As the three Wise Men left their homes, lost in search of the baby Jesus, they were guided by a star, the Star of Bethlehem. Where many people would not recognize this star, the faith of the Wise Men allowed the star to illuminate their path and guide their steps. Upon reaching Bethlehem, the baby Jesus was unrecognizable to many; a poor child, born to a poor family– faith allowed the Wise Men to recognize the Messiah.
This star is the central image on the crest of the Institute of the Christian Brothers, called the Signum Fidei or the “Sign of Faith.” Faith is the center of this crest and the center of our Lasallian education.
We are reminded of our faith at the beginning of every class when we recite our Lasallian prayer: “Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.” The brilliance of this prayer is to see deeper than the obvious. This prayer, recited in every Lasallian classroom around the world, reminds us that we are always led by our faith in God– that God is always with us, never needing to be called– we must simply “remember” that we are ALWAYS in His presence. More importantly, this short prayer reminds us that when we are in the presence of our students, we are in the presence of God himself. “Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.” Every class period we are reminding ourselves and our students that we are all created in God’s image. This context provides the philosophy and the uniqueness of a Lasallian education. It is our faith that allows us to look at the faces in front of us and see the face of God. Like the path of the Wise Men, our faith in God is the star that illuminates all that we do.
Our faith was most recently on display at the Mother-Son Communion Breakfast when Mrs. Lucy Paris gave a heartfelt reflection on her son David, CBA class of 2016. Lucy inspired the entire crowd, of roughly 350 CBA community members, with her story of faith during David’s heart complications at birth. In her words, in a time of great fear, she faithfully “gave David to the Blessed Mother who returned David healthy and healed.”
A few weeks ago, we were able to witness God through the talents of our students involved with William Shakespeare’s Friends and Enemies. The cast included: Dana Tuohey (Everyman); Bridget Cain (Speed); Ethan Tanguay (Valentine, Romeo); Madison Scheer (Silvia); Marielle LaBerge (Julia); Molly Sweeney (Lucetta); Emily Rivito (Portia); Kate Benware (Nerissa); Kyle Huyn (Benvolio, Malvolio); Isabel O’Brien (Mercutio); Brennan Carman (Cardinal Wolsey, Falstaff); Sean Brown (King Henry VIII); Rose Collins (Queen Katharine); Julie Santee (Norfolk); Rachel Tanguay (Rosencrantz); Chiara Corey (Guildenstern); Tommy O’Connor (Hamlet); Samantha Burnett (Prince Henry); Nikita Sharkey (Mistress Quickly, Olivia); Daniel Kelly (King Henry IV); and Olivia Moffa (Viola).
On November 13th, during a time when evil could have overshadowed the faith in our lives by the events in Paris, I received an email from one of our students, junior Summer Mills. In her lengthy email, instead of expressing anger and frustration, Summer proposed love and support. The day after the Paris attacks, Summer submitted a proposal comprised of ten ideas describing how CBA could show its support for Paris. In seemingly international despair, Summer saw hope and faith.
“We wanted underclassmen to feel welcomed and accepted, even though they were younger,” Peer Minister co-leader Clare Pierret said. “By being more approachable, we hoped that the CBA community would be more like the family that it truly is.”
Co-leader Geoff Parkes described the relationship that the seniors wanted to create with the seventh grade class.
“They (the seniors) did more than just be approachable and kind to the seventh graders,” Parkes shared. “They planted the seed of friendship, which will grow over the year as the seniors get to know their Buddies!”
These words rang true, as just a few weeks ago, senior Lexi Luthringer, nearly teary eyed, announced down the hallway, “MR. KEOUGH…. My seventh grade buddy just ran up to me and gave me a hug!”
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God…..
Brothers’ Insight is written by Principal Matt Keough. It will be published on the website at the end of each marking period.