Are We Really Connected?

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 26 April 2018—Intercultural Week)

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

Nowadays, we are constantly connected to our phones, laptops, and other devices, which have great chances of causing many negative differences in our social lives. Especially when communicating with other people, we can easily use our texts to avoid problems in the long run. Sometimes, we even use words less sincerely than we would if we were talking to someone face to face. We should not hide from true reality. Lots of people post pictures of themselves and others usually comment with a “heart eyes emoji” with the intention of showing support saying “You look great” or “This is a really cool picture,” but would the commenters have the courage to walk up to the person in the picture and say, “Wow, I thought your recent Instagram post was really cool” or “You looked really pretty in the picture you just posted”? Many people act in a specific way over text but may act completely different in person. Once in a while, we may build what we believe is a “friendship” over texting, but in real life, the most we say to each other is a simple greeting when passing by each other in the hallway. This frequently occurs because many would agree that sending a text message is much easier than talking to another in person. We should identify the areas of our social lives with which we struggle due to how we depend too much on technology. In what ways can we use texting, snapping, and other sources of technology to help us build more sincere relationships with others?

Let us pray: Dear God, Please help us to not only identify the areas of our social lives that we struggle with, but also help us to use our technology appropriately to improve our relationships. Guide us to understand the fact that tapping a few buttons and hitting send is much easier than communicating with others in person.  However, in order to build strong, healthy relationships, we must bond with those who are close to us by speaking face to face. Let us not hide our identities and problems through texts and messages. Give us the courage and strength to be sincere with those who are close to us and to find a balance between our use of technology and the relationships we choose to build.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.

Megan Chan–De La Salle Middle School–Grade 8

Mission into Creed

(Prayer offered for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday, 27 April 2018–Intercultural Week)

Good morning….

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

You are who you are when no-one is watching.  If you have had the pleasure of working alongside Coach Marcone or as one of his players you have probably heard this saying before or something quite similar.  Mr. Pacia shared a prayer with us in the past centered around this idea and I would like to make a connection as well as it relates to mission. Mission is not a catch-phrase, slogan, or marketing campaign.  Mission is not words; it is action. As Lasallians we are called to live our mission each day. I was recently reminded of a school in Chicago that transformed its mission into a creed. Each morning the faculty, staff, and students recite this creed as a reminder of who they are and wish to be.  I would like to share this creed with you as I have altered it slightly.

Your homeroom teachers will have the words displayed on the SmartBoard and I would ask that you silently read along.

Let us pray,

We are the young men and women of La Salle Academy.

We are exceptional—not because we say it, but because we work hard at it.

We will not falter in the face of any obstacle placed before us.

We never succumb to uncertainty or fear.

We are dedicated, committed, and focused.

We never fail because we never give up.

We make no excuses.

We choose to live honestly and with integrity.

We respect ourselves and, in doing so, respect all people.

We have a future for which we are accountable.

We have a responsibility to our families, community, and world.

We believe in ourselves.

We believe in each other.

We believe in La Salle Academy.

We believe.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…..pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…..forever.

Stephen Emerson–Math Teacher

The Beauty of Every Culture

(Prayer offered for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 25 April 2018—Intercultural Week)

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God

It may come as a surprise to many that I’m Mexican, but I am. Both my parents came to the United States about 20 years ago from Mexico. My mom is always telling me stories of when she first came to the U.S. One story I’ll never forget is the one she told me about visiting a store in her early days in this country.  One time she went to go buy food and the cash register guy charged her more than she was supposed to pay because he saw that she didn’t know English. Luckily, there was a nice lady who saw what was going on and stood up for my mom. Today my mom knows some English, so when she sees someone struggling to communicate with someone else because of the language barrier, she’ll step in and help.  This story has stayed with me and reminded me of the need to use our knowledge to help others in need.

Let us pray—

Dear Lord, we thank you for making every culture beautiful in its own unique way. We thank you for the opportunities we get to enjoy the beauty of every culture. We ask that you give us the strength to overcome challenges we may face and the courage to help someone who may need our help.



Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for Us

Live Jesus in our Hearts…Forever

Emiliano Moreno—Class of 2019

We Are An Evolving Fabric of Diversity

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday, 23 April 2018—Intercultural Week)

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God,

The United States of America holds the reputation of being  one of the greatest countries in the world. But it is also known as the multicultural center, because of the wide variety of people with different cultural, racial and ethnic identities. Immigrants from all over come here holding their own ideal of the “American Dream.”  We have the opportunity to share in how other people experience the world differently. Much of today’s society has forgotten that. “So God created mankind in his own image,” yet on the news we see  discrimination and violence all over the world against people who are considered other. The Diversity Committee has organized Intercultural Day this week so that everyone can express themselves and witness that within our own community we are an evolving fabric of unique threads, colors and textures.

Let us pray,

We thank You God, for the diversity we see all around us. You created all people in your image. We rejoice in the astonishing variety of races and cultures in this world and within our own community. Help us celebrate the wonderful blend of skin colors, languages and customs and teach us to accept one another, and to realize that our differences are what makes us unique.

St. John Baptist de La Salle: Pray for Us.

Live Jesus in our Hearts: Forever!

Alejandro (Victor) Jimenez–Class of 2018



(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 13 April 2018)

Good morning La Salle.

Let us remember that we are in the presence of God.

Today is Friday the thirteenth. People get nervous about this, because thirteen is unlucky. But how much should we let this number dictate how our day will go?

I remember when the first SAT scores for my grade came out some time early last year. People were asking each other what they got. For some reason, this number mattered to us. To the kid who got an almost perfect score, it wasn’t good enough. To the kid who got just what they needed to get into their dream school, it was their saving grace. Some people’s numbers inspired them to study harder and do better. Others were happy with what they got. Each number can mean something different to everybody. They can be motivating. But they can also be destructive.

I run competitively. Sometimes I’ll have a race that just doesn’t go my way. I might be off my time by a few seconds. Those few seconds can be the difference between confidence and self-doubt. It’s hard for me to remember all the good races I have had when I have a bad one.

Everyone does this sort of thing. Like when you get a bad grade on a test, you immediately forget about getting all-honors last semester, because YOU JUST BOMBED IT! But, you have to take a step back and think about it. Are people going to be at your funeral saying, “jeez, they were a nice person and all, but they failed that history test in junior year, what a failure”? NO! People are going to remember you for who you are. And who you are is not defined by your grades or any other number.

I recently deleted Instagram. I have about a thousand followers on it. For some people, that’s a lot. For others, it’s not even half of what they have. But what really stresses me out is the amount of likes I get on a photo. I’m sure I’m not alone when I think about deleting a post because it got a poor amount of likes. You know that first half hour after you post a photo, and you’re constantly refreshing the amount of likes you have? If it’s too low, you get anxious. And then you also have to worry about what time you post, because you’ll get more likes if you post in the evening. If I don’t get a lot of likes, I immediately assume that something is wrong with me, or people don’t like me.

We have to remember that numbers are nice to use as tools, to see where we are, or to quantify goals. But numbers are not our self worth. We are more than our grades, our SAT scores, or the amount of colleges we got into.

Could we instead focus on numbers that make us feel good? How about the number of people that smiled at you today? Or the number of good deeds you have done? I like these numbers a lot better. Each one represents a positive impact on someone’s life. And we should be striving to make that impact as big as possible.

So before you judge someone who did worse on a test than you, or someone who doesn’t have as many followers as you, stop and think. If you are more than those numbers, then they are more than those numbers, too. Each person is too unique and amazing to be summed up by a bunch of numbers. It is all these qualitative, not quantitative, ideas, about humanity that makes us awesome. So let’s keep being awesome.

St. John Baptist de La Salle…. Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…. forever.

Grace Connolly–Class of 2018

Give and Give More

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 11 April 2018)

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of a loving God

 “Give and Give, even and especially when you don’t think you can give anymore.”  The first principal who hired me years ago–a Christian Brother by the name of Thomas Casey—had those words on a poster in his office.  I remember thinking how foolish and silly they seemed when I first read them over a decade ago.  After all, everything about our society tells us to measure our actions and choices by how we will benefit from them or not.  So often before we give, we think…how will this affect me?  How much time or money will it cost me? Or emotionally, is this worth it for me?

 My favorite example of “Give and give more” happened a couple of years ago on my first service trip with La Salle Academy students.  We were volunteering at the De La Salle Blackfeet School in Browning, Mt.  Most of the students there are poor.  Often, their parents struggle with alcoholism or drug dependency.  All of the students receive free breakfast and lunch.  Anyway, one day at lunch, I sat at a table of fifth graders to eat with them.  I remember finishing the granola bar I had packed and mumbling something about still being hungry.  In an instant, the boy seated next to me reached for his cookie and offered it  to me.  Without hesitation or calculation, he shared the little he had.  He taught me something that day about giving, about generosity, and about purity of heart.

That boy was like the poor widow for me—reaching into his need and sharing all that he had.  I wonder if this kind of generosity is what is meant by the Scripture verse  “Unless a grain of wheat dies, it will not bear fruit.”  Maybe it’s that when we give without thinking of ourselves, we die to our own interests and let God’s will and unconditional love and mercy fill our lives.

Let us pray:

Loving God, we give ourselves to you–our gifts and talents, our time, our energy, all that we are and have.  In those moments when we are tempted to be selfish or stingy, when we are tired or lazy, give us pure, generous hearts so that we may give without counting the cost.   You, O God, are all we need.

St. John Baptist de La Salle: Pray for us

Live Jesus in our Hearts: Forever!

Christine Estes—Director of Campus Ministry

Where Is God Calling You Today?

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday, 9 April 2018)

Good morning. First let me wish our Orthodox brothers and sisters a happy Easter.

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of a loving God.

There is an old saying that says: “When God closes a door, God opens a window.” Let me say that again, “When God closes a door, God opens a window.” The idea behind this saying is that we never really know where life is going to take us and rarely do we end up where we think we’ll end up.

I know this has been true in my own life. Maybe it has been true in yours. It was certainly true for our Founder, John Baptist de La Salle. He was a wealthy man on the fast track to becoming an even wealthier Church leader in France when God, through a chance encounter with Adrien Nyel, led him to give up his wealth and found schools for poor boys. We would not be sitting here today, if it were not for that. His decision to follow God’s will was not the easy thing to do – it led to much pain and suffering for John Baptist de La Salle, but also to much joy and satisfaction. After all, the old saying says that God leaves a window open for us and climbing through a window is much more difficult than strolling through a door … even if it does give us a chance to see the world from a different – often more beautiful – perspective.

Today, we Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the day when Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Today we remember the day when God closed the door of a normal life to the teenaged Blessed Virgin Mary and opened the window to a life full of tremendous sorrow and tremendous joy, a life full of grace. Mary’s life was anything but ordinary from that day forward. But it was the life that she was called to live so that she could be most fully the person that God made her to be. She’s a perfect example of how following God’s call – whatever it is – can change your life, fulfill you, and make you into the person you are meant to be. “When God closes a door, God opens a window.” Climbing through a window is never easy, but – with God’s help – it is always worth it.

My challenge to you today is to just listen. Take the ear buds out. Close the screen. Shut off the television. Find a quiet spot and listen. Where is God calling you today?

Let us pray:

Lord God, we know that following you does not always seem easy. Give us the grace to follow you anyway, just as the Blessed Virgin Mary made a decision to follow you two thousand years ago. Amen.

St. John Baptist de La Salle … pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts … forever.

Charles da Silva–Religion Teacher

We Are An Easter People

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday, 2 April 2018)

Good morning La Salle! And Happy Easter!

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

On this Easter Monday, as we continue our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, I would like to return to the scene of that first Easter morning recounted at Mass yesterday. St. John the Evangelist tells us that Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb early Sunday morning, so early that “it was still dark.” (Jn. 20:1) Seeing that the stone covering the tomb had been taken away, she ran to inform two of Jesus’ closest disciples – Peter and John. Upon arriving at the tomb, Peter and John entered; John, we read, went into the empty tomb “and he saw and believed.” (Jn. 20:8) Something from that scene struck him – perhaps it simply made sense of the words that Jesus had spoken to him, but, up to that point, he could not fully understand. And so John and Peter returned to their homes, leaving Mary alone at the tomb alone, weeping.

Two angels appeared to Mary in the tomb, asking her why she was weeping. “Because,” she explained, “they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid him.” (Jn. 20:13) She then turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but significantly, as St. John recounts for us, “she did not know that it was [Him].” (Jn. 20:14) And this time it was Jesus Himself asking her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” (Jn. 20:15) Mary sounded a wearied response: “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” (Jn. 20:15) At that, Jesus simply said her name – “Mary” – and immediately she recognized Him.

And we, John’s audience, are simply left to ponder…“Why?”

Why did John immediately recognize the significance of the empty tomb ‘and believe’? Why didn’t Mary? Why didn’t she recognize it at the appearance of the two angels? Or even upon seeing Jesus Himself? Perhaps her mind was darkened by anger thinking that someone would cruelly add to the anguish of the crucifixion by stealing Jesus’ body. Perhaps her faith was clouded by grief at the loss of a beloved friend. Perhaps it was simply the physical fatigue of two sleepless nights or the tears clouding her vision that would not allow her to see Jesus clearly. St. John does not tell us. But, then again, does he have to? Does he have to tell us, any one of us, how the circumstances of life…anger, grief, confusion, stress or simple fatigue…can disrupt our ability to recognize God’s presence in our lives? No, I think not.

But St. John’s account does contain an important lesson: Mary never did stop searching for her Lord. She set out in the darkness of the early morning to reach Him. When she could not find Him there, she confided this to her close friends. And when they were no longer there by her side, she stayed at the tomb, alone, she wept, and continued to question, to plead. And, in a moment of grace, she heard His voice and her eyes were opened.

Let us pray.

Father, help us to remember that we are an Easter people. We, like Mary, are sometimes weighed down by suffering – the anger of betrayal, the sorrow of loss, the physical toll of each day – and You can seem so distant. May we trust that if we persevere in Faith, You will bless us with the grace to recognize that You have been right before us all along, calling each of us by name.

St. John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our Hearts…forever!

Brian Bennett—Religion Teacher