Over 130 Lasallian High Schoolers, Lasallian Volunteers, Moderators, Brothers, and Partners spent their day at La Salle engaged in volunteer work, retreat, and faith based reflection.
1/15/2011 – Wyndmoor, PA – Saturday, November 15th was a dayof Lasallian association at La Salle College High School in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania. The day started at 10 AM with Lasallian Youth and moderators assembling not only from La Salle College High School, but also from La Salle Academy, New York; West Catholic High School, Philadelphia; Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Brooklyn; and St. John’s College High School, Washington DC.
The day proved to be a mini-version of the Lasallian Youth Assembly that usually occurs during the summer each year in the District. After a welcome and morning prayer joined by LSCHS Christian Brothers, there was a morning discussion as part of the Lasallian Youth Leadership Day. Each school group reflected and shared volunteer projects they were planning. The Lasallian Youth groups also shared a successful project, how they executed it, and what their measurement for success was. In these collaborative discussions, groups gained new project ideas, and helpful insights from each other for more successful volunteer work when they headed back to their Lasallian schools.
After a quick break for lunch, mixed groups of students accompanied by moderators were on their way for the afternoon to one of three service sites in the Philadelphia area:
- Face to Face, Germantown
Face to Face is a human services organization which provides free meals, nurse-managed health care, legal and social services, computer training, creative arts studios, and children’s after school and summer programming. Focusing on the power of human connection, Face to Face creates encounters of hospitality, mutuality, and transformation in the Germantown community.
- Sarnelli House, Kensington
Blessed Sarnelli Community is an organization dedicated to providing for the needs of people who are poor and abandoned with an emphasis on empowering young adults to share in this commitment through prayer, hospitality and service.
- Artman Home, Ambler
Since 1916, Artman Lutheran Home has been home to older adults seeking a continuum of care to meet their unique emotional, physical, social, and spiritual needs. A faith-based organization with a rich tradition of compassion, Artman offers personal care, short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and hospice care.
Students quickly bonded during their volunteer work, and took their new experiences back to LSCHS for debriefing before evening Liturgy, where Lasallian Volunteers would be joining them. The Lasallian Youth Leadership Day was organized and led by LSCHS seniors Chris Catalino, Rich Brazukas, Alex Hicks, Pat Kerr, Dom Mirabile, and Brendan Stone.
Since Friday the 14th, the Lasallian Volunteer program had been conducting their mid-year retreat in Jamison, PA, allowing the opportunity for all Lasallians to gather for a Liturgy mass, and dinner.
Celebrant, Father Janton, along with the Lasallian Youth and the Volunteers, celebrated Mass. After which, over dinner, they broke bread while sharing Lasallian experiences with each other before closing the Lasallian Youth Leadership Day.
During the Liturgy and closing, first year Lasallian Volunteer, Alex Branch, and La Salle High Senior, Dominic Mirabile, offered powerful reflections on service and Lasallian Mission.
During the Liturgy, Branch reflected on Mark 2:13-17 and his Volunteer work with court adjudicated boys.
“The boys I work with are irritating, obnoxious, mean to one another, rude, disrespectful…; and I see Christ in each one of them.”
Branch continued to share his first year of experience, and his belief that he, along with fellow Volunteers, had the privilege of acting out the Gospel and Lasallian Mission through service.
“We realized that even though our boys give us trouble, we really do like all of them. Our affection…is of the kind Jesus had when he shared his table with sinners and tax collectors,” Alex explained referring to the Gospel passage. “We live the Gospel by loving as Christ loved, by caring for those Christ charged us to care for, by inviting to our table not the righteous, but the sinners.”
Dominic Mirabile closed the evening with his reflections on Living the Lasallian Mission, and how the values of faith, service, and community are the common threads that can bring a diverse group together for a common purpose.
“Living the Lasallian Mission…is something intangible, but yet very real and alive. The fact that a group of people, at very different stages in their lives, can come from across the country and share a meal together highlights our common Lasallian identity,” Mirabile explained. Reflecting on his volunteer experiences with Lasallian Youth, his education from Christian Brothers and teachers, and the overall feelings of brotherhood and community gleaned from his time at LSCHS underscored for Mirabile the core principles that each Lasallian shares.
During the Liturgy and closing, first year Lasallian Volunteer, Alex Branch (left), and La Salle High Senior, Dominic Mirabile, offered powerful reflections on service and Lasallian Mission.