(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 16 November 2017)
Let us remember we are in the holy presence of a loving God.
Good morning! My name is Karen Clements and I am a teacher at The San Miguel School. Thank you for inviting me to join with you today in prayer. As a member of the La Salle Academy class of 2003, I have to say that it feels good to be back home with “family.” Now some of you already know me, either as your sister, your friend, your colleague, your former classmate, or perhaps your former student and to the San Miguel alum out there, you know me as your 5th grade teacher. However, to the majority of you, we’ve never met. So why is it then that I say we’re “family”?
A few years back, one of my students at San Miguel wrote an essay entitled, “What it Means to be Lasallian.” Although he was only 11 years old at the time, his words inspired me in the way I think about our Lasallian family. In his essay he wrote, “I am Lasallian. I am a part of the Lasallian family. I am loved, supported, valued, cared for and I belong. To be Lasallian means to do whatever it takes to help others in need. I receive so much at San Miguel and I’m grateful. Now it’s my turn to pay it forward.”
My Lasallian journey began as a student at La Salle in 1999, and now, 18 years later, I am a teacher at a neighboring Lasallian school. Throughout these years, I have had the privilege to witness the power of the Lasallian family.
One of my favorite times of the week is on Wednesday mornings when students from La Salle, who are completing their Christian Service course, join my 5th graders and me in our classroom. These seniors act as my assistant teachers. I love having the extra set of hands in my classroom, but more than that I love to watch the bonds that develop over the course of about 6 weeks. Earlier this year, at San Miguel, we had a special prayer service in celebration of International Lasallian Days for Peace. At this prayer service students created “peace rocks.” On each rock they wrote a peaceful quote or positive message. These rocks now circulate around our school as ways to support one another in times of need. At this prayer service, our Christian Service helpers were there to participate. Every once in a while a rock passes by that is signed, “From, Your Brother, at La Salle.” To me, this rock is a symbol of the strength of our two communities joined together as one.
Thank you to Ethan, Daryl, Nick, and Braedon and to all Christian Service students, past, present, and future, who have served as friends and role models to my San Miguel students and others in our community.
There are many times throughout the year in which students at San Miguel and La Salle show support for one another, but nothing tops the way in which De La Salle Middle School and La Salle Academy take care of their brothers at San Miguel during the holidays. Thank you for the time, energy and thoughtfulness that go into putting together Thanksgiving food baskets and Christmas presents each year. These selfless acts of caring for your neighbor are what make our Lasallian community so strong.
Over the years I’ve discovered that being Lasallian doesn’t end once you graduate from La Salle Academy. Being Lasallian is a way of life. As Lasallians, we are here “to do God’s work.” Each of our Lasallian journeys may look different, but we must be open to the unexpected ways in which God is knocking at our door.
Let us pray.
We turn to you with grateful hearts for what we have, and with great anticipation for what is yet to be.
Bless us with a sense of unity, a spirit of cooperation, and generous hearts as we embrace the responsibilities and challenges that face the Lasallian Family.
Guide us; strengthen us; bless us with your presence; and help us serve you faithfully now and through the ages to come. Amen.
– adaptation of St. John Nepomucene Parish Prayer
St. John Baptist de La Salle, Pray for us.
San Miguel, Pray for us.
Live Jesus in Our Hearts, Forever.
Karen Clements–Class of 2003