St. La Salle posed this question to his Brothers, “Do you have faith that is able to touch the hearts of your students and to inspire them with the Christian spirit? This is the greatest miracle you can perform and the one that God asks of you, for this is the purpose of your work.”
In 1984, I made a decision that has enabled me to quest after this remarkable miracle each day. I decided to experience community life during my junior and senior year at Manhattan College. In addition to my studies, I coached track at St. Raymond HS, tutored each week at the Casita Marita Community Center in the South Bronx, and lived community life with Brothers and Lasallian Volunteers. During the summer of 1985, I also taught English to incoming eighth-graders at La Salle Institute in Troy NY. Yes, all the above experiences confirmed teaching was the profession I wanted to pursue. In addition, they also confirmed that doing such in a Religious community with like-minded people would be life-giving.
Therefore, for the last 37 years I have attempted to touch the minds and hearts of those entrusted to my care, as well as the colleagues who have walked with me and supported me along the way. The greater miracle might be how my heart and mind have been touched and inspired along this journey. I have met God and developed my faith through so many wonderful people and experiences, from high school ministry to elementary school, from vocation ministry to district leadership, from the lacrosse field to the soccer pitch, and from the Bronx NY to Bethlehem and Nairobi.
Presently, I am serving as campus minister at La Salle Academy in New York City, where I previously served from 1991 to 1995. How different is LSA today? I am quick to respond, saying that the students and building are different but the spirit of unity and the faculty’s desire to touch hearts and inspire are very much the same. To journey in faith with students and colleagues alike and through this to experience my own miracle each day is indeed God’s gift, and reaffirms my decision in 1984 to give community life a try.
Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever!