Women—All Are Meant To Shine

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 8 March 2019—International Women’s Day)

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

As Victoria mentioned on Tuesday, this month is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women throughout history, along with celebrating things like Pi Day (for my math people), St. Patrick’s Day (for my Irish friends), and even Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day.  But today, March 8th, has been marked as International Women’s Day. I’m going to read a short passage from the International Women’s Day website, because it’s written better than anything I would have come up with on my own.

“Throughout ancient and modern history, women have collaborated and lead purposeful action to redress inequality in the hope of a better future for their communities, their children, and themselves. Whether through bold, well-documented action or through humble resistance that never made it into the history books, women have united for equality and achievement forever.”

The first officially named International Women’s Day event was held in 1911, and still to this day, International Women’s Day is a powerful platform that celebrates the achievements of and drives action for women. As I was thinking about this prayer, I started to think of all the important women that have been a part of my life:

My sister, Erin, whom I wished for so badly as a little girl, and who always shows me the true meaning of hard work and dedication.

My friends: Jackie, who has the kindest heart; Kelsey, who is the quickest to jump in if I need help and is always down to cause a little trouble; Casey, who can make me laugh, even after the worst of days; and, Angie, who challenges me to step out of my comfort zone.

My Nan and my Noni, who lovingly took care of me when I was younger, and who always had the best snacks, as most grandmothers do. And my mom, who showed me the importance of education and who will always be my best teacher.

So I ask you to think about a woman or women in your life. Does she inspire you? Does she support you? Does she challenge you to be a better human? How can you show that you value her? Do you say that you love her enough? What can you do to lift her up?

Show her.
Tell her.

And so we pray…Let us remember that we are powerful beyond measure. As humans, we are more frightened by the light within us than the darkness. Playing small does not serve the world. We were all meant to shine, and that light isn’t just within some of us; everyone possesses it. As we let our light become visible, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. Guide us to always choose light over darkness.

St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Morgan Kane–Mathematics Teacher

The Invisibility of Poverty

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Monday morning, 11 March 2019—Poverty Awareness Week)

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

I know a woman named Agnes at my church who runs a group with a simple purpose.  They keep their eyes and ears open for local people who need things, and then they do whatever they can to get those things for those people.

The things people need can be many and varied.  Sometimes, we need nutritious food or toiletries or help paying our bills.  Sometimes we need someone to talk to during a tough time.  Sometimes we need help finding a new job, childcare, or transportation. The people in Agnes’s group are able to find ways to meet these needs by always keeping their eyes on the big picture and connecting people who can help each other.  This sounds simple and not particularly glorious, but their simple, dedicated work can mean the world to someone who needs help.

From time to time, in fact, I think they work miracles.  I heard a story about a woman they helped who had become homeless and, as a result, three of her children were in the custody of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families while she stayed with a friend.  She had a source of income and had managed to find a new apartment, but she didn’t have enough money for the deposit and she also lacked most basic furnishings.  Also, she needed to get all of those things in 3 days in order to be reunited with her children.  After an untold number of phone calls and the involvement of many, many people, Agnes’s group convinced the woman’s future landlord to accept a smaller deposit that she could afford, found a number of people with extra furniture they were happy to give, and even found someone with a pickup truck to help with the move.  The story ended happily, with a reunited family and a fresh start.

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Agnes speak about her group at a fundraiser.  She quoted St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, which famously tells us that followers of Christ form “one body with many parts.”  The success of her group depends not on one person, but on the work of all the members together.  St. Paul goes on to say that “God has placed each part in the body just as He wanted it to be.”  The success of her group also depends on each member being in a certain place, with a certain gifts or talent, at a certain time.  One person’s kind and open heart makes them the person that another person thinks to call immediately when they realize someone needs help.  Another person knows someone with an extra twin bed.  Another person’s easy, calming conversational style makes them awesome at comforting the sick or asking tough questions about someone’s financial situation.  The list goes on and on.

This week is Poverty Awareness Week at La Salle.  Throughout the course of the week, we will gain a deeper understanding of the many different types of poverty that plague our neighbors, both locally and globally.  One thing I hope we will understand more deeply this week, is that no matter what type of poverty a person is experiencing, whether related to spiritual suffering or household income, extreme or relatively mild, one of the biggest problems related to poverty is its invisibility.  It is so easy for the poverty of others, even those in our own neighborhoods, to be invisible because we choose not to see it.  More than anything else, I think the remarkable thing about Agnes’s group is that they make a conscious choice every day to see the needs of other people, respond to them, and help others see them, too.  This week, I pray that we will all do the same.

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

Live Jesus in our Hearts – Forever.

Lia Wahl–Mathematics Teacher