Lenten Reflection for the Times
Lent is a time when we think and pray about our blessings and our struggles. Let us remember today in these difficult days to see the blessings and acknowledge the struggles. Not everything is locked down. The sunrise is not locked down. The fresh air is not locked down. Family is not locked down. Friendship is not locked down. Creativity is not locked down. Prayers are not locked down. Hobbies are not locked down. Hopes and dreams are not locked down. Doing acts of kindness is not locked down. Learning is not locked down. Conversation is not locked down. Imagination is not locked down. Sunsets are not locked down. Hope is not locked down.
Lent is traditionally a time of penance, and this is good for our souls. But let us not forget to cherish what we have. We are so very fortunate. As we continue to spend more time at home, let us make the most of our time together. Prayer, fasting and good deeds can be done even in our current situation. Let us not waste our time this Lent in too much worry as it is God who always has the final word. Let us remember that our Lord was driven into the desert by the Spirit. A desert experience is seldom easy. It is certainly no promise that the effort to practise our faith will introduce us to a world of sweetness and light. But God is faithful and will not suffer us to be tried beyond what we can bear. Yes, there are crosses we must bear, but out of the acceptance of our crosses comes the peace and strength of knowing we are on the right road, no matter how hard that road may be. It is along the road we meet the Lord for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Dedication of the School Community to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary
On March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, Principal Patron of Canada, Reverend Monsignor Robert Nusca, DEL '74, will dedicate the school community to Our Lady and place all our intentions under her special maternal protection. There are many intentions we all hold in our hearts. Perhaps, the most significant one is to ask Our Lady that she continue to look over us, and in time and in accord with God's will, grant that the pandemic comes to an end and that school can return to greater regularity. Our Lasallian Credo reminds us that we are called to demonstrate a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph.
We will also place before Our Lady our needs and ask her powerful intercession to help us remain faithful to our Catholic mission here at De La Salle College and support our efforts to truly live the spirit of faith. St. John Baptist de La Salle reminds us that we should induce those who compose the school community not to look upon anything but with the eyes of faith, not to do anything but in view of God, and to attribute all to God. Our Founder instructs us that we are ambassadors of Christ. As we renew our devotion to Our Lady, we pray that she will help us find and deepen our courage to be Catholic and strive to be faithful members of the wider community of believers. Saint Paul entreats us in 2 Timothy not to have a "spirit of timidity" in testifying to the Lord. Our Lady's maternal care and concern assure us we are never abandoned by her. Islam too holds Our Lady in very high regard and honour, as do other Christian denominations.
Facility Improvements Update
I should like to acknowledge the good work of an important steering committee that has overseen and led the Centre's renovations. Construction work has now begun, and we are hopeful that most of the work will be completed in time for the start of the 2021 - 2021 school year. On your behalf, I thank Perry Dellelce, Danny Baltazar, Mario Lio, and Mr. Voutsinos and Mr. Salerno for representing the school. They have spent several months now ensuring that the necessary permitting and tendering process have been done properly. I am extremely grateful that they have carried the ball on this initiative.
For those unfamiliar with the building's history, it was opened over thirty years ago as a retreat centre that operated independently from the College. As it began to experience difficulties sustaining itself financially, I was asked to seek another use for the facility. With some minor renovations, the building was incorporated as part of the school complex. Now an exciting new phase of its history begins. Modern science laboratories and innovation areas are much needed and will be a welcomed addition to our programming.
The College has systematically approached the improvement to our school facilities. Over the last fifteen years, we have created a home for our music program, renewed our playing field, our school cafeteria, our auditorium, and some of the exterior to the Heritage House. Once the De La Salle Centre has been completed, we will then move on to the construction of our new student centre and gymnasium.
We ask all members of our school community to consider making a financial gift to assist us with our facility improvements. Our school has no debt and enjoys a very sound fiscal situation. Responsible stewardship and the generosity of our stakeholders who value the mission of the College have been the key to this success. I am hopeful that all of us, in our own way, can continue this tradition. Academic excellence, accessibility to all young people regardless of socio-economic circumstances, healthy growth and personal development in an environment where formation in the Faith is paramount come at a cost and are worthy of our support.