kaitlin Porter, Peter Rouse, Stef Salisbury, Tom Vessella, and Faculty Chaperones: Maggie Naughton and Matt Daly

During that same week, on Thursday, 18 June 2015, Pope Francis released his long-awaited encyclical on the environment.  His words appear to have been spoken to this group of Lasallians:  “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.”


Toppa Joppa, Tennessee

To build a common home—the Lasallians on the trip endeavored to help those in need to have access to a fuller life through the building of a ramp for the handicapped.


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To address the sufferings of the excluded—they provided extra schoolwork help for and offered fun-games-and love to the children of Latino tomato harvesters.

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Pope Francis encourages all peoples: “We are always capable of going out of ourselves towards the other. Unless we do this, other creatures will not be recognized for their true worth; we are unconcerned about caring for things for the sake of others; we fail to set limits on ourselves in order to avoid the suffering of others or the deterioration of our surroundings. Disinterested concern for others, and the rejection of every form of self-centeredness and self-absorption, are essential if we truly wish to care for our brothers and sisters and for the natural environment. These attitudes also attune us to the moral imperative of assessing the impact of our every action and personal decision on the world around us. If we can overcome individualism, we will truly be able to develop a different lifestyle and bring about significant changes in society.”

During this past week, these 12 young and 2 slightly older Lasallians went out of themselves towards the other; they rejected self-centeredness and self-absorption; they adopted a different lifestyle (electronic devise free with eyes and ears freed to be opened to community and to the natural beauties of the environment); and, they returned knowing that they can make a difference in the lives of others.

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“Praise be to you, my Lord”

With Pope Francis we pray in the words of one of the final parts of his encyclical:

A prayer for our earth

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.

Graduation 2015–Student Address to the Graduates

(Delivered on Wednesday evening, 3 June 2015, at the Providence Performing Arts Center)

(Your Excellency, Bishop Evans; Brother Thomas; Mr. Kavanagh; Representatives of the Diocese and the Brothers of the Christian Schools; Members of the Board; Faculty; Alumni; Parents; Guests; and fellow members of the graduating Class of 2015),
It is my great honor to have the opportunity to speak to you tonight.

I want to begin with a song: The first verse of the La Salle Academy Spirit Song. I hope my classmates will join in: “On La Salle Rams, On La Salle Rams, up the mountain climb. Heads held high with one desire, we’ll score for sure this time (U RAH RAH). On La Salle Rams, on La Salle Rams, Fight on for her fame! Fight Maroon and White (Fight, Fight) We’ll Win this game.”

As timid, awkward incoming freshmen, each of us learned the words to the Spirit Song from none other than Mr. Timothy Finnegan. Some of us laughed at Mr. Finn for his crazy hand gestures and startling grunts of U RAH RAH, while others of us simply kept to ourselves, desperately hoping that he would not notice we were only mouthing the words. I won’t say which group I was in. I can say, however, I remember our apprehension and hesitation. As a graduating senior, it is strange to think back to that time as we reluctantly sang the Spirit Song and began “up the mountain climb.”

Over the next four years, under the direction of our caring dean, Mrs. Kelly, we experienced La Salle through our academic work, involvement in extracurricular activities, and daily encounters with classmates, teachers, parents, and administrators who ensured we did not have to climb this mountain alone. It is these people who make up our Lasallian community that we have to thank for helping us in our “mountain climbs.”

First, thank you to the Christian Brothers, who taught us how to selflessly serve others through one’s vocation. Your legacy and presence touched the hearts and minds of each of us everyday, with a handshake in the hallways or a smile in the athletic center. You are the cornerstone of our academy and a critical part of our ascent up the mountain.

Thank you to our administrators. You were accessible and kind, genuinely cared for each and every one of us, and facilitated our mountain climb from our first days to our last. In particular, thank you to our dean, Mrs. Kelly, who treated each of us as one of her own children, as if she didn’t have enough already.

Thank you to our teachers. You have instilled an enthusiasm for learning in us that we will carry to the next phase of our lives. But, you were not merely teachers of subject matter. You were teachers of life, who provided examples of Patience, in the math teacher who stayed after class to explain a problem just one more time and Zeal, in the English teacher’s passion and enthusiasm for every literary work, even, no especially, the boring ones.

Finally, the people who truly made this opportunity possible: Thank you to our parents. You have been with us every single step of the way… even when we did not think we wanted you to be. Your constant loving support pushed us through the toughest of times, and grounded us in the best of times. It is your love and sacrifice which has helped bring us to the peak of our “mountain climb.”

The next line to the Spirit Song reads, “Heads held high with one desire.” In all likelihood, this line, when originally written, simply referred to the La Salle faithful rooting on our teams. But, I think this line is one of the many things that can only be known about La Salle after experiencing it. Also included in this category is our fourth floor swimming pool and what purpose our elaborate front steps serve. Actually, maybe I still don’t understand that.

I think having our “heads held high with one desire” runs much deeper, and relates to La Salle’s Mission. Two statements we heard everyday at La Salle effectively summarize the Mission of La Salle Academy: Let us remember we are in the holy presence of a loving God, and Live Jesus in our hearts forever. Remembering God’s holy presence and allowing Jesus to live in our hearts calls us to live out the Gospel and serve the poor, the marginalized and the neglected in our society, as is La Salle Academy’s Mission. As we enter the world, allow our “one desire” to be to carry out the Mission of La Salle, living lives of faith and service to others.

We exit La Salle “with our heads held high with one desire” but while at La Salle, we fulfilled the next line of the Spirit Song, we “Fought on for her fame.” La Salle’s fame surrounded us at school. There is the banner in the athletic center which proclaims“The Legacy Continues,” and the mural in Heritage Hall on the first floor. These are just two reminders of our school’s storied tradition. The Class of 2015 embraced La Salle’s tradition and has left its own unique mark. We, the nervous and hesitant incoming freshmen have grown into college-level thinkers, State Championship Athletes, renowned actors and actresses, talented musicians and dancers, state and nationally recognized Mock Trial participants and Academic Decathletes, and so much more. Be proud of the things you have accomplished while here at La Salle for you, the students, continue to give La Salle its well-deserved reputation as a great place for young men and women to grow and develop their unique talents. That is La Salle’s fame and you certainly have and will continue to fight on for it.

Each part of this speech has made reference to a line in the La Salle Spirit Song. The Class of 2015 has climbed the mountain. The Class of 2015 holds our heads high with one desire. The Class of 2015 fights on for La Salle’s fame. We have embodied the words of the Spirit Song.

As I reflect on my time at La Salle, it is hard to forget all the incredible memories we have made as a class. For example, the brisk, fall nights we stood shoulder to shoulder rooting on our football team, or when we danced and sang at Winter Balls and Proms… and even, on occasion, on top of lunch tables. But, I also recall the less glamorous nights: finishing an essay, or cramming for an exam, or even decorating a project and wondering why I still had to practice coloring between the lines. While we may not have realized it at the time, these arduous tasks developed an unwavering grit and persistence in us that we possess today. All the hard work we have put into our four years is what the diplomas we receive tonight represent. We have learned skills of perseverance and resolve which will enable us to be the best versions of ourselves in the coming years. In essence, this diploma says we have learned to “Fight, Maroon and White, Fight Fight, for we will win this game,” and every game to come. Thank you for your attention and congratulations Class of 2015!

Brendan T. Nigro–Class of 2015

Graduation 2015–Student Welcome Address

(Delivered on Wednesday evening, 3 June 2015, at the Providence Performing Arts Center)

Your Excellency, Bishop Evans; Brother Thomas; Mr. Kavanagh; Representatives of the Diocese and the Brothers of the Christian Schools; Members of the Board; Faculty; Alumni; Parents; Guests; and fellow members of the graduating Class of 2015.

On behalf of the La Salle Academy Class of 2015, welcome to our graduation ceremony.

St. John Baptist De La Salle, our founder and visionary, urged his followers to “walk along God’s path.” I ask you to imagine a familiar path for all of us: a walk down the mural-covered hallways of La Salle Academy. The murals come alive with bright flashes of color, warm undertones, and strong, steady lines. In a sense, we, the Class of 2015, have created our own mural on La Salle Academy’s walls. Tonight, the paint is just beginning to dry.

In our mural, the first layer of paint was added by our families and, especially, our parents. It was our parents who have first supported us in every endeavor, and it was our parents who first chose to immerse us in the Lasallian legacy of excellence and tradition. Together, our parents and La Salle Academy have sketched out the way for us to become young men and women, aware of the world beyond and grounded in an unshakeable moral code.

In our mural, flashes of knowledge, inspiration, and wisdom stand out against a four-year-long backdrop. Painted by La Salle’s administration and faculty, they represent the academic triumphs, successes, and moments of clarity that illuminated our class periods and our halls. They are drawn with our understanding of what it means to be truly known as a student and as a person- to have an entire community of teachers and administrators fully invested in each and every one of us. Each flash started as a small spark of connection between an educator and a student, the color brightening with every conversation, every math problem, every essay, and every gesture of dedication. We, the Class of 2015, are forever grateful for these relationships and the insight we gained through them.

In our mural, the warm undertones of community immediately catch the eye. The La Salle Academy Class of 2015 is one characterized by an incredible atmosphere of respect, encouragement, and harmony. Perfectly blended with one another, and yet still defined by the diversity of our gifts, talents, and stories, the Class of 2015 celebrates tonight the collective memories and shared moments of our high school career. We are thankful for the opportunity to grow together in spirituality and in genuine friendship.

In our mural, our Catholic identity and formation create the strong, steady strokes outlining every image. They are painted with the colors of faith, service, and community and are unified with the presence of God in every aspect of the Lasallian experience. They are made distinct by the tremendous work of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and are textured by a focus on justice for all and the loving model of Jesus Christ. Our mural is framed by the Lasallian mission: to live not for ourselves but for the betterment of our society, for the good of our community, and for the person standing next to us.

Tonight, the La Salle Academy Class of 2015 stands before you, ready, able, and willing, to live out our faith and our futures. From the halls of La Salle Academy, we will walk confidently along God’s path, with Jesus forever in our hearts.

Julianna R. Marandola–Class of 2015

A Blessing for All Days

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 5 June 2015–last day of classes for undergrads)

Let us remember…We are in the holy presence of God.
A reading from the book of Numbers:

The Lord said to Moses: Say to Aaron and his sons, thus you shall bless the people of Israel; you shall say to them:
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you his peace.”

In 1979 a Villanova professor, working on an excavation near Jerusalem, discovered something resembling the metal cap of a pencil. It took years of work, but finally the contents of this amulet were determined to be the words I have just uttered. And those words, in that amulet, were just a re-expression of this ancient sentiment – probably from 1500 years or more before Christ.


One musician who put these words to music wrote: “Here is a benediction that can give all the time without being impoverished. Every heart may utter it, every message may conclude with it, every day may begin with it, every night may be sanctified by it. Here is blessing – keeping – shining – the uplifting of our poor life to all heaven’s glad day. It is the Lord himself who gives us this anthem.”



Each one of us is broken in some way, and so there is no one who is not in need of a healing, a blessing. I offer these words to you as a benediction for this day, for our exams, for a summer of joy and growth, and for all days.


Let us pray.
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you his peace.”


Saint John Baptist de La Salle, Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts! Forever.

Michael McNamara, AFSC–Math Teacher

Lasallian Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher—HUMILITY

(Reflections by Two Seniors on Teachers who epitomize the Virtue of Humility–completed for Ms. Naughton’s Senior Religion Class)


Mr._____ embodies humility to me. While at the beginning of my high school career I did not pay too much attention to the virtues of my teachers or the way they acted, I became interested in teaching styles after Mr. _____’s freshman year _____ class, I recognized that all teachers taught in different and unique ways.  However, I never truly recognized the importance of humility until encountering Mr. _____. Contrary to what one might believe after their first or second encounter with Mr. _____, he is, in fact, a very modest and reserved person. While on the outside he may make a louder statement with his clothing selections than anyone in the building and his voice may carry throughout the hallway and pierce every wall on the third floor, he possesses this ability to put the proper education of his students in front of his desire to impose his beliefs upon them. While some may overlook this ability and say that it counts for less than I propose it does, I have learned over the course of my time in school, that a teacher who can put their self and their beliefs on the shelf and teach both sides equally to their students is an incredible asset to have (especially impressive when they are teaching a class that covers topics as controversial as _____ and _____). The way I understand it, teaching is more about the way that students are enabled to think, rather than their ability to carry “correct opinions” with them. In this way, in my opinion Mr. _____ possesses a level of deep humility that very few teachers I have met possess, and I have come out of his classes with a much more well-rounded view of the topics covered, and a greater openness to opposing opinions than I would have otherwise.



While learning about the third virtue, humility, I immediately thought about Mrs. _____ who is my _____ teacher this year. She is the type of teacher that always thinks of her students before herself. She is extremely flexible and is always willing to change things in order to be more accommodating and fair to her students. She does not allow us to take zeros for an assignment; instead, she just trusts us to complete it at some point within reason. Mrs. _____ always tells us interesting stories about herself so that we can possibly relate to her life. She has never once acted as if she was above us just because she is our teacher; she always makes us feel like equals. I have learned a lot from her about what is means to be a person of humility.



In 1706, John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, listed twelve virtues of a good teacher in his Conduct of the Christian Schools. In 1785, Brother Agathon, the fifth superior general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, reissued the list in a much longer letter titled The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher. His letter was widely distributed for many years, and even up until the 1930s, a number of Catholic colleges used it as a text in education classes.   (Saint Mary’s Press)

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Lasallian Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher—PATIENCE

(Reflections by Five Seniors on Teachers who epitomize the Virtue of Patience–completed for Ms. Naughton’s Senior Religion Class)


Mr. _____ is by far the most patient man I have met at La Salle Academy. He was the first teacher I personally knew here, and I wouldn’t have wanted my journey here to start any other way. Mr. _____ was my homeroom teacher and ever since meeting him on my first day of freshman year he became my favorite teacher. Having Mr. _____ there to guide me through freshman year was a blessing. However, I did not quite know how outstanding Mr. _____ truly is until this year’s _____class. Mr. _____ as a person lives the patience virtue. His daily prayers almost always speak of repelling bad decisions and being considerate of others when they are having a rough day. The reason Patience came to mind when choosing a virtue for The Great Lako is actually because he often asks God in his prayers to help him be patient with his students because he realizes how hectic our lives can be at times. He also asks God to help us all be good people and resist evil temptations. Patience is the virtue that makes us overcome all the evils of life.

Mrs. _____, a _____ teacher here at La Salle, displays the virtue of patience in her every day life. Mrs. _____ modeled patience in her classroom when she taught my freshman _____ class. On our first day we were all very nervous; however, she made us all feel comfortable in a calm environment. When we didn’t understand a conjugation she explained it as many times as we needed. When we asked question after question, she did not mind answering over and over again until we understood the lesson. Her patience made for a better learning environment in her classroom. Her virtue of patience also reflected her understanding and acceptance of all of her students of all abilities. Mrs. _____ has always and still demonstrates patience today. Many students are in and out of her room every single day. Many students go into her room either asking for her advice, asking for _____ help, or just to talk. There is never a time where Mrs. _____ is overwhelmed by the number of students in her room looking for help. She is always welcoming and looking to help those in need and is willing to take as much time as needed to better the student.

The first teacher I would like to use as an example is Mr. _____. He is my senior year _____ teacher and I believe he really has the virtue of patience. We have a very rowdy class and he does a really good job staying calm and not losing his cool on anyone. Our class has a tendency to get very out of control and Mr. _____ will just, in a very calm way, try to get everyone to regain themselves.

I played basketball for La Salle freshman and sophomore year and I was lucky enough to have Mrs. _____ as a coach. She is also my dean, so I was very nervous freshman year when I found out my coach and dean were the same person. It did not take me long at all to realize what a great person she really is, and how dedicated she is with everything she does. She holds the virtue of patience. She always knew the right thing to say, and was patient with all of us even when we were not doing our best or giving her attitude. She was so dedicated to coaching and had great expectations for all of us. An example of her being patient with us was when we were playing in the state championship. We were playing Westerly and were up by a few points with about 5 minutes left in the game. For some reason we could not keep the lead, and we ended up losing by one point. It was a horrible feeling, but Mrs. _____ was never mad at us for losing and she always stayed patient with us because she knew we tried out best. She was the greatest coach because she always had endurance even with so many things going on in her life, like being a mom, wife, dean, coach, and much more.

The sixth virtue, patience, is a virtue I think many people struggle with in life. Mrs. _____, who was my _____ teacher sophomore year, possesses this virtue effortlessly. _____ is a subject that is very difficult to teach because of the fact that many students struggle with it. I think it takes a lot of effort and repetition in order for students to understand many _____ concepts. Mrs. ______ was the best _____teacher I ever had and I think it is because of the patience she had with me and the class as a whole. Whenever someone didn’t understand something, instead of getting frustrated she would take a step back and explain it again. She never got aggravated with her students even when we were not as focused as we should have been. I cannot even count the many mornings she was there for me to help me with something that was so simple for her to do but extremely difficult for me. She would always try to find different ways to explain things so that I would understand. There was one instance where I blanked out during a quiz and became extremely frustrated. Instead of making me hand the quiz in blank at the end of the class, she allowed me to come back after school and finish it. I think that I received an A in that class because of how patient Mrs. _____ was in her teachings and with me personally.


In 1706, John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, listed twelve virtues of a good teacher in his Conduct of the Christian Schools. In 1785, Brother Agathon, the fifth superior general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, reissued the list in a much longer letter titled The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher. His letter was widely distributed for many years, and even up until the 1930s, a number of Catholic colleges used it as a text in education classes.   (Saint Mary’s Press)

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Lasallian Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher—RESERVE

(Reflections by A Senior on Teachers who epitomize the Virtue of Reserve–completed for Ms. Naughton’s Senior Religion Class)


Lastly, a specific teacher that resembles John Baptist de La Salle’s virtues is Mr. _____. Mr. _____ has come to withstand and disprove many beliefs and nonsense in class. He can tolerate many people especially me. In that class I’m a really bad student because I goof off with my friends in the class. But what I think makes him reserve is that fact that he tolerates me.  However, he understands that I am a very aware person when it comes to the topics we cover in class. He can relate to many of the students and has a great relationship with them, but in moderation and content. That is why I believe Mr. _____is a symbol of the virtue reserve.


In 1706, John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, listed twelve virtues of a good teacher in his Conduct of the Christian Schools. In 1785, Brother Agathon, the fifth superior general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, reissued the list in a much longer letter titled The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher. His letter was widely distributed for many years, and even up until the 1930s, a number of Catholic colleges used it as a text in education classes.   (Saint Mary’s Press)

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Lasallian Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher—GRAVITAS

(Reflections by Three Seniors on Teachers who epitomize the Virtue of Gravitas–completed for Ms. Naughton’s Senior Religion Class)


Mrs. _____ is really the kind of teacher who was the most understanding my freshmen year. She was always very soft spoken and it was this way she was able to keep control of the class without being monotone. Mrs. _____ is a great example of what it means to have the virtue of gravity. Whenever she said we were doing a project or a lab the next day she always had the materials ready and the instructions. It was a rare occasion when she didn’t check homework or collect an assignment. Mrs._____ was my favorite teacher freshmen year because you knew what to expect and she didn’t change things at the last minute. She was incredibly patient and let everyone take their time when we would be working on a group lab. She never made us feel like we were working too fast or slow and everyone got a chance to take their time and work together.

The second teacher I feel is virtuous is Mr._____, in the area of gravity. I met Mr. _____ this year and had him for the first semester in _____ class. Immediately his soft-spokenness and modesty are noticeable. He is very educated and it shows when he talks, as he sounds very intelligent and well informed. Yet he does not come off as cocky, but rather inviting in his words. I feel he is someone that has accomplished what he has accomplished because of his hard work and diligence to academics. His life experiences and the things he has been able to do have given him something most teachers don’t have, sort of like a well-roundedness, not so sheltered. Almost like a liberal arts education. He is a young, intelligent, highly educated minority male in a society where his lineup and his achievements are not considered common, in fact, they may even be considered uncommon. With all this though, he is still modest and a joy to talk to, because his views make you challenge your own thought process and you leave the conversation feeling more fulfilled than if he were to just agree with everything you are saying. I know for a fact that the majority of his students just viewed him as the new “cool” teacher who has a fantastic wardrobe. But for me he provided more. He really impacted me because he was not there for the paycheck, or to be self gratified by the fact he is “teaching the leaders of tomorrow”, but he was here teaching _____because that’s what he loved and he wanted to pass his experiences on to us. He wanted to teach us about Islam, and how it really is the religion of peace, among tons of other stuff. He is definitely a teacher I want to stay in contact with after La Salle ends.

The first virtue I would like to reflect on is the virtue of Gravitas. As the video we watched states, this virtue, when shown by a teacher, conveys a medial demeanor, one which is not too gloomy, or intimidating, but also not goofy, or too lackadaisical. The teacher who I had who showed this virtue to my class and me was Ms. _____. I have her currently for _____, and I have learned a lot from her. One concrete example of how she lives out the virtue of Gravitas has been going on every day for the entire school year. Every day when we have _____ class, the entire class is business; we work throughout the entire period in very different ways. Sometimes we have individual work, and learn alone, but very often we work in groups. Through group work we learn from each other, and from her, as she is constantly rotating through the groups seeing what we have done and what she can help us with. Even though every class is filled with work it is in no way boring or bothersome. The tasks we complete in class are always very different from each other and are usually very interesting. They range from analyzing Nazi propaganda while reading “Surviving Auschwitz” to writing an extra add-on scene for “The Merchant of Venice” and acting it out in front of the class. The way that she shows Gravitas in her demeanor is the way that she is warm when teaching class (no student at La Salle is afraid of her) often spending the time between class talking about the Patriots, or an addicting Netflix series such as Lost; but, at the same time she takes no dilly dallying, or bad behavior from any of her students, and because the way she carries herself and acts towards her students, they do not even try to act out towards her. I think that clearly Ms. _____ is a great teacher, and because of the way she acts, teaches, and carries herself throughout class, she is a perfect example of someone who has the virtue of Gravitas.


In 1706, John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, listed twelve virtues of a good teacher in his Conduct of the Christian Schools. In 1785, Brother Agathon, the fifth superior general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, reissued the list in a much longer letter titled The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher. His letter was widely distributed for many years, and even up until the 1930s, a number of Catholic colleges used it as a text in education classes.   (Saint Mary’s Press)

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Lasallian Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher—GENEROSITY

(Reflections by Eight Seniors on Teachers who epitomize the Virtue of Generosity–completed for Ms. Naughton’s Senior Religion Class)

Generosity Logo

Mr._____ is one of the most generous teachers I think I have ever had. I cannot think of any other teacher who supplies all his or her students with Hershey kisses and cough drops at all times. He also buys about fifty boxes of Girl Scout cookies every year from his students, and then he keeps them in his closet and gives his students a snack in class. Not only does Mr. _____ sacrifice his own hard earned money, but he also sacrifices his time. I love going to Mr. _____ and just talking to him, and he always
loves to hear about my pretty much nonexistent love life. I remember one time I had this big issue and I went to Mr. _____ right away because I had to tell someone because it was bothering me so much. He listened the whole time and gave me genuine advice which I appreciate so much. I also love hearing his wacky stories. Mr. _____ also writes countless amounts of college recommendations for his students. He could easily say “No” to a student because he has too much on his plate, but nope, he writes every single person one who asks and he has never once complained about it. Even over the summer I needed him to write me a recommendation for a summer college program and it was super last minute, but he still wrote me a fantastic recommendation. Mr. _____ definitely devotes himself to his students and I think (at least hope) that he enjoys it.

Mr. _____ is a great example of generosity. He is one crazy guy, in and out of the classroom. Although I have never actually had him as a teacher, I stop by his room one or more times a day. However, I have known him for eight years from Pep Band- four years when my sister was in it and another four when I was in it. He has been leading the Pep Band for over ten years now and has never missed a game… ever (except for that one time). Mr. _____ goes out of his way to book gigs for us at different college events and in parades because we all love Pep Band so much. He voluntarily gives up so much of his free time to do something that we all enjoy doing. He often mentions that he misses his family when he is at the games but says that we make up for it since we have so much fun together. Every once and a while, we can get Mr. _____ to play his guitar along with us or dance around with our mascot, Arpeggio Scales the Salmon. If dancing with a fish doesn’t show dedication to his job, then I’m not quite sure what does.

Ms. _____ is a great example of generosity. Many kids don’t get the opportunity to personally know Ms. _____ but when they do, they grow to love and appreciate her. Personally I call Ms._____ “Mom”. I know that my school mom would do anything to help me out and is there for me whenever I’d need her whether it be to talk or do me a favor. She willingly does things for people and sacrifices a lot of her time for this school and for her kids. I know Ms. _____ mostly through Student Council. “Mom” not only runs Student Council but she truly cares and wants the Council to succeed within the school. When kids slack and don’t do their jobs on the Council she does the tasks. There are days where Mrs. _____doesn’t get home until 9 or 10 o’clock because she’s after school doing events for the student body. Though she is often overlooked, she puts a lot of work into this school, and knows all.

Lastly, my longtime coach, Mr. _____, has the virtue of generosity. In the slide describing generosity in the PowerPoint, a particular definition that stood out to me immediately was “Great sacrifice for the kids.” This is a perfect explanation of Mr. _____’s coaching ethic. He is by far one of the most dedicated people I have ever seen, and it is obvious that he genuinely cares about his athletes and truly wants them to succeed. Whether it was being at practice on time every Saturday at 9am for four straight years, or making sure he got us Popsicles after a long run during the summer, Coach _____ always made a concerted effort to better his athletes, and fortunately, his dedication paid off this year, as we were able to win the State and New England titles.

I can remember back to my sophomore year coming in as a transfer student and adjusting to my new classmates and teachers. For the most part I was excelling in all of my classes, except_____. I remember going for extra help the day before a test, and failing it miserably the next day. But Mr. _____ saw how hard I was working and was always available when I needed help. After struggling for the first quarter he felt that it would be best if I moved down to .2B. When he first told me, I was a little apprehensive because I felt really embarrassed, meaning I could not handle .2A so lets make it easier? When I expressed my concern, he explained that I had nothing to worry about and that the whole world is not made up of .2A people. I will never forget the analogy he gave me, “Think of the point levels as making up a house. The .2A people make up the windows, while the .2B people make up the foundation and structure of the house.” When he told me this I felt a lot better about myself. By the end of second quarter I had an 89 average and I ended up with a 92 average for the year. Switching point levels was by far the best decision I could have made. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to have had Mr. _____ because he represents the virtue of generosity. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would not have done well in the end had I not had him as a teacher. He was always available for extra help. By the end of year he could pretty much read my mind when I was not sure how to do a certain problem.

Miss _____ carries out the most generosity I have ever experienced from a teacher. She is yet another outstanding teacher who is understanding and considerate of others’ lives. I never met Miss _____ until this year and I’m glad I chose to take her class. When a student falls behind in class, Miss _____ will allow them as much time as they need to make up what they are missing. Even when there seems to be just a personal problem or the student just had a bad day and couldn’t focus on their work, Miss _____ gives them additional time to hand in the assignment. Miss _____ always goes out of her way for us whether it be to extend a deadline when students have a lot on their plate, or bring in pizza and put on a movie for us last period on a Friday. She is just an all around generous teacher, and La Salle is fortunate to have her on their faculty.

Ms. _____, a _____ teacher here at La Salle, models the virtue of generosity in her everyday life. As my freshman year _____ teacher, she generously gave us extra time to prepare for tests as well as allowing us students to work with one another. By working with one another we were able to help each other with problems and communicate about different ways of solving a problem. Ms. _____ also models the virtue of generosity in her involvement of the Best Buddies club here at La Salle. When advising the Best Buddies club, she generously lets us have meetings in her room twice a month and gets here early just so that we are able to have them. She gives up her time to make sure we get everything necessary done and occasionally checks in on us at Meeting Street School. Her virtue of generosity shows through everything she has done to make the Best Buddies program the best it can be. Her dedication and generosity has helped improve the club tremendously. It has grow from ten students to one-hundred. Overall, all of these teachers model their virtues in their everyday life.

A teacher that demonstrates the quality of generosity is Mme._____. First off, she gives us super cute stickers like all the time.  It’s fantastic. Whenever she can, she finds an opportunity for us to eat French food. Before the AP exam she gave us each our own animal pencil topper to be our supportive lil friend during the exam. Also before the AP exam we had a mini French party in Campus Ministry complete with sparkling cider and French-speaking. Besides providing us with food (I care a lot about food, though…) she also tries to make projects that are as enjoyable as possible and she has a very fair grading policy with opportunities for extra credit. She is really generous in how she tries her best to have us not only succeed in _____ but have a pleasant time while doing so, by relating the French-speaking to topics we care about


In 1706, John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, listed twelve virtues of a good teacher in his Conduct of the Christian Schools. In 1785, Brother Agathon, the fifth superior general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, reissued the list in a much longer letter titled The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher. His letter was widely distributed for many years, and even up until the 1930s, a number of Catholic colleges used it as a text in education classes.   (Saint Mary’s Press)

12 virtues