Dear Friends of the Christian Brothers,

During the month of May, the 46th General Chapter of the Brothers of the Christian Schools takes place at Generalate in Rome. This event will mark the 46th time since 1686 that chosen delegates from the entire worldwide Institute have gathered to discern and choose the Superior General and his Council as well as identify key priorities for the next 7 years.

The theme for this General Chapter is Building New Paths to Transform Lives. That simple phrase gets to the heart of Lasallian education and service. When John Baptist de La Salle and Adrien Nyel opened the first school at the parish of Saint Maurice in Reims on April 15, 1679, the first teachers who entered the classrooms blazed a path that continues to touch hearts, teach minds, and transform lives. Those teachers believed that the children entrusted to their care were endowed with an inherent dignity as being created in the image and likeness of God, even though the society at the time disregarded them because of their poverty and disruptive behavior on the streets of Reims. With the right structure and the Gospel-inspired motivations of the teachers, a group of unruly boys were transformed into contributing members of society.

In this issue of Lasallian Notes, you will learn about the various ministries in our District that serve a population of marginalized young people who have found themselves in the various state welfare systems because of situations beyond their own control. Fortunately, there exists Lasallian Youth and Family Service programs to welcome them. Many of these programs have long traditions in our District with the original 19th century Protectories transforming into high quality, contemporary agencies that provide a holistic approach to helping troubled youth and their families. Child-welfare service has been a foundational component of our Lasallian heritage. Our Founder himself was committed to this ministry right up until the end of his life. He spent his last days at St. Yon in Rouen, the first of our ministries to serve court-adjudicated youth. Today, those ministries are at risk because of a number of colliding forces.

I invite all those who support the Lasallian mission to look for ways to bring attention to the needs of young people who find themselves on the margins of our society because of poor decisions, lack of family support and impoverished neighborhoods. Our Lasallian ministries that serve this population depend on the support of state government in order to meet the needs of the students. Our ministries are able to provide quality programs in efficient and effective ways and have proven over many, many decades that they do, indeed, create a pathway that transforms the lives of their students in ways that lead to fullness of life. As a District we are both grateful

Thank you for your continued support! Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever!

Br. Robert Schaefer, FSC