We Stand With You

(Statement read following Prayer on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday morning, 29 October 2018)

Good morning.

All of us were saddened over the weekend to hear of the mass shooting which happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  This devastating and evil act, considered the deadliest, anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, killed 11 people and injured 6 others.  As a Lasallian family, we condemn all forms of hatred and prejudice.  We wish to extend to our Jewish students, teachers, and family members our deepest sympathies and support.  And we pledge to stand with you, countering all violence with acts of solidarity, welcome, and inclusion.

This afternoon, we stand together with members of our Jewish family and we invite everyone who is able to meet in Campus Ministry.  Mr. DeMaria will lead our community in the Jewish prayer for mourning at 2:45, outside in the circle near our steps adjacent to the cafeteria.

Brother Thomas Gerrow—President

(Song used during Religion classes today as part of Opening of Class Prayer)

Amazing Saints

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday, 26 October 2018)

Good morning La Salle and De La Salle.

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

We began this week with morning prayer reflecting on some amazing saints, Saint John Paul II and Saint Oscar Romero. As we end the week (and the first quarter of the school year), I would like to share a story that continues with that theme and actually centers around our own founder, Saint John Baptist de La Salle.

On Monday afternoon, my son Kallan had his 3rd grade faith formation gathering at one of our local parishes. When I went back to pick him up at 5pm, I noticed Kallan had a piece of paper with him and I asked him what they learned in class. He told me that they learned about saints and that each child randomly picked a saint card to read and then complete the accompanying worksheet.  His eyes lit up as he showed me the saint he randomly received, sure enough, our very own Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Hopefully you are viewing that image right now in homeroom (I must say, his drawing of our founder is not too shabby either!)

He told me that he got it by accident, and what he meant was that is was simply a coincidence…However, I believe that while ordinary coincidences may in fact occur, I have come to find that those same coincidences are often-times God-incidences in disguise. Kallan went on to inform me that he shares the same birthday as our founder, April 30 (different years of course).  Quite a coincidence indeed…

During that faith formation session, Father Dave had asked the children, “What does it mean to be a saint?” I was not only proud of Kallan for answering Father Dave in a room of over 60 of his peers, but I was also extremely humbled by his response. Kallan’s definition of a saint is as follows: “someone who loves God.” I was struck by the wisdom of his response, in all its simplicity and clarity.

St Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that “all things work for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”

Sometimes it is hard to see how things will work out for the good and it can be equally challenging to see how the coincidences we experience may in fact be God speaking to us in our everyday lives.

I believe that’s what sets the saints apart, their recognition and acceptance of the fact that God loves us beyond measure and is very much at work in the minutiae of our everyday lives. And because of this, the only proper response is to love God back in return, through love and service to our neighbors, whether those neighbors reside in Krakow or El Salvador, Reims or Rhode Island.

So I guess the question for me to ponder today is this, “Do I love God with all my heart, all my mind, and all my being?” And if so, do I demonstrate that love for God by loving and serving my neighbors?

Let us pray…

Heavenly Father, thank you for the example of the holy men and women who shine your light and love into this world reminding us of your great love for each and every one of us. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity each and every day to love you in return by placing the needs of our fellows ahead of our own desires.  Help us to see Your merciful hand at work in the coincidences and events of our own lives, and to remember that all things work for the good when we trust in your great love for us.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.

Anthony Russo–Campus Minister



The Flow of Time

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 24 October 2018)

Good Morning.

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

Time.  “From the moment we enter this life, we are in the flow of it. We measure it – and we mark it, – but we cannot defy it. We cannot even speed it up or slow it down. – Or can we? Have we not each experienced the sensation that a beautiful moment seemed to pass too quickly and wished that we could make it linger? – Or felt time slow on a dull day and wished that we could speed things up a bit?”  This was a quote from the movie “The Illusionist.”  As the quarter comes to a close, I’d like you to consider what time means to you.

To me, I think one doesn’t need to look any further than the Bible.  I’d like you to consider these words from “The Book of Ecclesiastes.”  And remember, while there may only be so many hours in the day, which limits your time, you can always find a way to make time for the things that truly matter to you.  Let us pray using one of my favorite verses from “The Book of Ecclesiastes.”

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tare and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

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

Live Jesus in our hearts.  Forever

Jeff Miszkiewicz–English Teacher

There Is a Time For Everything Under the Sun

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday, 17 October 2018)

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

As a big sports fan, I can appreciate all the success Boston sports teams have had over the past two decades.  If you are old enough, you realize that this wasn’t always the case.

Scripture reminds us that there is a time for everything under the sun. Yes, a time to achieve the success of victory and championships, but also a time of subpar teams, disappointments, and so-called curses of a certain Bambino.

There is a time for opening night of a new season, such as for the Celtics last night, and a time for those October games at the tail end of a long season, like the Red Sox have been playing over the last two weeks.

At this time last year, Gordon Hayward suffered a horrific injury and began his year long process of rehab and recovery. Last night he stepped back on the court and resumed his NBA career. A time to heal and a time to start again.

As we may have also seen last night, there is a time to brace ourselves and take one for the team, and a time to swing for the fences in hopes of hitting a grand slam.

Our seniors know there is a time to complete college applications, and request letters of recommendations, but there will soon be a time to come back to La Salle, see some familiar faces and tell them how your first semester at college is going.

No matter what season we may be in, God is present with us at all times. Coming to know and really own this reality has transformed my attitude and outlook on life; perhaps you can also allow this reality to shape yours.

Let us pray,

Dear Lord, as we approach the end of this first quarter of the school year, help us to use the remaining time efficiently and do our best to finish with our best foot forward. Help us to remember that you go before us always, walk every step alongside us, and always have our back. Jesus, we trust in you.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

 Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Anthony Russo–Campus Minister


To See Christ in Every Person We Encounter

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday, 15 October 2018)

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

Relatively recently, we learned about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in my Civics courses. For those of you who may need a quick refresher, Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is the story about a prisoner of a dark cave who escapes and attains enlightenment after being able to see the sun.

This story begs quite a few questions, like how can I come to understand what is “the truth”? What “light” should I be looking for to find enlightenment?

Now, I acknowledge that I am far from “enlightenment” myself, but I do believe that we need to only look at the light in the eyes of those around us to get closer to “the truth.”

You see, you can look in someone’s eyes and see light of life in those eyes. To me, that light is Christ. You see, Christ lives in persons. He is not simply someone who lived thousands of years ago that we read about in books. Rather, He is alive now. As we Lasallians pray at the end of prayer, Jesus lives in our hearts. He is a part of every person, including you.

In fact, one of my patron Saints, St. Seraphim of Sarov, would greet every person he met by saying “Christ is Risen!” to remind himself and those around him that the Risen Lord lives in each of us. I keep a small icon of St. Seraphim on my desk in part as a reminder to try to see Christ in everyone I encounter. Even St. John Baptist de La Salle urged his teachers to see Christ in all of their students. Now, I am far from perfect in doing so, but I would say if we can work at remembering that our God is a living God, and we work at seeing the Light of Christ in all of those we encounter, and genuinely treat each other accordingly, maybe we get that much closer to understanding “the truth.”

Let us pray,

Dear Father, we thank you for blessing us with your Holy Spirit that dwells and lives within us all. Help us to see You in every person we encounter.  Amen.

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

Live Jesus in our hearts… Forever!

Nikolai Wojciechowski–Social Studies Teacher

“I Was Never Without an Identity As a ‘La Salle Boy'”

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 12 October 2018)

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen!

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

Yesterday the universal Catholic Church celebrated the feast day of Pope Saint John XXIII.  Referred to popularly as “Good” Pope John, he is best known for convening in the early 1960’s the 2nd Vatican Council, an event that continues to have a profound impact on the Catholic Church and the world.  However, less well-known about Pope John, Angelo Roncalli before his election as pope, is that for most of his life he was a Vatican diplomat whose warmth and charming personality led him to some of the most challenging assignments—Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey in the years leading up to and including World War II, a position that enabled him to save thousands of Jewish refugees, and France during the last years of the war and post-war years.  It was here in these countries that he met and befriended the Brothers of the Christian Schools who recognized his assistance to them in their mission of education by awarding him a letter of affiliation to their Institute.

A letter of affiliation is a very special and formal recognition extended by the Institute, through the Superior General and his Council, to those persons who have supported the Brothers in their work, not only through their service, but also through their professional, personal and fraternal relationship with them.  These individuals who identify with and show an appreciation of Lasallian spirituality over a long period of time and who have assisted the Institute in its Mission become honorary members of the Institute, Affiliated members, who may now use the initials AFSC (Affiliated Brother of the Christian Schools) after their name.

Tomorrow at a Mass and ceremony here at La Salle, our principal, Mr. Donald Kavanagh, will join this select group of Affiliated Brothers, like Pope Saint John XXIII and like our own Math teacher Mr. Michael McNamara.

Mr. Kavanagh once wrote that, from his days as a student here at La Salle, “I was never without an identity as a ‘La Salle boy’.”  In his years since that time he has served the Lasallian Mission for some 40 years, all but 10 of those years here as a teacher, coach, Senior Dean, Assistant Principal for Student Life, and Principal since the year 2000.  As a Lasallian he has championed those values that we associate with a Lasallian identity: faith, service, community.

His service is self-evident, not only because of the amount of time he has given to the Lasallian Mission, but more especially because of the quality of that service, be it reaching out to the marginalized through his championing of programs for those who need special help or being present to students and faculty in times of need.  Mr. Kavanagh is a man who recognizes the importance of creating a community of learners and teachers—with an open door policy and with his presence at almost all student and faculty events.  He is also a man who has incorporated Lasallian spirituality into his own personal spirituality.  In his own words: “Our spirituality of recalling that we are in the presence of God not only illuminates the reality which exists but also gives us hope in the reality that is coming.  Mindful that we live in God’s presence gives us the ability to be teachers who plant the seed of God, to be sowers without demanding the benefit of reaping.  It gives us the ability to be women and men of hope who keep telling the story of God….Our Lasallian spirituality means tuning-in to the nearness of God, the same nearness of God in which Jesus lived and worked….To live in God’s presence means to grasp the never-returning moment, to be wholly one with ourselves, and to be ready to bear the cross of the present.”

We Brothers are honored to call Mr. Kavanagh a “Brother” and we at La Salle are graced to be the recipient of his long-term commitment to the Lasallian Mission and to each of us.  When you see Mr. Kavanagh today, be sure to congratulate him on this honor, but more especially thank him for the life of faith, service and community he has shared and continues to share with us.

Let us pray:

We use the words of our Brother Superior General and his Council in Rome that can be found on the decree to be given tomorrow to Mr. Kavanagh: “May the Lord, in his goodness, confirm this Affiliation and, through the intercession of St. John Baptist de La Salle, shower you with his blessings.”  Amen.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…forever.

Brother Frederick Mueller, FSC

“Consult Not Your Fears…”

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

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

Yesterday, most of us here at La Salle spent our day focused on standards as we took the PSAT’s. Today I want to talk about a totally different kind of standard – not one that can be measured by filled in bubbles on an answer sheet, but one that is measured by our lives and what we do with it.

Today, we, Catholics, celebrate the feast day of Pope St. John XXIII of Vatican II fame. He was the mischievous son of a poor farmer who unexpectedly changed the world as we know it. I’m not going to tell you his life story – you can look him up on Wikipedia in a few minutes to find out who this Pope St. John XXIII was.

I do want to share with you though some words of his that inspire me:

“Consult not your fears, but your hopes and dreams.

Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential.

Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in but with what it is still possible for you to do.” (Pope St. John XXIIII).

Powerful words from a humble man.

Let me ask you – how often do your fears guide your thoughts and actions? (Pause) How often do you focus on your failings instead of focusing on the infinite potential that you possess? (Pause)

My challenge for you – really for all of us – today is to take one concrete step towards pursuing one of your dreams, no matter how much fear you experience in the process.

Let us pray:

Lord God, we are creatures who are often led by fear.

Dispel the fear from our hearts today so that – like Pope St. John XXIII – we may flourish as human beings and achieve our dreams. Amen.


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

Pope St. John XXIII … pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts … forever.

Charles da Silva–Religion Teacher

The Most “High-Stakes” Standard of All

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday, 10 October 2018)

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

Standards are everywhere.  The PSAT that you will take today, along with the SAT and ACT that many of you will take as part of your college application process, attempts to describe your academic ability with a number.  The scores you see every time you log on to PlusPortals describe the outcome of your hard work in classes and at home with another number. If you play a sport, your personal statistics can be used to compare you to other athletes.  If you use a fitness tracker, yet another number flashing at you from your wrist or phone tells you whether you’re on track to hit the recommended 10,000 steps per day. The number of people who react to your social media posts even gives you a way to rate your social standing with a number.   You don’t need me to tell you that the world gives you so many ways to ask yourself, “Am I measuring up?”

The most haunting standards of all, though, might be the ones that are not numerical, because no matter how the world tries, we here at La Salle know that a person is so much more than just a number.  Our true worth is found in the way we live our lives, in our words, and in our actions toward others. In the account of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, Christ urges us, “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you […] For if you love those who love you […] what more are you doing than others?  You, therefore, must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” You might be taking a so-called “high stakes test” today, but the way we live our lives is the most “high stakes” standard of all.

Trying to meet all of these standards is, to put it simply, a lot.   Trying to meet all of the standards swirling around you can be overwhelming, and the failure to meet these standards, whether a perceived failure or a real failure, can be devastating.  Of course, it is important to have goals, to put your best effort into meeting them, and to strive each day to be the best version of yourself. But it’s also important to give yourself permission to be satisfied with what you have done, to resolve to do a better job next time without dwelling on how you did this time, and to allow yourself to be happy with yourself exactly the way you are – right now.

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father,

Sustain us in our efforts to both work toward our own goals and to do your will for us today and every day.  Amen.

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

Live Jesus in our Hearts, Forever.

Lia Wahl–Math Teacher

In the Footsteps of Christ

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 3 October 2018)

We pause and remember that we are always in the Holy presence of God.

I once heard a story of a man who fell down a cliff, but before falling to his certain death, he was able to grab hold of a limb protruding from the side of the cliff. As he gripped the limb with all his might, he looked up to the heavens and said, “Is anybody up there?” The man heard a calm voice from the top of the cliff, “Do not worry my child. It is God.” The man said, “Help me!” God replied, “All you have to do is let go.” There was a long pause. The man looked down at the steep precipice he was on, and yelled back, “Is there anyone else up there?”

Sometimes we’re sure we’re living lives of faith by going to Mass on the weekend and being, in general, a nice person, but when it comes time to actually do the work of the Church, we pick and choose from the path of Christ because, after all, it’s a difficult road and we’re too busy, or we need to do this one thing, and pretty soon we’re sliding down the cliff.

So what path will we follow? Will we be the one who takes every opportunity to make a real sacrifice for the poor or for those whose lives someone is threatening to destroy? Or to take time to listen to another’s troubles and to pray for them? Do we really believe when we pray, like the woman who knew she only had to touch the hem of Christ’s cloak? What is it that we value?

In Harry Potter’s, “The Sorcerer’s Stone”, Dumbledore points out in this quote:

“You know, Harry, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all– the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”

C.S. Lewis once said, “To have Faith in Christ means, of course, trying to do all that He says. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a just reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”

Let us be proud of the actions we’ve made because we have followed in the footsteps of Christ.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, help guide our compass to follow the path Your Son laid out for us in His life. Despite the rockiness of the journey, help us to let go of control and trust in Jesus, follow what we know He would want, –and always trust in God when we’re on a cliff.

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

Live Jesus in our hearts -forever!

Leslie Martinelli—Science Teacher