The Marist Brothers' Hermitage at Mittagong was a most hospitable venue for the LMS program, Touching Hearts the Icing or the Cake.
This year's program of 'Lasallian Spirituality for Educators,' facilitated by Amanda Proulx, Gerard Rummery fsc and John Cantwell fsc; gathered a diverse group of people, all representing a range of Lasallian schools and works.
In attendance were several ministries from yourtown; Holy Spirit College Lakemba, St Michael's College Adelaide, De La Salle Catholic College Caringbah, Oakhill College Castle Hill, Casimir College Marrickville, Young Lasallians Ministry Bankstown, Southern Cross Catholic College Scarborough, and De La Salle College Revesby Heights.
Reflecting alone and in discussion, this widely experienced group of people considered the needs of their students and clients and what they wanted for each group. In particular, sharing ways they each relate with the different age groups they encounter in order to bring out their best quality. The discussions soon paved the way for a close look at De La Salle's understanding of 'heart', a more comprehensive and holistic view that derives from his own familiarity with the Scriptures.
For De La Salle, it became apparent, the 'heart' is not just the seat of emotions, but of intellect and decision-making as well.
Participants explored twenty-five instances of 'to touch hearts' in De La Salle's own writings and to 'translate' these into the language of the 21st century.
As a result, participants were able to connect with some of the practical implications these insights had for their own work, especially with regard to students and clients currently in their care. "The program provided a positive and reaffirming model (touching hearts) that can be taken into the classroom, workspace and applied to our lives," explained one participant.
It was clear from one of De La Salle's instances, for example, that "to touch a heart" can mean having a very negative impact on a person. What we want is to affect people in ways that are educational and liberating.
A helpful set of evaluations included comments such as: "I'm leaving refreshed and relaxed with a renewed focus and passion for the important work we all do."
One evaluation explained; "I will use everything I have heard with the clients I work with every day. For someone who is not particularly religious, I was able to appreciate that I felt part of the process and not alien to the ideas of God and prayer."
Lasallian Formation for Educators
For more information about our programs available for educators, please contact the Director of Formation, Br John Cantwell.