Seventh-grade students at Christian Brothers Academy in Albany NY follow COVID protocols during a May prayer service

Our Founder, Saint John Baptist de La Salle, provided us with a spiritual heritage that invites us to consistently remember that we are in the holy presence of God and to see all things through the eyes of faith. Certainly, as we navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, this spiritual guidance provided us with comfort. One of the realities of the pandemic was that we found ourselves missing the community that we had experienced on a daily basis when we could be in one another’s presence.

However, Lasallians of this District enthusiastically responded to the need for a continued experience of community in creative and inspiring ways. On-line retreat experiences were offered, book circles on topics of spirituality arose, and global prayer experiences emerged. Young Lasallians developed new prayer experiences, and Legacy Lasallians (retired faculty members) participated in a virtual Palm Sunday retreat. Virtual novenas were offered, as well as Advent and Lenten online retreats, and Monday evening centering prayer gatherings began in June 2020 and continue today. As students returned to the classrooms, we have been working with the schools of our District on new ways to provide spiritual nourishment while maintaining proper safety protocols. This evangelizing work has creatively continued despite the pandemic challenges.

The Declaration on the Lasallian Educational Mission (2020) speaks to our evangelizing mission with these words, “The Lasallian educational proposal is nourished by the most genuine values of the Gospel, such as respect for people, love of neighbor, mercy, and compassion, freedom and responsibility, justice and equity, care for life and nature. We also believe that the presence of God’s love in every man and woman reveals the sacredness of life and peace as the greatest good of our living together.”