Lasallians Unfiltered – At eighty-seven years young, Br. Charles Gresh, FSC, continues to be active on campus and in the community at La Salle University. As of this past summer, he also may well be the eldest freshman in the history of the Buttimer Institute for Lasallian Studies, an intensive immersion learning experience that was held at Manhattan College. The institute is a three-year course of studies that runs for two weeks each summer
“Such an assembly produced a blend of ages, experiences and cultures – ingredients for productive discussions inside and outside the seminar room.”
Realizing that lifelong study is essential if one is to be abreast of the times we are reminded of the American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quip: “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”
Since my retirement a few years ago, a more-than-satisfying experience was auditing undergraduate courses at Philadelphia’s La Salle University. Last spring I enrolled in the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies at Manhattan College. Representing all continents, these multi-cultural, multi-lingual adult students were men and women administrators, teachers and staff which included a number of Brothers. Such an assembly produced a blend of ages, experiences and cultures – ingredients for productive discussions inside and outside the seminar room.
Named for Brother Charles Henry Buttimer (1909—1982), the Brothers’ first American Superior General, the program which began in 1986, consists of three two-week periods held annually in the summer. Our Buttimer One course was led by a gifted Australian De La Salle Brother, John Cantwell, who shepherded us through the history, trials and accomplishments of the 17th century educational genius who is the patron saint of Christian teachers, John Baptist de La Salle.
This Buttimer Experience consisted of well prepared and, in many cases, inspiring morning prayer, evening prayer, and Eucharist. Other non- academic opportunities included swimming, tennis, or walking in nearby Van Courtland Park, evening socials, campus picnics and weekend excursions to the “Big Apple” — especially appealing for those first time visitors to the United States or to New York City.