PATRON OF CHRISTIAN TEACHERS, FOUNDER OF THE BROTHERS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS
His feast is celebrated by the universal Church on April 7th and by the Institute of The Brothers of the Christian Schools on May 15th.
‘Re-energized by the spirit of the founder ’
In union with St. John Baptist De La Salle, the founder, the De La Salle Brothers and all the members of the La Sallian Family as well as our students participated in the feast celebrated at St. John Baptist De La Salle Catholic School for the 8th time on May 11th, 2018, G.C.
Saint John Baptist De La Salle feast is celebrated by the universal Church on April 7th and by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools on May 15th. Due to several school commitments beyond postponement in the school, the day was celebrated on May 11th, 2018, G.C. The changing of the day did not affect the spirit of the celebration.
The day was well programmed, began with a liturgy which was accompanied by songs. There was a drama about the founder and there were outreach activities, games and sports were in the program of the feast day that ended up with a lunch program.
The liturgy was in the school hall and was presided over by four priests namely, Fr. Haile Mariam Worako - Superior of the Capuchin Fathers, Fr. Stefanos - Pesident of the Priests Association , Fr. Eyob Jemaneh - Parish priest of Cathedral Church and Fr. Biniyam - Parish Priest from St. Gabriel Church .
The school hall was full of decorations which signalled something special. The altar was beautifully decorated by MSC Sisters. The students were in full uniform. The choirs were wearing attractive robes and bursting with energy as they sang.
Listening to the songs sung by the choirs that were made up of the school’s students during the mass and after the mass was very inspiring. The way those students sang, reminded everyone of the talent students have .Their singing was remarkable! All the participants in the liturgy were utterly charmed by the songs presented by the students.
Coming to the scripture, Fr. Haile Mariam, in his homily, spoke on the question asked by our Lord, “Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” He urged everyone to reform and become as little children are in order to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. He also said that whoever will humble himself and be as a little child, or will receive one little child may come to be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. The gospel was:
,,, In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to himself, and set him in the midst of them, and said, “Most assuredly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever therefore will humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever will receive one such little child in my name receives me. Matthew 18: 1-8
After the mass was concluded, students of grades 11 and 12 presented colorful and attractive songs which were done following the Orthodox tradition (Yaredawi Zema). Following that, a short drama based on the life of St. John Baptist De La Salle was presented by students from grades seven and eight. The core purpose of the drama was to encourage and motivate both teachers and students by letting them know who the founder of the Brothers of the Christian schools was. Besides, the drama was useful in that it delivered information about the founder’s life and depicted some of the greatest works he did to help the sick, the elderly, the marginalized and the lonely through human and Christian education. The students’ dramatic performance and their usage of English language were extraordinary and amazing.
The most spectacular moment of the feast day came during the football match between the school teachers and high school girl students. The heavy afternoon down pour did not deter either teachers or students team from challenging each other in the football show down. After 60 minutes of play, the girls’ team scored 3 goals and proudly triumphed over the teachers’ team. It was a spectacular win! The game was the most hilarious activity of the day!
The feast of St. John Baptist de La Salle at the school ended with a lunch for the teachers, workers and other invited guests at the mini library room. The lunch program which was arranged by the school, began with a blessing from Fr. Haile Mariam. As the end of the blessing, the six Christian Brothers led a prayer of intercession which was responded to by all the participants. The intercessory prayer was intended to be a reminder to all pray. Through the celebration of the feast, it was hoped that mothers and fathers, teachers, coaches, workers, benefactors and students will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit to live lives of faith, and service and that all the De La Salle Brothers and other members of the Lasallian Family as well as their colleagues in ministry would continue to be faithful to the dream of De La Salle through the saint’s intercession.
After the colorful and delicious lunch was served along with a good Ethiopian wine, another joyous event occurred. Among the workers and teachers of the school, those who had gotten married this year were congratulated by the school principal and all the staff members. The principal, Br. Kasu Mack Fantaye, FSC, led the program. As a sign of good leadership, the principal gave a reflection upon the life of the Founder of the Brothers of Christian School and at the same time blessed the new couples by urging them to be faithful and honest in living out their covenants that had been blessed by God. During his reflection upon the founder’s life, the Principal of the school told that the celebration of the feast serves as a sign of sharing of faith which is an important face of the Lasallian heritage.
To show their solidarity with and happiness for the new brides and bridegrooms, all the staff members sang different cultural and traditional songs to wish the couples well. It was a special moment one in which when the Lassalian families and colleagues alike reflected on their oneness and reaffirmed their commitment to be faithful to the dream of De La Salle by taking care of the children entrusted to them during their work day at school. It was evident that there was a feeling of satisfaction among the staff and also a desire to do more.
St John Baptist De La Salle School in Addis Ababa, is giving both human and Christian education and serving more than 2000 children coming from different economical back grounds, different ethnic groups and different religious backgrounds at the present time. As the founder and his followers say, ‘We trust in God’s providence ‘, the children also trust in the St. John Baptist school to deliver to them education of the highest quality.
The celebration of the feast of De La Salle at the school is a remarkable feast because it invites all members of the school to consider their own life journey in the light of the characteristics of a hero and for that matter a hero, St. John Baptist De La Salle. Thus, celebrating the founder’s feast day at the school is also an essential and key way of promoting the ethic and vision of St. John Baptist De La Salle as a source of inspiration for others teaching and caring for young people. It is a way to enlighten them as to how to meet failure and frailty with compassion, and how to affirm, strengthen and heal as they train and guide and support all the children who make up the student body. As trusting in God’s providence and having faith in Him was a slogan of De La Salle, our school also trust and have faith in God for the years ahead to be the most successful years of all.