Being a man of years with the knack of remembering the events of long ago and having the skill of capturing those events on paper are skills I am proud of. Often I get requests to write about the old days. I am reminded of the best-selling 1953 novel “The Go Between” by H.L Hartley that opens with : “The past is foreign country. They do things differently there.” Recently, I wrote about Central Catholic in the late 1950’s. Part of the article pertains to many of our schools.
“Zeroing in on institutional identity is something like groping for the Godhead; it is easier to describe what it is not than what it is. De La Salle and historically the Brothers’ schools have been sensitive to the pressing needs of the times, sorely crying out for practical solutions. The Brothers have had a commonsensical approach to the whole educational enterprise. De La Salle’s schools have been characterized by emphasis on religious and values-centered education without any compromise of educational integrity, by excellence in teaching, by concern for individual values, as well as ultimate values, by free search for truth, and by studying secular subjects in their autonomy.”
These aspects of our Lasallian Educational Mission are sidelined so often these days by what seems to be more pressing issues of management, finance, recruitment, etc. Let’s keep them in balance with our identity as followers of De La Salle.
My desire to share insights from my long life has led to numerous articles, books, and interviews in recent years. The one about Central went to all the graduates of the 1950’s. It answered the question: why a school like Central Catholic still matters in the 21st Century. Many of the grads reported reliving those days while also increased their contributions to Central.
Who am I?