Posted by Br David Hawke
on 15 May 2020
Greetings in these challenging times. Today we celebrate worldwide the feast of St John Baptist de La Salle. When he founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools (De La Salle Brothers) in 1680 he would never have imagined that his innovative methods of educating young people would spread to over eighty countries across the world.
"De La Salle and his Brothers succeeded in creating a network of quality schools throughout France that featured instruction in the vernacular, students grouped according to ability and achievement, integration of religious instruction with secular subjects, well-prepared teachers with a sense of vocation and mission, and the involvement of parents, In addition, De La salle pioneered programmes for training lay teachers, Sunday courses for working young men, and one of the first institutions in France for the care of youth at risk." (Lasallian Liturgies, 4th edition, Christian Brothers' Conference, Washington, DC, 2016, P.74).
When classes commenced in late January 2020 you would not have imagined that a few months later you would be facing the challenges before us in the world today. And you would not have imagined that the celebration of the feast of St John Baptist de La Salle would be celebrated in other than the traditional way with large gatherings not permitted in all four Sectors of the District.
On Friday or some other suitable day, you honour our Founder. You honour him in a unique way. You probably will honour him connected virtually. You honour De La Salle who called his first teachers Brothers which reminds all that you are brothers and sisters to each other.
On 15 May 1950 Pope Pius XII proclaimed St John Baptist de La Salle Universal Patron of Teachers. It is said that "teaching is a noble profession." How true, in these very challenging times when teachers are going well beyond the call of duty touching hearts, transforming lives and teaching minds. Thank-you for your total commitment ensuring that students receive a quality education in the Lasallian tradition. Thanks to the ancillary staff who daily support the teachers in whatever capacity.
I expect that you will celebrate our Founder's feast in a unique and very different way this year. However, may your celebrations be a fitting and memorable tribute in honour of St John Baptist de La Salle.
Click HERE to watch a video developed by Br Paco Chiva dedicated to all of us Lasallians who continue the mission
St John Baptist de La Salle..pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts.forever.