Caring for God’s Creation

Lasallian Youth Assembly – 2013

Caring for God’s Creation

July 14-19, 2013 – Riverdale, NY – The Brothers of the Christian Schools, District of Eastern North America (DENA) held its annual Lasallian Youth Assembly at Manhattan College, with over 100 secondary school students and educators gathered for a week focused on the Lasallian core concepts of Faith, Service, and Community.

Over the course of the week long gathering, with its theme of “Caring for God’s Creation,” students volunteered at different Super Storm Sandy clean-up sites in the Long Island, Staten Island, and Northern New Jersey areas, participated in and lead prayer services, took part in discussions about service and the promotion of environmental justice – all leading to a newly cultivated communal bond with one another through social gatherings and reflection opportunities.

Despite the sweltering summer humidity, and temperatures breaking the 100 degree mark, students devoted volunteer hours to the following Metropolitan based organizations: Occupy Sandy (Staten Island), Long Island Volunteer Recovery Center, Sandy Help (Long Beach), All Hands (Atlantic Beach), Nechama (Oceanside), New Jersey Food Bank. From home demolition and repair to food pantry organization and distribution, Lasallian Youth tirelessly worked to help others affected by the storm that destroyed much of the New York and New Jersey coastline nine months ago.

As part of the Assembly on Monday evening, Janine Pizzariella, of Stars of Hope NY-NJ, introduced the students to the Stars of Hope Project, which invites volunteers to craft messages of hope and encouragement to those affected by disasters, with wooden star creations, placed throughout the community. Assembly participants eagerly created their Stars of Hope, and posted them throughout the communities where they served.

Students and educators travelled far and wide to take part in the Assembly hosted by Manhattan College, from Lasallian Schools including: Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School (Brooklyn, NY), Central Catholic High School (Pittsburgh, PA), Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft, NJ), La Salle Academy (New York, NY), La Salle Academy (Providence, RI), St. John’s College High School (Washington, DC), St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute (Buffalo, NY), St. Peter’s Boys High School (Staten Island, NY), St. Raphael Academy (Pawtucket, RI), and West Catholic Preparatory High School (Philadelphia, PA), and Martin de Porres Group Home (Springfield Gardens, NY). Other ministries also associated with the District of Eastern North America that attended included St. Mary Magdalene Parish and Trinity High School (NH).

Check back here for more photos and video of the 2013 Lasallian Youth Assembly.