Over All These Years—The Power of Prayer

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday morning, 26 September 2017)

Good Morning.

Let us remember we are in the Holy Presence of a loving God.

As the Director of Alumni Relations at La Salle and a 2003 Alumna myself, I have the opportunity to meet many Alumni from various class years that have graduated LSA and now live locally here in Rhode Island, all over the country and even throughout the world. Many of our Alumni have embarked from LSA and have entered the world by making a positive impact on their own lives and the lives of others: some as positive role models, some serving in their community, some leading by example daily in their own homes and careers. This Friday kicks off our annual Alumni Reunion Weekend where The Alumni Office will be hosting 5 on-campus reunions at LSA for the class years’ ending in 2’s and 7’s. One of our classes will be celebrating its 65th Reunion and another class its 20th. Our Student Ambassadors will be leading on-campus tours highlighting what the campus is like presently, followed by the alumni attending their reunion receptions at various campus locations where they will see some of their classmates from years ago. It never ceases to amaze me when Alumni return back to campus and share memories of their time at LSA—from when it was an all boys’ school before 1984 to presently being co-ed, to their stories of their favorite teachers and some can even remember their freshman homeroom #’s.  I hear stories of academia, friendships made here at LSA, faith formation, good sportsmanship on the field, service in the community, charism and kindness …  too many to recite.  When the Alums return they almost always mention what is obvious – the new changes to campus that are visible here at LSA. They say, “There is now a middle school?” I reply, “Yes, it is the De La Salle Middle School. Notice the blue hallways and blue lockers. These middle school teachers are doing great work teaching students that are eager to learn and they’re starting their journey at De La Salle in the 6th grade.”

The Alums will continue on the tour and notice the LSA Shea Science Center on campus and will ask in one of the classrooms, “What is that?” I’ll reply, “What you are looking at are 3-D printers and we recognize that our students are very fortunate to have the opportunities to utilize these outstanding resources that many of our Alumni have contributed greatly to.”

They’ll notice the well maintained and manicured fields, the classrooms filled with students learning, the art, theater and music rooms on the ground floor, all the opportunities this campus offers. A place for all to grow, all to serve and all to learn.

I always remind them that the mission … the mission of LSA, remains the same. Although much of the campus has had improvements over time, the mission of our founder Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the De La Salle Christian Brothers and what it means to be “Lasallian” has and always will remain the same. It is that core mission that guides us daily as a school community, guides our remarkable faculty and staff to do the great work we do and allows our outstanding students to do their best daily both in and outside the classrooms, on the stage in the theater, out on the fields or courts at a game or when serving the community.

It startled me when one Alum asked, “Does someone still lead morning prayer?” I replied, “Yes, of course we still lead morning prayer.” We pray as a community and we give thanks; we express gratitude for those that have come before us creating the legacy and rich tradition we have here at La Salle. Think about that for a second, we pray daily. Not only in homeroom at the sound of the bell for morning prayer, but we pray together as a community out on the Cronin field for our opening of school mass where our school Chaplain, Father Woodhouse and our Campus Ministry team celebrate with us, we pray in front of the grotto before games asking for strength and guidance, we pray before classes as a community, we pray aloud and to ourselves. We pray before Reunions for the Alumni and express thanks for our experiences, while students at LSA,  that have made us who we are. The power of prayer is extraordinary and although some things have changed on campus, prayer is something we are proud to share with one another daily as it is what makes LSA the great place that it is.

Let us pray,

We ask you Lord to guide our entire student body from our De La Salle Middle School to the high school; please guide our teachers, Brothers, mentors, coaches, deans, entire faculty, staff,  LSA community and alumni; and, guide our faith and service throughout the years as we strive for excellence and true greatness.

Guide us to ask questions about things we do not know.  May our students always believe in themselves and not have any doubt about what they are able to achieve. With the power of prayer, all is possible. Continue to allow our student body to do their personal best. May they continue to inspire others and share what they learn here at LSA and shine it on the world as many of our Alumni have. Our students are part of the La Salle Family and tradition, and will one day be an Alumna/Alumnus. We ask to embrace faith throughout our days and remind us daily of “the positivity and power of prayer.”

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for Us

Live Jesus in our Hearts…Forever !

Daniela Mansella Paolino—Director of Alumni Relations and Class of 2003