A novena (from the Latin: novem, nine) is a traditional Catholic practice of persevering in prayer for nine specific days for a particular need or blessing. The designation of nine days recalls the biblical report of there being nine days between the day of the Ascension (the return of the risen Jesus to heaven) and Pentecost (the promised coming of Holy Spirit to bless the apostles and early disciples of the Lord to begin the Church).
This novena of prayers for the Lasallian Family invites us to pray for nine days:
1. For our Lasallian teachers
2. For all the students at our school and their families
3. For the Christian Brothers
4. For our Lasallian brothers and sisters in the Twin Cities
5. For Lasallians serving in developing nations
6. For the leaders of the Lasallian World
7. For a Lasallian spirit
8. For the Christian Brothers who have died
9. For our calling (vocation) in life
Day One: For our Lasallian teachers
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
hear our prayer as we begin our novena for vocations for our Lasallian Family.
We thank you for calling John Baptist de La Salle to found a new religious family in the Church for the human and Christian education of young people throughout the world, especially those who are poor and marginalized.
We thank you for the example and the work of the founding Brothers of the Institute and of this Midwest District of the Christian Brothers;
for the Brothers who have been declared Saints;
for all Brothers who have served DeLaSalle High School;
and for its staff and teachers today, Brothers and Lasallian colleagues partnering together –helping us become the persons God has dreamt us to be.
We thank you, God Almighty, for all these people.
They help to make this a very special school,
a real community that can feel like home for us.
We ask you, through the intercession of St. John Baptist de La Salle,
to strengthen our teachers and everyone who works at our school, that they will give their very best to us each day.
We pray this in thanks and with hope. Amen.
Day Two: For all students at our school and their families
Most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
we call on you today to bless all students at our school;
bless their families, too.
Help our homes be places of trust and hope, peace and love,
just as your home must have been.
We pray for families who are hurting right now because of loneliness, arguments, unemployment, addictions, divorce or death; Lord, send them the help they need.
Send us the heavenly and earthly guardian angels that our families need to find healing and a return of happiness.
Give our parents, grandparents, and guardians the wisdom to know how to love and how to be fair. Inspire us to be the positive sons and daughters who will make our parents proud. Amen.
Day Three: For the Christian Brothers
Dear Jesus, our Divine Brother,
we thank you for the Christian Brothers who serve our school community today,
and for the dozens who have done so since our school opened in 1900.
Each, in his own way, has tried to offer his time and talent so that our school community may be stronger and richer in so many ways.
You, Lord, have called each Brother to be a man of prayer,
always aware of God’s presence and ready to fulfill St. John Baptist de La Salle’s advice to pray for one’s students every day.
Each has tried his best to live his vows with simplicity, love with a generosity of soul, and listen with his heart to the will of God in his regard.
Bless these men as they serve God by serving God’s people through the ministry of education. Amen.
Day Four: For our Lasallian brothers and sisters in the Twin Cities
Beloved De La Salle, you who started this Lasallian family of schools and related ministries,
we remember students in the schools around the Twin Cities who have been inspired by the your heritage.
Pray with us today, Holy Founder, for the students at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, at Totino-Grace in Fridley, at Holy Family in Victoria, and at San Miguel in south Minneapolis.
We lift our voices in unified prayer for we all
value prayer that calls us to remember that we are in holy presence of God;
we value service that shows others in need that we care about them;
we value education that develops our God-given talents.
Give us the gift of faith that helps us believe in you, O God.
Give us zeal, that is, the enthusiasm, the energy to do good with our lives.
In whatever school we find ourselves, we are proud to call ourselves young Lasallians, walking in the footsteps of St. John Baptist de La Salle and
declaring “Live, Jesus, in our hearts. Forever!” Amen.
Day Five: For Lasallians serving in developing nations
Jesus, Light of the World,
you sent your apostles out two-by-two to spread your teachings and to pray for people and heal them in your name.
Today, there are Lasallian teachers, the Brothers and their colleagues, in 83 countries around the world. Strengthen them, O Lord, with the spiritual hope and the practical help they need to bring education, a key to a better life, to those who would have little schooling otherwise.
We are amazed when we hear stories of their courage and generosity.
(Pause to name missionaries you know about and where they are serving.)
Help us to know how we can help their ministry.
Help us to give our time, talent, and treasure to do so. We pray this in your name. Amen.
Day Six: For the leaders of the Lasallian World
Son of God, You who are the Way, and the Truth and the Life,
living according to your teachings is not always easy.
We need others to guide us and inspire us to goodness.
Lasallian leaders, inspired by the life of St. John Baptist de LaSalle, show us your Way.
Bless the leaders in our Lasallian world: student leaders in Lasallian Ministry and Student Council, sport captains for our teams, benefactors, board members and administrators for our high school, the Brother Superior in Rome, province leaders and local community directors for the Christian Brothers around the world.
Help all these people to serve others as you served, Jesus –as a brother, a trusted friend eager to touch hearts.
Please, Lord, make our leaders like brothers and sisters who touch the hearts of the people they serve. Amen.
Day Seven: For a Lasallian spirit
Holy Spirit, Divine Presence in the World, Source of Seven Gifts,
at confirmation we sought your blessing of wonder and awe, knowledge, courage, understanding, wisdom, right judgement, and reverence;
in addition, as Lasallians, we pray now for your gifts of faith and zeal.
These two virtues name the spirit, or charism, of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
St. John Baptist de La Salle was a man of great faith and zeal: faith because he believed deeply that you, O God, were indeed present in our world, and zeal because he worked with great enthusiasm for the Christian education of youth, especially the children of the poor.
Help us, God, to appreciate the gifts that you have bestowed on us;
may we use these gifts to make a better world for all. Amen.
Day Eight: For the Brothers who have died
you led St. John Baptist de La Salle from one commitment to another so that he might establish Christian schools and form our Society to conduct them.
His final words to the Brothers were, “I adore in all things the will of God in my regard.” Over the years, thousands of Brothers have lived their lives following St. La Salle.
They each have tried to follow God’s will faithfully and generously.
They had tried to serve God well by serving people well.
Many of us have parents, grandparents and other relatives who were taught by Christian Brothers who now have passed on to their eternal reward.
May they –for their tireless dedication– each be blessed eternally with peace,
now seeing from heaven the good lives their students have lived on earth. Amen.
Day Nine: For our calling in life
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
we pause to remember that husbands and wives make public vows of faithfulness to each other; that priests promise obedience to their bishop in the name of service to you, Lord; that religious sisters and brothers declare publicly that they will live simply in order to share more with others in need, loving others with the love that Jesus had for all people.
In many forms of Christian living, people solemnly vow to love and share and listen to others and to God’s will. These declarations are taken seriously because they shape lives and put energies into focus.
Help us hear with our hearts how you, God, want us to live our lives.
Bless us, when the time comes, so that we can speak the same sincere commitment, whichever one fit us best. Amen.