(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday morning, 27 March 2018)
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
This past weekend I was riveted to the news, watching young people from all over the US march for a cause they are passionate about, searching for a way to express their beliefs, and demanding to be heard. The signs they held were barbed, ironic, and just plain funny. Their speeches were thoughtful and delivered from the heart. Yes I realize that not everyone believes in their cause, although no one on either side wants to see children die. But if we could, for a moment, push political rhetoric aside, what we would see are amazing children and young adults participating in the wider community. What I saw made me proud to be a parent and an educator.
And what I saw was another movement, in the summer of 1963, where Americans from all over the US marched for a cause they were passionate about. In fact, much like our children today, their very lives depended on it. Unfortunately, the passage of time has condensed that march to a single speech, Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech. And no disrespect to Dr. King, but history has forgotten the hundreds of thousands of young black Americans who demanded their civil rights and freedom on that day, on the days to follow, and still today. Although the causes are very different, the marchers on Saturday are much like those who stood in solidarity 55 years ago. Like their historical brethren they are enduring discrimination and hatred not just for their cause and but for who they are. And who they are, are beautiful, talented, articulate, flawed, mature and immature, complex, nuanced, and incredibly important members of our society. They are our children, our students, our friends, our loved ones, and our future. Our community is strengthened by their activism as opposed to the people who sit back and hate.
Let us pray:
Help us to come together to stop the gun violence in our communities that kills so many of our young people.
Help us to see how our perceived cultural norms alienate so many.
Help us to understand the pain of mental disease.
Help us to celebrate those who actively participate in their communities and show passion for social justice.
Help us to put aside our differences and come together to solve real problems.
We ask this in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen
St. John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.
Kristine Chapman—Social Studies Teacher