>> lem >> saint mary's college high school // lasallian prayer and sacramental life
Let us remember ... that we are in the Holy Presence of God.
God calls and we answer. How do we respond to the living presence of God in our students, in our community, and in our world?
We begin each school day and each class with a prayer inspired by our Lasallian Catholic tradition. We call to mind the presence of God, we invite a moment of silence or engage in a brief reflection, and we recommit to our call to holiness. We ask for the intercession of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, and we conclude with a vigorous affirmation inviting Jesus to live in our hearts. Our Lasallian formula for prayer comes directly from Saint John Baptist de La Salle, and appears in printed form as early as 1696.
The Eucharistic liturgy, as the Second Vatican Council reminds us, is the source and the summit of our Catholic life. We are blessed to have Father Jayson Landeza, a priest of the Diocese of Oakland, Saint Maryís College High School graduate of the class of 1979, and current member of the Board of Trustees, as our school chaplain.
Mass of the Holy Spirit
Our first school-wide liturgical gathering is the Mass of the Holy Spirit, which is a continuation of an old tradition that began in the great European universities during the Middle Ages. During this celebration, we are especially mindful of the traditions we have inherited and we look to this tradition for wisdom to guide the present as we prepare for the future.
Solemnity of All Saints
Saints are those people who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. People of every race, language, and walk of life who have journeyed our journey, and walked the same road we walk recognized Godís presence at work in their lives. Saints served others in need, they stood up for their beliefs, and some even to the point of death. Our school-wide celebration of the Solemnity of All Saints is a reminder that we too are called to live the Good News of Godís love, justice, and joy.
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
We honor Mary, the first disciple of Jesus, on this solemnity. God calls us to follow the example of Mary, after whom our school is named. Under her patronage, we are inspired to live a life of holiness, we are called to recognize the dignity and worth of the lives of others and our own, and we are challenged to stand up for those who are oppressed. On this day, we take inspiration from the Magnificat, the song that Mary sang as a canticle of praise.
Feast of Saint John Baptist de La Salle (Founderís Day)
We celebrate Founderís Day on the last day of our Founderís Week, typically in the middle of May. Saint Maryís College High School exists today because of the vision of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and the Institute of the Brothers of the Christians School. Over three hundred years ago, Saint La Salle responded to the needs of the poor around him. His actions were a response to his faith in God. Our school community, and many others around the world, is the direct beneficiary of that response.
This culminating Eucharistic celebration for the senior graduating class and their families reminds the community of their responsibility to carry forward all that they have learned at Saint Maryís College High School. As the graduating students leave the halls and grounds of our school, they do so in pursuit of a life of virtue and scholarship and eventually assume societal roles of responsibility and service. We give thanks and praise to God for the gift of education.
Ecumenical Prayer Services
These prayer services are ecumenical and non-Eucharistic in orientation. As such, students belonging to other Christian denominations or other faith traditions are honored for the diversity that they bring to enrich our community. They also provide unique opportunities for students to lead their peers in celebration and in thanksgiving to God.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
During the Advent season, we pay special honor to Mary, the Mother of God, and patroness of our school. As a model of waiting in joyful hope, and under her title of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, she reminds us that God always looks out for the poor, the neglected, and the marginalized. She has given hope to countless indigenous people who were subjugated by colonial rule. Her appearance to San Juan Diego reminds us that Godís acceptance, tenderness, and compassion is for all people. As a symbol of unity for a new people, the new Christians in the Americas, she is also a powerful symbol of Godís love.
Martin Luther King Jr
We honor and remember Martin Luther King Jr, a man of faith who was called to be a voice of justice. We gather together to commemorate his dream, recall his life, as we rededicate ourselves annually to continue to work for freedom. We also take responsibility for raising our voices for charity and for peace so that we might create a world that God might better recognize.
Our observation of Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a period of reflection and preparation for the great feast of Easter. We show that we are willing to be open to Godís presence in our lives, and in the ashes we receive; we recognize our humanity, our faults, and our weaknesses. We also wear these ashes to remind us that God loves us and that we are called to a better relationship with all of our sisters and brothers, and with God.
We are reminded of the undeniable responsibility we have for one another. Sometimes, it is hard to accept everyone as a brother or sister. It is even harder to give up some of ourselves without the expectation of gaining anything in return. The hardest part of it all is doing everything with complete and absolute love. As we leave the Season of Lent and head into the Easter Season, the time when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, we remember the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus did for everyone: giving himself up in complete and absolute love.
In celebrating our unique and diverse community, we have come up with interesting ways to celebrate the season of Advent, a time of expectation and preparation for Emmanuel, God with us. On purple paper, we post Advent Haikus around the school community: poetry that encourages us to stop and to consider. We also place a Giant Wreath around the iron cross in our plaza complete with PVC candles and plastic flames to remind us of the slow movement toward Christmas.
Our Catholic traditions reminds us that Lent is a time of prayer, almsgiving, and fastiung. During this time of prayer, we begin every morning during this season with a simple Lenten reflection led by our LIGHT team. During this time of almsgiving, the SALT team coordinates a canned food drive for the benefit of our local community. During this time of fasting, some students participate on Friday fasts to remind ourselves of how blessed we are with abundance. At the end of the school day, however, we gather in the Campus Ministry Lab to indulge a little with mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
Students are also encouraged to take moments of reflection during free periods to meditate with the Stations of the Cross for Social Justice that are scattered throughout the campus during this season. The traditional Via Crucis is made new to us as we connect Jesusís suffering with the suffering of people today.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
As the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent are traditionally times of reflection and contemplation, of solemnity and of slowing down, Campus Ministry coordinates opportunities to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the Brothers Community Chapel.
Sacrament of Confirmation
From time to time, by request of parents and students, Saint Maryís College High Schools helps to facilitate connections with local parish confirmation programs so that students can participate as a school group.
Lasallian Individuals Gathering Hope Together (L.I.G.H.T.)
This club, like its counterpart SALT, is open to all students and is the club dedicated to attending to the rhythms of the communityís spiritual life. They are charged with the responsibility of working and developing our Eucharistic liturgies and our Ecumenical prayer services. They are also tasked with constructing prayers for our daily meditations.
Everyone is called to prayer as a natural response to the recognition that we have been blessed. By raising our mind and heart to God, we acknowledge the goodness that exists around us: a realization that we are, indeed, in the Holy Presence of God.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle Ö pray for us!
Mary, Mother of God Ö pray for us!
Live, Jesus, in our hearts Ö forever!