God’s Presence Through the Eyes of Faith

Good morning La Salle and De La Salle.

Let us remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God:

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this out loud, but last Friday morning, while driving to Lasalle Academy for our first day of school, I felt… well, I felt “lonely.” I felt a strange sensation of absence, in my mind and heart. You see, for the past 15 years, I’ve always driven to school with one of my four children who were Lasalle students in grades 7-12, depending on the school year. And each daughter or son brought a different perspective to the car-ride in to school each morning.

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Fifteen years ago, in August 2004, Christina (my oldest daughter) and I started La Salle Academy together. Mr. Kavanagh and Br. Michael had hired me in late August that year to teach religion. Christina was intending to go to Classical High School in Providence, but Mr. Aldrich was able to find Christina a spot in the freshman class at the last minute, when a student dropped out of La Salle after one day of freshman orientation.  It was great to have a 14-year old daughter (my personal insider) to compare notes with each day, as we shared our struggles and triumphs as student and teacher, in a school that was new for both of us.

My second daughter, Marianna who is 4 years younger, drove me nuts on the ride in. She is the most style-conscious of my children. She soon realized that dad’s 7-passenger white GMC Safari maxi-van, with the large V8 engine and extra towing capacity (imagine in your mind the big white electrician or plumber’s cargo van, but without the writing on the side) couldn’t compete with the fancy cars that her friends came to school in. After a month, she made me drop her off at the iron gate by the tennis courts, so none of her friends would see her arriving with her dad in the ugly white “cargo van”. A month later, I was dropping her off farther away from the school property at Subway and by Thanksgiving, she was abandoning ship at Lasalle Bakery. She simply didn’t want to be seen driving in with me. It wasn’t long after, that we traded in our white GMC Safari for a grey Honda Odyssey. Merry Christmas Mari.

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At least my daughters got out the front door of our house by 7:20am. My sons, John and James, were impossible to wake up in the morning. John would always forget something at home-usually his sneakers and gym clothes on gym day, and we’d have to turn around and retrieve whatever he forgot. And then there was my youngest son.  For four years, James would never want to talk to me because he was so moody. We tried listening to Sports talk-radio on the way in, but typically Toucher and Rich, and Greg Hill would start veering off onto inappropriate topics, so the morning news on NPR at 89.7 FM would win out. Sorry James. Our four years of morning misery finally ended last June with his graduation from La Salle Academy. He’s a freshman at Providence College and he’s no longer by my side each morning.

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Anyways, this got me thinking this past Friday. Who or what will fill the void in the front passenger seat, now that all of my children are out of high school? Well, I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to invite God to drive in to school we me every morning. And maybe before I even turn on the motor, I’ll say to myself, “Let me remember that I am in the holy presence of God.” And then I’ll sit in silence in my driveway-with no radio on, just me and God.

And that got me to thinking about what we teachers do, 5 or 6 times each day, at the beginning of every class. What does that mean, to recognize that we are in God’s holy presence? Over 300 years ago, John Baptist De La Salle taught the Christian Brothers to take the following approach, every time they heard these words:

“I will be conscious that I live in the holy presence of a God who is inviting me into a deeper personal relationship.”

This presence then, is a relational presence. As if God were next to me in the front seat, interested in my every thought. Secondly, De La Salle believed that,

“God, in his presence, is inviting me to be transformed into God’s holiness.”

In other words, God promises to change me for the better, to make me holier during the school day. And this miracle happens everyday because you– you my students, you my fellow teachers and you the La Salle staff, will help me to see God’s presence through the Eyes of Faith. And because God is riding shot-gun, giving me direction in my life, I know that any delays, obstacles, or side streets on the journey of life, are a part of God’s divine plan, God’s Providence. So even though you can’t see God, rest assured God is there. God wants to be present in your life. And unlike my daughter, I know that God won’t bail on me when we reach La Salle Bakery.

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Let us pray: 

Loving God, we thank you for your loving presence every hour of every day. Help us to see you with the Eyes of Faith; give us the courage to enter more deeply into a personal relationship with you this school year. Help us to recognize the indwelling of your Holy Spirit in each person we meet here in our school community. Jesus our brother, promise us that you will always be by our side. May we recognize your presence whenever you carry us home, even when we are unable to recognize your footprints at our side.

St. John Baptist de La Salle, PRAY FOR US

Live Jesus in our Hearts, FOREVER!

Morning Prayer- Sept. 3, 2019 – Religion Teacher:  Mr. David Martinez

“Be The Change . . .”

Good Morning LaSalle and DeLaSalle

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

I had a few ideas bouncing around in my head for prayer this morning.  First, I thought I wanted to talk about time management skills (or my lack thereof) ……. but then I was thinking about reflecting on my role as a parent (but I’d probably cry)…..so, I landed on the ideas of birthday’s.

In case you did not know, my birthday was Monday….and honestly, I love my birthday!

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No, not because my sister and mother in law call me and sing happy birthday……and no, not because my children give me hand written cards that bring tears to my eyes and no, not because I am off dinner and school lunch patrol for the day……..though those things are all great and they make me feel special, I love my birthday mostly because on the day I was born, the world changed.

That seems like a really big statement.   But I believe it to be true.   On the day I was born, the world changed……for my parents…..for my grandparents….for other family members.   Later on when I went to school for the first time……..the world changed for my teachers.   When I made friends, the world changed for them.  Each and every time I interact with anyone, the world changes.  I am creating experience and change along the path I lead…..along the life I live.     This has become more prominent as I get older and events change my world.  When my children were born, my world changed…….because YOU were born, MY world is changed.   And the very seat we sit in today would not be possible without the birth of our founder St. John Baptist de LaSalle.

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The idea of change seems to be the theme this year.   See, before students arrive back at school for the year, the faculty have a retreat of their own.  This year, we were encouraged to write or draw something that personally motivated us on a rock.  The rocks were collected to be distributed during our faculty liturgy.   Having a hard time making decisions, I asked Ms. Sanga to choose a rock for me.  That was the rock you see on your screen today.  BE THE CHANGE.

So for everyone listening this morning because of your birth you have changed your parents world, you have changed your friends world, you have changed my world.   Here at Lasalle Academy you have the ability to go serve…….to go change the world.

So…..since you changed the world when you born……I challenge you to continue to change the world and to BE THE CHANGE you want to see.


Let us pray –

Lord, thank you for gift of life.  Thank you for allowing us all to walk together and make change in the world with your teachings.  We thank you for each other and for your guidance along our paths.  We ask that you grant us the wisdom and courage to change the world for the better in all we say and do.

St. John Baptist de LaSalle………….pray for us

Live Jesus in our hearts…….forever.

Morning prayer      9/25/19

Math Teacher:  Mrs. Erica Napolitano

Find the strength to resist temptations – RED RIBBON WEEK

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

In Matthew Chapter 26, verse 41, its says “Stay awake and pray that you won’t be tested. You want to do what is right, but you are weak.”  Although this is a simple verse, its speaks about the many temptations that we are faced with from day to day.  In the simplest terms, resisting temptation is not easy. The media, peer pressure, and the desire to fit in are three major forms of temptation, all of which we experience many times per day.  Also, many of these things that we are tempted to try are readily available at a moment’s notice, increasing the difficulty to resist. Though there are many things pointing towards giving in to temptation, God points towards enduring.  In Romans Chapter 5, it says, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” As we reflect upon making good decisions through this red ribbon week, understand that resisting temptation is no easy feat, and that the reward for doing so is greater than that of giving in. 

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Let us pray,

Dear Lord, please help us to find the strength to resist temptations as we approach Halloween and the holiday season.  Guide us as we are faced with tough decisions, and lead us to make the right choices. Help us as we stumble along our path, and keep our focus on You, Lord.  

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Saint John Baptist De La Salle …….Pray for us

Live Jesus in our hearts …….Forever!

Morning Prayer October 30, 2019 –

“Walk a mile in my shoes…”

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

I ask you to spend a moment and check out the shoes on the person in front of you, how about the person behind you, now look to your right, now look to your left, how about looking at your own pair of shoes. It’s okay to giggle and it’s okay to feel awkward in this very moment. Maybe the shoes looked similar, maybe they were the same brand (most likely Sperrys) or maybe the same color… one thing I know for sure is the miles that these shoes have walked are unique to the person wearing them.

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There’s a famous quote that says “Walk a mile in my shoes… see what I see, hear what I hear, feel what I feel, love what I love, then maybe you’ll understand why I do what I do”. The person behind you has a story where they see things differently than you because of their life experiences. The person in front of you has a story of why they hear things a certain way because of the life they have lived. The person to the right of you feels things differently because of the journey their life has taken them on.

Every now and then we need to take a step back and realize that the person to the left of us may be wearing the same brand shoes or maybe ones that are not our style at all, but they walk a different road and do things a bit differently because God made them that way. When we understand that each person loves differently, we have taken the first step towards loving God. 

Let us pray…

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Loving God, you remind us that we are standing on holy ground. We ask you to be a beacon of peace in our lives as we remember each individual was created in your image and likeness and each person travels a different route on this journey of life. May we always know that no matter the style of shoes we wear just like you and I, every pair of shoes has a story. 

Saint John Baptist de La Salle . . . Pray for Us

Live Jesus in our Hearts . . . Forever


Prayer offered by Ms. Katie Haidemenos, Director of Campus Ministry 10/25/19