When the DeLaSalle community — students, teachers, administrators and staff — were invited to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, we not only began the 40-day season of Lent, but we also began a 40-day opportunity to reflect on our lives, to be renewed in our goal to become better people for others, to become more faithful to the Good News of the Gospel. Throughout this holy season, our community has taken advantage of a multitude of opportunities to live out this Gospel message in practical ways and within day-to-day routines in school and out.
The traditions of almsgiving, fasting, and prayer are certainly part of our school’s traditions as a Catholic and Lasallian school, but at DeLaSalle, we hope all the more that the personal and spiritual growth available for all of us will be made real in how we live our lives beyond a single Lenten season. As our prayer theme for 2018-19 reminds us, “Be Strong and Courageous for God is Always With You!”
Prayer and Worship
Prayer is central to how DeLaSalle operates every day — with prayer before every class, before lunch, before meetings, assemblies, and events. “Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.” Prayer is also a centerpiece of how we take time and devote intentional thought to the observation of Lent. The entire school community gathered in the Florance Center March 6 to begin the season with Ash Wednesday Mass. Throughout Lent, teachers of Theology classes have led their classes to the school Chapel in Christian Brothers’ Hall for prayerful reflection. The Lasallian Ministry Office has organized a series of prayers for reflection on how we are living our lives and how we may commit to becoming better people for others.
School chaplain, Fr. Bruno Nwachukwu, who is on campus one day each week, has offered Mass at 8:00am each Tuesday in Lent. Masses resume after Spring Break and are scheduled for April 9 and 16.
The school community will gather again one more time for a liturgy on Holy Thursday, as we begin the Easter Triduum, the three-day period that recognizes Christ’s Passion and lead up to his Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
And, as it does once a month, the DeLaSalle Parents in Prayer group meets to lift up the school community in prayer. All parents, family members, friends, and alumni are welcome to participate. The group prays over prayer requests that are submitted to prayer boxes located in the Main Office, Lasallian Ministry office, or Theology classrooms. Students, staff, families, and friends at DeLaSalle should feel encouraged by the knowledge that people care about them, are excited for them and are praying for them.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
One of the ways we celebrate Lent at DeLaSalle is by offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation to students, an opportunity for students to assess and atone for their sins and negative behaviors. Students in each grade level have traveled to nearby St. Boniface Catholic Church in northeast Minneapolis to participate in a practice that brings us closer to God. In addition to the communal opportunity for students and staff to pray and/or reflect together, Fr. Bruno and other priests have been present to administer the sacrament for students who make that choice, or to simply meet with and give counsel to any student seeking reconciliation in their lives.
Fasting and Spiritual Growth
Consistent with Catholic Church teaching about abstinence from meat, meatless options are served in the DeLaSalle Cafe on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent. The symbolic nature of fasting and sacrifice helps lead one to an honest self-assessment of what is truly lasting and important, and hopefully spurs change for the better. All are encouraged to consider “giving up” something that has proven a hindrance in their relationships with God and with each other, and/or “doing something good” to improve interactions in their lives. Many students have made these choices in this season. Some examples would include the students who have chosen to stay off social media or change their social patterns, or others who are volunteering and serving in their churches or neighborhoods. Others are purposefully spending more quality time with family and/or friends, or becoming more aware about offering simple acts of kindness toward classmates or others
DeLaSalle forms its students for adult lives of service to their community. Students and staff regularly serve the afternoon meal, for example, to those served by Sharing & Caring Hands. One particular service project occurred March 20, when 40 ninth grade students took time to fill 600 plastic Easter eggs with candy that will be donated to Mary’s Place, a program of Sharing and Caring Hands. The eggs will eventually make their way to the Easter baskets of children living at Mary’s Place, making their celebration of Easter that much brighter.
Read more about Lent from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops