Over the past few weeks the community at La Salle Academy has been finding ways to share its bounty and to give thanks for all of God’s blessings.
Under the direction of the Spiritual Life Committee, the faculty and staff gathered foodstuffs—enough to fill 10 overflowing baskets. The filling of the baskets was done in the context of a brief prayer at the end of its Professional Day on technology. Greg Albanese, a faculty member and deacon of the Diocese of Providence, said a blessing over the baskets before they were brought by members of the Spiritual Life Committee to the San Miguel School in Providence for distribution to some of its needy families.
The student Social Concerns Committee led a campaign to address Rhode Island hunger through morning prayers over the public address system and signs posted around the school building highlighting RI poverty. The campaign culminated with a collection on a Dress Down Day. Over $8000 was collected. The family of a La Salle student who had no electricity because of a shortage of funds to pay the bills was given $1000. McCauley Village, the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen, St. Edward’s Food Pantry, St. Edward’s new Homeless Shelter, Mary House, Emmanuel House, and Keep the Heat On were all given $1000 each.
The school community was provided a Thanksgiving Prayer Service on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the efforts of the Campus Ministry Team. Accompanied by the beautiful guitar playing and singing of a young lady, a Senior, a slide show was presented in which a number of students, teachers, and staff were shown holding white boards indicating the things for which they were grateful this Thanksgiving.
Finally, on Black Friday, the day of shopping frenzy, 6 Lasallian Youth members and 2 faculty moderators (Patricia Ducharme and Christine Estes) filled 4 cars with hundreds of slightly used and new winter coats (over 80 bags!!) and delivered them to the State House lawn for the Rhode Island Winter Coat Exchange Day. Needy families seeking warm winter coats and other winter wear gather there (across the street from the Providence Place Mall) to find winter wear. The La Salle students then sorted and distributed the coats.
Thanksgiving was, indeed, a time of deepened generosity and social concern, a time to experience the power of giving and sharing, for the La Salle community. What a powerful way to kick off Advent!