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December 2023 - Spencer Shively, VP for Mission and Student Life

December 2023 - Spencer Shively, VP for Mission and Student Life

Dear De La Salle Families:

It is fitting that we conclude our first semester during the season of Advent. As we look forward to wrapping up another great academic term, the Advent themes of hope, peace, joy, and love offer us a great lens to reflect on the various ways these virtues continue to manifest themselves within our community. While all these themes are equally important, there is one that I feel most compelled to reflect on at this time – JOY.

Joy is at the heart of everything we do as a community. It begins with our mission statement and the charge to educate boys in an atmosphere that is “moral, caring, and joyful” and becomes visible when you set foot on campus. From the thoughtful and meaningful activities taking place in our classrooms on a daily basis to the tremendous success of our athletic teams, our Theater Arts and Band performances, our Cereal Drive, our Christmas Toy Drive, and the many co-curricular clubs and activities that allow our Spartans to pursue their passion – the joy in our community is visible and palpable.   

Yet it is worth pointing out that the joy we experience is much more than smiles and laughter. It is not a transient or fleeting feeling but, instead, a gift of the Holy Spirit and a result of our commitment as a school to live life with God. I was keenly reminded of this fact when I had the opportunity to serve as an adult leader on Kairos 148 in early November. Kairos is our senior capstone retreat, where our young men have the opportunity to attend a three-day student-led, adult-directed retreat where they reflect on their relationships with themselves, their family, and God. Near the end of the retreat, each participant had the opportunity to speak with the group about how the experience impacted them. All I can say is I wish you could have been there to hear what they shared. It is hard to put it all into words, but I think this line from scripture offers a good summary.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. - 3 John 1:4

To hear each young man get up and speak about how the experience had allowed him to grow in his relationship with God was immensely powerful. As I sat there, taking it in, I also reflected on the fact that the 38 Spartans on this retreat were now connected through this shared experience with over 4,000 Spartan alumni who attended the 147 Kairos retreats before them. What greater joy is there than this? As a Lasallian Catholic Community, we continue to walk in the truth, and this is the ultimate source of our joy as a community.

As we continue throughout the Advent Season in anticipation of the joyful mystery of the word becoming flesh, I hope you too find an opportunity to rejoice in the truth.

I wish you and your family a blessed Advent and Christmas season as we prepare our hearts for the arrival of the true hope and joy that anchors and guides all the work that we do as a Lasallian Catholic community.

Peace and grace,

Spencer Shively
Vice President for Mission and Student Life
De La Salle High School


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