(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday morning, 21 May 2018)

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of god.

As some of you may know, I am a musician. I have been playing music since I was a little child, and it has always been a huge part of my life. When I was a freshman here at La Salle, I was told a quote by a teacher and it has always stuck with me. It was said by one of the greatest musical figures to ever have lived, Ludwig van Beethoven. He said, “To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.” Now this quote has obvious meaning in music, that when you play music, you are always going to mess up. There will be times when you will completely bomb a performance or do things wrong that will inevitably be noticed by the audience. But the passion, the emotion, the drive that the performer gives is what truly matters. However, beyond this context of music, I feel like, at La Salle, this passion is transferred into every aspect of our community. It comes from two things: on the one hand, the faculty, staff, coaches, directors, and teachers, and, on the other hand, our fellow students.

When sitting in class, there is a vibe that radiates off each and every teacher at La Salle. They could easily be a teacher at any public school in Rhode Island, but they chose La Salle (shout out to Mr. Finn), and every student knows that their teachers want to be there. But the fact is, the teachers’ passion for educating the whole person extends outside the classroom. The amount of teachers that are moderators for clubs and coach teams always astonished me. They spend their time before school, after school, at night, on service trips, just to enhance the lives of their students. This passion that they exude is felt by every single member of the La Salle community.

On the other hand, the passion that I have felt in these four years that will never leave me is the passion of our students. When the football team runs out onto the field with the cheerleaders surrounding them, you can feel the passion in the hearts of the athletes. Seeing the hockey players throw their gloves into the air after hearing the final buzzer, you could feel the passion of the players on the ice, and even the fans in the arena. Seeing one of our classmates giving a winning speech in Academic Decathlon, you could feel the passion in their voice. All throughout our musical performances, visual art pieces, theatrical production, passion is seen through our students. Whenever I think of La Salle, it is absolutely impossible to forget the emotion we put into everything we do, and in my opinion, this is what defines La Salle. Not once did I feel that someone gave half effort in what they love. And in all honestly, this tangible energy of effort in all of these different fields will be truly missed by each and every graduate here today. So what I want to say to all the seniors, as we start our final week, is to live our lives with the passion that we have been given from this amazing place.

Let us pray. Dear Lord, thank you for all of the teachers and staff of La Salle Academy. Thank you for the amazing class of 2018 and all the gifts you have given to each and every one of us. We hope that we never forget La Salle Academy and that La Salle Academy never forgets us.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Benjamin Boyarsky–Class of 2018

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