Lasallians Unfiltered – Br. Ed Phelan, FSC – Auxiliary Visitor, DENA

“My whole life has been spent in the Lasallian Star Alliance: the one formed over 200 years before…the one that today reaches every corner of the world with human and Christian education;”

published April 7, 2014


The Lasallian Star Alliance Map, circa 2014

Recently, while sitting in 22B on a United Airlines flight, I had a great awakening when the president of United came on the screen in front of me with a commercial.

He wore a shirt with the United emblem on the chest. Behind him stood a plane with the usual markings, but not once in his speech did he use the word “United.” He repeatedly referred to “we, the Star Alliance” and how “we” reach every corner of the world with the greatest safety and service record of all time.

A smile came over my face as I realized this once bankrupt airline was refounding itself by facilitating an alliance of initially five airlines and now 28 carriers. Alliance members count each others cities and fill each others planes while keeping customers faithful to themselves — a very smart way for each to reinvent themselves.

And then it hit me like a bolt. My whole life has been spent in the Lasallian Star Alliance: the one formed over 200 years before United was ever heard of; the one that today reaches every corner of the world with human and Christian education; the one that has doubled in breadth and depth since I was born in 1940; the one with a thousand locations across the world; and the one with 80,000 Lasallian women and men serving a million students and adults every day of the year.

Historically, the star was a favorite of De La Salle who linked it to the spirit of his new institute — and his followers have continued this priority ever since. The star is so ingrained in the soul of this Lasallian family that virtually every Lasallian entity includes the image on their website and every international Lasallian group adopts some form of it in their logo: young Lasallians, college professors, formators, Brothers, researchers, and partners and Brothers together.

LasallianStarAlliance-Map-BrEd2We Are the Star Alliance

Similar to United and its partners, the Lasallian alliance moves people across the world. But it also does so much more. It links, enables and energizes them to associate together to enhance the lives of a million young people and their families (the Lasallian mission) on the local, regional and global levels.

The five pointed star symbolizes our core values: respect for all persons; quality education; faith in the presence of God; inclusive community; and concern for the poor and social justice. Similarly, the alliance is broken into five regions of the world: Africa, Asia and Oceania, Latin America, Europe and the Mediterranean, and our North America. Like United, within each region there are hubs (called districts) the locus of activities of local Lasallians.

See the map of the Lasallian Star Alliance and its various hubs that connect Lasallian cities within the Region of North America. The essence of this alliance is the thousands of connections forged between large numbers of Lasallians on an international level, as well as across and within hubs and regions. They share best practice, learn new insights, and grow in commitment to the Lasallian mission. There is a passion, a charism, a fire in the heart and a charm that pervades this incredible worldwide family every time it gathers. It’s the Spirit of God within, among, and over all of us.

For more on the Lasallian Star Alliance and a downloadable map, check out Brother’s Hidden in Plain Sight website >