La Salle Hakodate students with their CBA brother sponsors

Lincroft, NJ – This week, two Lasallian schools from across the world connected, as Hakodate La Salle High School spent the week at Christian Brothers Academy.

Hailing from Hokkaido, Japan, nearly 80 Hakodate students and 10 faculty members, including Principal Brother Fermin Martinez, were immersed in the CBA community from December 9-15, 2018. Over 40 current CBA families volunteered to serve as host families for the Hakodate boys.

“Having the students from Hakodate La Salle visit with us this week demonstrates how Lasallian education reaches across countries, languages, cultures, and religion,” CBA President Brother Frank Byrne said. “I think both the students of CBA and the students of Hakodate La Salle both benefited from this experience. I am grateful to Brother Fermin Martinez for initiating this program.”

The Hakodate students spent each day with their host CBA students, attending classes, lunch and extracurriculars with them. The Academy hosted a short welcome assembly on Monday and a grand farewell ceremony on Friday, which was filled with presentations from both the CBA and Hakodate students and faculty members.

Brother Fermin Martinez (center) presents Br. Frank and Mr. Fales with a parting gift.

“I hope this experience at CBA is just the start of something bigger,” Brother Martinez said. “What underlies this entire week is that we are all Lasallians. We have a special bond that opens each others’ hearts, so we worked so well together.

What the Students are Saying About This Cultural Experience

La Salle Hakodate put on a farewell show thanking their CBA hosts.

“I have had the pleasure of really getting to know Japanese culture through the eyes of someone I can closely relate to. I could not be happier with how the past week went, as I enjoyed all the time I had with Akihiko Arata greatly and would do anything to be able to experience this opportunity again. I hope that in the next two years that I have at CBA, we can bring these students back to campus.” – CBA sophomore Michael LaGuardia

Shirts presented to La Salle students to commemorate their experience at CBA.

“I can’t speak English very well, but Jack and his family was so kind to me during my stay. At the beginning, I felt very small and worried, but I quickly became comfortable. It feels like I have made a new family and now have a new brother. I enjoyed my time at school, observing how interactive the lessons are here.” – Jin Nakazawa, freshman at Hakodate La Salle

For the full story, with more quotes and photos, visit Christian Brothers Academy’s website >