A multicultural Thanksgiving prayer service at De La Salle High School in New Orleans featured elements from the Taoist, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic and Christian traditions, as well as greetings in eight languages.
Tony Behan, lead teacher in the De La Salle religion department, organized the prayer service, which opened with a procession led by English department lead teacher Hank Nusloch on the bagpipes.
De La Salle students born overseas offered a welcome in their native languages. They are Eirik Haugland, of Norway; Léon and Quentin Castagné, of France; Fynn LaBreche, of Germany; Jasmin Pham, of Vietnam; Liu, of China; Anna Kushnir, of the Ukraine; Britany Bolaños, of Costa Rica; and Gustavo De Paiva, of Brazil.
Representing Taoism, senior Jerry Liu read a selection in Mandarin acknowledging the Way of Taoism. Following him, sophomore De Paiva offered a Buddhist chant. Judaism was represented by English teacher Michael Selser, who recited the Sh’Ma, the prayer that reminds all Jewish people they are to praise God. Islam was represented by math department lead teacher Hussein Dossaji, who recited the “Surat Al Fatiha” from the Quran in praise of Allah. Finally, Christianity was represented by junior Nyasha Brown, who read from I Corinthians.
Three seniors contributed prayers. Quentin Castagné offered a prayer of gratitude in his native French, and Bolaños recited the Hail Mary in her native Spanish. Latin student Jenna Vidrine recited the Glory Be in Latin.
Brothers Quentin and Léon Castagné led the “Honneur à Toi,” a hymn in honor of the founder of the Christian Brothers, St. John Baptist de La Salle. Junior Cayla Skinner led the alma mater, and the choir closed with the refrain of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”