Celebrating the Patron Saint of Teachers Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Founder’s Day Message from Brother Dennis Lee, FSC
News from the Papal Audience – Thursday, May 16, 2019
From Catholic News Agency (CNA) – Courtney Grogan – On the 300th anniversary of St. John Baptist de la Salle’s death, Pope Francis urged the Lasallian Brothers to continue their educational mission with the zeal of their founder.
“Dear spiritual children of St. John Baptist de La Salle, I urge you to deepen and imitate his passion for the least of these and the rejected,” Pope Francis told the Brothers May 16 in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
“Teaching cannot be just a job, but a mission,” Pope Francis said as he described St. John Baptist de La Salle’s founding impetus.
From Vatican News – Devin Watkins – Pope Francis invites the Brothers of the Christian Schools to continue in their passion to educate those discarded by society and to promote a “culture of the resurrection” that offers hope for a new life.
In an address on Thursday, Pope Francis praised St. de La Salle as “a pioneer in the field of education, who created an innovative education system for his time.”
The Pope said the Saint’s legacy is still remarkable today for its vision of the school, the concept of the teacher, and innovative teaching methods.
Considering these three elements separately, Pope Francis said De La Salle’s vision of the school made clear that all people, even the poor, have a right to education.
“He gave life to a community of lay people to carry out his ideal, and was certain that the Church cannot remain a stranger to the social contradictions of its times,” he said.
From Zenit – Deborah Castellano Lubov – Pope Francis has welcomed the entire spiritual family, through those representing it today in the Vatican, founded by Saint John Baptist de La Salle, on the occasion of the third centenary of his death.
Meeting the community today at noon in the Vatican, Francis greeted and thanked Superior General Brother Robert Schieler, and gave his “affectionate greeting” to “each one of you and I would like it to reach all the Brothers of the Christian Schools, who work in the Church with generosity, competence and faithful adherence to the Gospel.”
“This important anniversary of your Founder,” the Holy Father said, “is a propitious occasion for your Institute to highlight the figure of a pioneer in the field of education, who devised in his time an innovative educational system.”
Excerpts from Superior General, Br. Robert Schieler’s address to Pope Francis – Thank you, Holy Father, for being with us during our celebration of the 300th Anniversary of the Death of John Baptist de La Salle. We are grateful to you for declaring this a jubilee year for the Brothers of the Christian Schools, our students and fellow Lasallian Educators. We appreciate your kind and compassionate exercise of the Petrine ministry. You have reminded us that Christ’s Church is a Church “which goes forth.”  Your witness inspires all of us to create a culture of encounter and to bring the Good News to those who are different, despised and ignored. Thank you, Holy Father.
But, during this anniversary year, we are not simply recalling the past; inspired by De La Salle, the universal Patron Saint of Teachers, and guided by the Holy Spirit, we are also reigniting in our hearts an ardent zeal for the Reign of God and striking out on new paths. As religious Brothers dedicated to human and Christian education we have the freedom to go beyond social, political and national borders. By the witness of our consecrated life and through our educational communities we liberate the oppressed, reach the unreached, educate the abandoned, and bring the joy of the Gospel to those in despair and without hope.
John Baptist de La Salle understood the Gospel mandate to go to the poor “with the heart of a poor man.” Today each Brother, indeed each Christian, is challenged to do the same. In our work of bringing experiences of the Reign of God to the world of education, we are accompanied and enriched by dedicated women and men who generously and professionally share with us the ministry of human and Christian education.
Our Lasallian Partners fill us with hope and we share with them our spiritual and pedagogical heritage. They are, like us, heirs of John Baptist de La Salle, and like him, co-ambassadors of Jesus Christ and co-ministers of God. Together we are writing new and exciting chapters in the ongoing Lasallian narrative.
We are convinced that the spirituality we inherited from de La Salle continues to have an extraordinary transforming force and dynamism. It is a unifying spirituality whose Christological center of attention is not so much perfection itself but service to one’s neighbor, solidarity with those who suffer, and dedication to the young people who need us. Therefore, it is a practical spirituality that keeps us open to God’s presence in the world and to the needs of others.
Founder’s Day Message from Brother Superior
Dear Brothers, Partners, Students and Members of the Lasallian Family,
Today we joyfully celebrate the memory and legacy of John Baptist de La Salle. We prayerfully recall that he was impelled by the Holy Spirit to announce the Gospel to the poor. We gratefully acknowledge that he sowed the seeds for today’s flourishing Lasallian ministry of human and Christian education. We sincerely thank him for founding the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and for inspiring Brothers and Partners to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ. We enthusiastically join our students in meditating on the Word of God and serving as agents of the Good News.
Today and during this Lasallian Jubilee Year let us increase both our efforts to insure that our educational communities continue to be experiences of the presence of God and to encourage young men to become Brothers of the Christian Schools.
Happy Feast Day!
Brother Robert Schieler, FSC