Good morning. Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of a loving God.
Last week, I was asked to participate in a video for the Alumni Office here at La Salle. They asked me to answer a pretty simple question but one that could have many answers: Why La Salle? For some of us, we chose La Salle because our parents, grandparents, or siblings went here before us. My dad graduated in 1984, and after growing up hearing stories of his time at La Salle, I decided at a certain point that I wanted to make La Salle stories of my own. But I’ve found that the most rewarding part of being Lasallian goes deeper than getting hyped at a football game, going to Harvest Ball, or dressing up with your friends during spirit week. The most rewarding part of being Lasallian is being connected with a worldwide network of people that love you unconditionally. I see this every time I meet someone who went to or goes to a Lasallian school, whether that be a judge, a politician, or even a small boy in rural Montana. Each of them could tell you their own unique stories, and the reasons why they came to choose La Salle.
Our Lasallian community extends to over 80 countries throughout the world, consisting of over 2,000 Christian brothers and 88,000 laypeople, not to mention the millions of Lasallian students educated worldwide. 700 of these students live in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and attend the St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle school there. Historically, Haiti has been a place ravaged by immense poverty and socioeconomic despair, especially due to the natural disasters that seem to occur there on a regular basis. This Lasallian school in Port-au-Prince stands as a beacon of hope for roughly 700 students and their families, but, as you can expect, their resources are limited. Their school runs almost entirely on donations from the worldwide Lasallian network, especially our school here in Providence.
As some of you may know, this week is Haiti solidarity week. Tomorrow and Friday will be “dress down” days in an effort to raise money for this school within our Lasallian network. This year, our goal is $9,625. If each one of us donates anywhere in between $5 and $10, we will surpass our goal, allowing for the purchase of student desks, teacher desks, a portable sound system, everyday educational supplies, and scholarship funds. By simply finding a pair of $5 bills on the floor of your car or in a couch cushion at home, you could change the entire year of a Lasallian in need. Reassure the students in Haiti that no matter how many obstacles are thrown their way, they will always have a worldwide system of unwavering support. Please, please donate.
Let us pray. Heavenly Father, keep Lasallians in Haiti, Providence, and across the world in the palm of Your hand. Help us to appreciate the opportunities and blessings You offer us every day, and to never take for granted how lucky we are to be Lasallian. Guide us to recognize our “why” in the world, and teach us to live as de La Salle lived: humbly, faithfully, and lovingly. Amen.
St. John Baptiste de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.
Neil D’Attelo, Class of 2021