December 11, 2011

Bro. James Dries

As you know, Trinity High School is considering affiliating with the Lasallian Christian Brothers, the religious order that founded Trinity and its two predecessor schools - Bishop Bradley High School and Saint Joseph's High School for Boys.  Due to declining vocations, the brothers left Manchester in 1978 after over eighty years of service to Catholic education in the city.

If we do affiliate with them again, it will be different from last time.  Brothers won't teach at our school and we would still be a diocesan school, we will just "adopt" their spirituality and become part of their global network.  It will open up a lot of opportunities for our students and faculty and give us a stronger sense of mission and identity.  There will also be fringe benefits such as better opportunities for financial aid at Lasallian colleges for our graduates.  They also present amazing conferences and events, like the Lasallian Youth Assembly we went to last summer and an education conference last month in Washington, DC which was attended by Mr. Mailloux and Mrs. Henning.

So, as we and the brothers discern our future together, they have been visiting Trinity and we have been visiting them.  Last week, Bro. James Dries, FSC, the Vocation Director for the District of Eastern North America, visited us for two days.  He arrived on December 7 and spent some time touring the school, eating lunch with faculty, meeting students, etc.  You can tell Bro. James has worked in high schools before - he knew exactly how to talk to the kids, what kind of questions to ask them, etc.  He was brilliant.  He left around 1pm and spent the night at Saint Anselm Abbey.

He came back the next day and joined us for Mass and spent the day once again meeting the kids and faculty.  He gave out brochures, wristbands, and pens which were swopped right up (I even grabbed some).  He had a long ride back to New York so he left around 1pm.  He plans on coming back in the spring to present to our juniors and seniors.

We have already adopted some of the practices of the Lasallian Christian Brothers.  For example, they always begin their prayer with the invocation "Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God."  In addition, they end all their prayer, classes, meetings with "Live Jesus in our hearts" to which everyone responds "Forever."  I have used these for our morning prayers and our prayer services.  It's just a tiny way we can introduce Lasallian spirituality now as we look to the future.

Going forward, we are going to visit Lasalle Academy in Providence, Bro. Ernest Miller, FSC and Mr. Alan Weyland are presenting to our faculty in February, and we plan on visiting some Lasallian schools in New York.  It is incredibly exciting for me and our school to be going down this road.  Stay tuned!

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