February 10, 2014

Day in Rhode Island

This past Friday, Mr. Mailloux '72, our assistant principal Mr. Gadecki, and Mrs. Martineau, the assistant principal at St. Joseph Regional Junior High School, and I went down to the Christian Brothers residence in Narragansett, RI for a 24-hour retreat.  We were invited down by our good friend, Bro. John McMahon, FSC, who taught here from 1967-1972 and has kept in close contact with us over the years.  

We arrived just in time for the nightly social with the brothers.  The 12 brothers who live at Narragansett get together each evening before dinner as a way to catch up, talk about their day, etc.  It was a pleasant time which was followed by an amazing dinner.  I  must confess that we ate like kings and queens at every meal!  We then moved over to the retreat house that the brothers own which is about 5 minutes down the street.  The house sleeps about 10 and is very comfortable and homey and has a very nice chapel.  We began our retreat by watching a 1964 film on St. John Baptist de la Salle.  The film showed the life of de la Salle from the time he became interested in educating to the poor in 1679 until his death in 1719.  It filled in a lot of blanks I had about de la Salle and the founding of the Christian Brothers, I learned a great deal.  We had a brief discussion after the film with Bro. John but we were all pretty tired and headed off to bed early.  

We were up early the next morning and headed back to the main house for Mass at 7:30am followed by breakfast.  We met up with Bro. John again to look at a fantastic website called "In the Footsteps of De La Salle" which has pictures, videos, etc. of the places that impacted the life of St. John Baptist de la Salle.  The website is very comprehensive and rich in detail and information.  Bro. John visited most of the places a few years ago and was able to offer deep insight into the sites.  I plan on spending a lot of time going back to the site and watching the videos and delving deeper into his life.  Bro. John then gave us a 40-page book on de la Salle which explained his life and his teaching philosophy.  Each of us read different parts and then reported back to the group what we learned.  

Following lunch and a ride around Narragansett, we went back to the retreat house to talk about the next steps about Lasallian affiliation.  It was a good practical discussion and we were able to leave knowing what we are doing next.  We went over to the residence for social and dinner and then headed back home.  It was a whirlwind 24 hours but it was very refreshing to be away, to spend time learning a great deal about de la Salle, and to spend time with colleagues and Bro. John.  I came away inspired and feeling very good about our future with the Lasallians!  

Stay tuned...

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