DACA: DENA Call to Action

The Mission Executive Council (MEC) of the District of Eastern North America established an Ad Hoc Committee on Peace, Justice and Advocacy. The MEC, an advisory body to the Visitor, created this committee in order to recommend public positions or actions that might be taken by the Visitor and DENA Lasallians that reflect the concerns of the communities of the students entrusted to our care.

The creation of an Ad Hoc Committee helps to fulfill the following DENA Directional Statement & Action Item:

Service with the Poor through Education The ministries and stakeholders of DENA, faithful to the Lasallian mission and values of service of and with the poor, will, together and by association, deliver sustainable models for education and treatment and advocate for those we accompany and support, especially the poor, that they “may have life and have it in its fullest.” (John 10:10)

To continue to safeguard the rights of our children and the young, we ensure a culture of nonviolence that educates for and cultivates peacemaking, advocacy and respect for the God given dignity of human persons and God’s creation.

What Can You Do?

There are many Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and Catholic Social Teaching documents that encourage us to act on behalf of the least among us. The following websites provide specific information regarding migration, immigration and DACA:

DENA Policy for Taking a Public Advocacy Stance


The 43rd General Chapter in Recommendation 8 stated: The General Chapter urges those in positions of responsibility as all levels of the institute to strengthen relations and collaboration with organizations which defend the poor and especially the rights of the children, and which promote their education.

The 2005 Regional Assembly (Recommendation 15) called for each institution to deepen social action activities and advocate courageously for the needs of the young, especially the poor and underserved.

The District of Eastern North America’s Action Plan for Mission calls for support and encouragement as a District participation in local, state, national, and international discussions, forums, and advocacy involving educational leadership and educational innovation. (Directional  Statement 13). Additionally, the Action Plan for Mission calls for the District to take a public stance on issues, as appropriate, relevant to the Lasallian educational mission (13.a)

Therefore, this policy is a method for the District to adopt resolutions of advocacy on issues relevant to the Lasallian Educational Mission and the Vision Statement and the Action Plan for Mission of the District of Eastern North America.

Principles of Advocacy

  • Consistent with our call to advocacy articulated above, the District is called and empowered to take positions of advocacy.
  • Any advocacy statement made should be in direct relationship to the Institute Mission of providing a human and Christian education to the young and the poor, the rights of children and the Lasallian Educational Mission.
  • The issue should be of District, national or international scope.
  • The issue should call individuals and institutions to respond.
  • Collaboration with other organizations which advocate for issues that conform to the Institute Mission is encouraged.
  • The District will be selective in making advocacy statements.

Process for Consideration of an Advocacy Position

  • The Mission Executive Council (MEC) or the District Council (DC) can initiate the process to make an advocacy statement.
  • A proposal from any Lasallian group or groups of Lasallians can be brought forth for vetting by the Mission Executive Council or District Council.  A proposal must be accompanied by twenty-five signatures of Lasallians currently engaged in active ministry.
  • The Mission Executive Council or the District Council will serve as the vetting body. The Council (s) will be responsible for determining whether the proposed stance offers sufficient information and meets the established criteria before presenting it to the Visitor.
  • The Vetting Council shall determine if the proposed statement:
  • Has a clear and concise statement of the proposed stance.
  • Has stated the reasons for the proposed stance.
  • As needed, have signatures of at least twenty-five Lasallians supporting the proposal; for this purpose a Lasallian is a full-time worker in a Lasallian ministry or vowed Brother.

The Council (s) shall also take into consideration:

  • Implications of taking the stance including ecclesial, legal, economic, and other possible consequences.
  • Engage in appropriate due diligence as the vetting Council deems necessary.

A vote of two-thirds of the membership of Mission Executive Council and District Council is required for a public advocacy statement.

If the Mission Executive Council and the District Council pass a public advocacy statement with differences in language then the Visitor will appoint a joint committee to discuss and resolve the concerns. The resolution will be represented to both the Mission Executive Committee and the District Council for vote.

The Visitor shall publish the statement of advocacy to the individuals or groups to whom it is addressed, shall publish it on the District website and in appropriate District publications, and shall issue a press release. If the MEC or DC is signing a statement proposed by another group, the Visitor will sign the statement in the name of the District of Eastern North America and publish that fact.

August 29, 2013

Letter from Brother Visitor

The signs of our times call for advocacy to respond to issues surrounding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Several of our schools and ministries have students who have been protected by this program until now. For this reason, Br. Dennis Lee, FSC, has sent a letter of support to Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration.

The letter appears in full below along with a downloadable PDF.

 Download the letter here

February 2, 2018

Most Reverend Joe Vásquez, Bishop of Austin
Chair, USCCB Committee on Migration
3211 Fourth Street NE
Washington, DC 20017

Your Excellency,

As the Brother Visitor of the District of Eastern North America, along with my District Council, I write in solidarity and to support the work of the USCCB Committee on Migration regarding the Dreamers and DACA recipients in our communities.

Since our founding, the Brothers of the Christian Schools have had a commitment to “provide a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor . . .” Our 45th General Chapter calls us, “to respond boldly and creatively to the urgent needs of the vulnerable, (e.g., immigrants, refugees, the homeless, unemployed youth, etc.) that are found on “the borders.” We believe that this commitment extends to our Lasallian partners in mission in all our ministries.

We know full well that we have Dreamers and DACA students in our schools, and so we recognize our special responsibility to read the signs of the times regarding this most complicated and political of issues.  Our Lasallian Core Principles of respect for all persons and concern for the poor and social justice compel us to act.

Therefore, we support the suggested actions in the Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs February 2018 background sheet on DACA urging Congress to:

  • Find a Bipartisan Solution to Protect Dreamers
  • Provide a Path to Citizenship
  • Recognize the Sanctity of Families
  • Recognize the Right of Nations to Control Their Borders and
  • Maintain Protections for Unaccompanied Children

We hope and pray that the combined voices of people of good will prevail upon the hearts and minds of those decision makers in order to protect and safeguard the vulnerable among us.


Brother Dennis Lee, FSC

From Lasallian Texts

Letter to Young Lasallians, 2015

Brother Robert Schieler, FSC

A Gospel Adventure is the theme for our global Lasallian Family in 2015 – 2016.  The Gospel passage inspiring our theme is the parable of the Good Samaritan. A man going from Jerusalem to Jericho is attacked by robbers who strip him and beat him. A priest and a Levite pass by without helping him. But a Samaritan, a foreigner, stops and cares for him, taking him to an Inn where the Samaritan pays for his care.

The General Council and I invite all Lasallians to re-read this parable in the light of our personal and collective responsibility to respond to the poor in our midst and the migrants on our borders. This is a journey that requires us to embrace their condition with mercy and compassion. This is a journey of understanding of what it means to be human* amidst a world that is increasingly indifferent at best and hostile at worst to the poor, the widow, the orphan and the stranger in our midst. [*bold added for emphasis by me]

Locally, Lasallians, including you young Lasallians, are responding with mercy and compassion.  I encourage you to become familiar with and support any initiatives in your District.  Create your own as well.  Above all, align yourself with groups advocating for peace and for support of migrants.  Challenge the political leaders of our nations to treat all people with dignity and build instruments of peace, not war.

As Pope Francis quotes in his encyclical Laudato Si, “Let our time be remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.”


Lasallian Reflection No. 1A Gospel Adventure, 2015

Brother Superior General and General Council

Investing in the integral development and protection of youth and migrants then becomes a Christian and Lasallian priority.

We can no longer step conveniently to one side once we see the impact of commodification. When our most vulnerable neighbors are sold and used, we are compelled to act. We understand that our response requires an integrated and holistic approach supporting the communities in which migrants and youth live. We must be aware of their needs. We also recognize that there has to be a participatory involvement that will not only produce active citizens of the future, but also provide sustainable solutions to the causes and effects of poverty and migration.

For over 330 years of this God-is-with-us-story, we have shared St. La Salle’s love for the young, especially the poor. Our century, like the 17th and 18th, also suffers from indifference to those abandoned at the side of the road. Our challenge is to offer a radical welcome, the oil of mercy, compassion, and inclusion.


Acts of the 44th General Chapter, 2007

Brothers of the Christian Schools

Place the poor, especially those who are young, at the center of our community and educational projects in order to better know the reality in which they live and in order to respond to the different local needs.

For example: students who have difficulty with their studies, children of dysfunctional families; migrants, those on drugs, orphans, the right of the child to be born, and other new forms of poverty.

We recognize that, in looking at the world, an important challenge for our Institute and the Lasallian network today is to provide an answer to the problems which the migratory movements into and within countries are producing and their consequences for children, young people and families.

That the communities and Lasallian works, especially those closest to the situations of the migratory movements, establish programs and educational responses in favor of the concerned groups.