Thousands prepare to celebrate 300 years of Lasallian Mission

La Salle Academy to host Saint Raphael Academy and four more Lasallian organizations to explore vocation and the future of mission

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PROVIDENCE — For the past ten years, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, along with their Lasallian Partners, have provided a Christian education to more than 14,000 students and their families as one geographic network: The District of Eastern North America (DENA).

From Providence, to Washington, D.C., and Toronto, Canada, more than 5,000 Lasallian Educators and De La Salle Christian Brothers have engaged in the vocation of education, especially to the poor and disadvantaged. Together, and by association, this network of educators will celebrate a decade of mission as The District of Eastern North America, which was formed September 9, 2009.

Gathering, virtually and in-person, in different cities throughout DENA’s geographic expanse on Friday, Nov. 8, Lasallians will celebrate their accomplishments, but more importantly, acknowledge that there is more to be done to serve the most vulnerable young people in our society through this 300 year old mission of education.

Facilitating this Association Celebration will be Superior General, Brother Robert Schieler, FSC, leader of The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, which sponsors ministries and other educational programs in over 80 countries worldwide, including DENA. Brother Schieler will bring his global perspective and experiences to his headlining presentation, which will be broadcast from La Salle University, his alma mater, in his home town of Philadelphia.

Livestreamed at La Salle Academy, as well as Albany, Boca Raton, Buffalo, Lincroft, New York City, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Toronto and Washington, DC, Brother Schieler will call on all Lasallians to reflect on their vocation as educators as part of this Jubilee year, so designated by Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.

Brother Schieler wrote that the goal of this year is to “manifest our global unity, to strengthen us to work for the betterment of humankind, to deepen our motivations as Lasallians, and to intensify our service to the poor and vulnerable.”

Locally, Lasallians from Saint Raphael Academy, La Salle Academy, San Miguel School, Ocean Tides, Tides Family Services and the Christian Brothers Center will reflect on the Superior General’s message, and the example of St. John Baptist de La Salle, the Founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

Named the Patron Saint of Teachers, De La Salle went beyond the figurative and literal borders to educate poor boys of France, who “were far from God’s salvation.” De La Salle would hand on the mission to his first Christian Brothers upon his passing into eternal life 300 years ago. As part of this Association Celebration, Christian Brothers and Lasallian Partners will share their experiences as educators with one another, and begin planning how best to go beyond today’s figurative and literal borders to serve poor and marginalized young people just as De La Salle did.

The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, inspired by the life and vision of John Baptist de La Salle, the Patron Saint of Teachers, is an international Roman Catholic order of lay Religious Brothers. Together, and by association with their Partners-in-Mission, the Institute strives to provide “a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor.”