Each spring, the District of Eastern North America for the Christian Brothers holds a conference for local "animators." Animators are those individuals in Christian Brothers' schools who are responsible for animating the Lasallian mission. This year's conference began yesterday at the Double Tree hotel in Eatontown, NJ and ends this morning.
I left my house yesterday at 4am as I wasn't sure what the traffic would be like around New York City. Luckily I only hit a little bit of traffic somewhere in Connecticut and other than that, it was smooth sailing, so smooth that I got here 3 hours early! So I decided to get breakfast at a local diner and then drove out to the beach and walked around for a bit. I then drove around a bit and drove along a sort of island called Sandy Hook which goes up to the tip of the shore and then checked out some sites at a nearby high point which had beautiful views of the ocean and New York City.
I came back to the hotel and the conference began at noon. There are about 20 of us here from around the district - Florida, New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Providence, Ontario, Washington, and New Jersey. The conference began with lunch followed by a number of talks and presentations including one on an exciting partnership with Catholic Relief Services. After a nice break and dinner, we had two evening presentations followed by a social. Our good friend Bro. John McMahon, FSC lives about ten minutes away so he came by for the social and I am going to visit him briefly after the conference wraps up this morning. This morning we have morning prayer followed by presentations, including one on social media.
It's been nice to get away for a day and to spend time with my fellow Lasallians who are in the field. It's nice to share ideas, war stories, and concerns and to know there are others out there sharing in the same joys and struggles.