Dear Friends of the Christian Brothers,
On the last day of the 46th General Chapter, the Brother Delegates were privileged to have a private audience with Pope Francis. Despite being in a wheelchair due to ongoing pain in his knees, the Holy Father was enthusiastic. In his typical style, the Pope got right to the heart of our time together. I would like to share with you part of his address:
We are aware that the world is experiencing an educational emergency. The educational pact is broken, and now the state, educators and the family are separated. We must seek a new pact that is communication, working together. This educational emergency is made more acute by the consequences of the pandemic. The two great challenges of our time—the challenge of fraternity and the challenge of caring for the common home—cannot be answered except through education. Both are primarily educational challenges. And thank God, the Christian community is not only aware of this, but has been engaged in this work for some time now, trying to “build new paths to transform” the way of life. And you, Brothers, are part of this construction project. Indeed, you are in the front line, educating so as to move from a closed world to an open world; from a throwaway culture to a culture of care; from a culture of rejection to a culture of integration; from the pursuit of vested interests to the pursuit of the common good. As educators, you know very well that this transformation must start from the conscience, or it will only be a façade. And you also know that you cannot do this work alone, but by cooperating in an “educational alliance” with families, with communities and ecclesial aggregations, with the educational realities present in the territory.
Over the years, your support has helped the Brothers and our Lasallian Partners to be effective “frontline workers” in the field of Catholic education. It is affirming to know that Pope Francis recognizes our collective and collaborative efforts in service to the Church and the world. The years ahead look to be even more challenging and the work of quality Lasallian education even more needed. With the Spirit of Faith and Zeal we, the Brothers and Lasallian Partners of the District, are ready to build a more fraternal and caring world. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Live Jesus in Our Hearts!
Br. Robert Schaefer, FSC