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February 2024 - David Holquin, President

February 2024 - David Holquin, President

Dear De La Salle Community:

February may be the shortest month of the year, even with the extra day we get this leap year, but “Earth is crammed with heaven. Every bush is aflame with the fire of God, but only those who see take off their shoes” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning). Indeed, our community is crammed with heaven in the young men entrusted to our care and our faculty, staff, coaches, and volunteers who make what we do at De La Salle possible.

Just look at what we’ve already accomplished this month: Kairos 149 is in the record books, and these Spartans join the pantheons of Karios’ legacy. We hosted the Bay Area Lasallian Symposium with over 500 Lasallian educators from eight nearby Lasallian schools joining us. The 13th annual Laps for Life helped participants consider teenage mental health and destigmatize how we talk about anxiety, depression, and suicide prevention. 

We also have many activities in full swing. Sophomore Metonia retreats have begun and are helping our students discover how to have a transformative change of heart. Company is actively rehearsing for the opening night of Anything Goes in April. Wrestling, soccer, and basketball are all in the EBAL playoffs, and spring sports are in the early offing. Looking ahead, Ash Wednesday will bring us together as an entire faith community to consider what we need to fast from (in terms of sin) and instead choose to feast on (things that bring us closer to God). Amidst all of this, education is happening, intramurals are creating a jovial air, and minds are being stretched with how to think. 

All of this points to how the earth is indeed crammed with heaven, but we need to take a moment to take off our shoes and be humbled by the awesomeness in front of us. Our young men have opportunities to be challenged, inspired, and affirmed. They share that we live out our Founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle's words: “The more loving you are to the young, the greater will be the effects of God’s grace” (Med 134.2). Thank you to everyone who responded to our recent survey as we look at how our students find their sense of belonging on campus. We take our work seriously and use data to inform our decision-making as we seek to reach all students and find the best ways to support their growth. That is the root of Lasallian Catholic education, and it inspires our daily efforts. 

Our challenge as educators and community members is to ensure that we give our young people the keys to unlock their hearts and minds. Thank you for joining us in that work, praying for our work, and responding to the vital question of, “How can I help?” As a community, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that all of our students feel loved and welcomed and that we mean it. 

Perhaps we have another day this leap year to feast on belonging and give more of ourselves in love to all we meet. May that be our prayer this Lent, and even more importantly, may our actions follow our words.

Warmly yours,

David J. Holquin