Dear Member of the Loughlin Family,
It is hard to believe that the fifth week of Lent is upon us. “Where did the time go” and “have we marked its passage well?”
The Gospel for this past Sunday has Jesus saying “I am troubled now.” Maybe an aspect of Lent is giving ourselves time to ponder what troubles us. There are those things about ourselves that trouble us and those things in our world that trouble us. Lent gives us the freedom to take a hard look at our personal and communal demons, to take steps to conquer or at least tame them, or not. There is always the option to do nothing.
Our religious tradition encourages us to look inward, examine ourselves and to take action – do penance, give alms, fast and abstain. The tradition calls us to recognize our weakness and ask God for assistance in meeting the troubling aspects of our lives, both personal and communal, head on. We are reminded that our God is a God rich in compassion, gentleness and understanding. This recalling of who God is gives us the strength to do what is required of us. At least in our finer and truer moments.
The Loughlin community is traveling the Lenten journey true to our traditions. As always our House System leaders organized the Fish Bowl fundraiser for St. Mary’s in Kenya (our twinned school) during Lent. Large bowls labeled with a House name are placed on a table. As they come off the cafeteria line, students are encouraged to support the street kids of Nyri, Kenya who attend St. Mary’s.
Loughlin students and staff have raised or contributed over $16,000 to St. Mary’s. It’s an important lesson for students to learn that there will always be brothers and sisters in need and that we can lighten the burden they bear.
One of the ways we stay connected to the local parish communities is through the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our Campus Minister invites local members of the clergy to come in for a Penance Service and to hear students’ confessions. I am always proud of our students and staff when one of our confessors compliments us on how well prepared the students were for the reception of the sacrament. Even some of our non-Catholic students take this opportunity to unburden themselves of what troubles them.
On the larger canvas, we all needed to come to terms with the troubling incidents of gun violence in schools, most recently at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL. Students remain genuinely troubled by random acts of gun violence on ground that we in the Lasallian tradition consider sacred. Loughlin students raised their voices in protest and in prayer by walking into the yard and remembering those who lost their lives. This walking out is a call to action. After the walkout the challenge of determining the best course of action to end this national tragedy remains. We want our students to continue to think through and act on what they consider to be part of a solution.
We look forward to Easter but let us remain a bit longer in this Lenten season. Being troubled can be very good for us; and the burden of these troubled times can be lightened by relying on a God in whom we live, breathe, and have our being.
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever.
Brother Dennis Cronin, FSC