Last Wednesday, May 4, Maryann Donohue-Lynch from the Christian Brothers' District of Eastern North America (DENA) visited Trinity High School to meet with our faculty. Maryann is shepherding our application for reassociation with the Christian Brothers and visited to check-in, plan for next year, and to provide some formation to our faculty.
She met with me and Mr. Mailloux '72 for a couple of hours to brainstorm some ideas for year two of our three-year application. We discussed sending faculty and staff to the many programs coming up such as the Luke Salm Religious Education Conference and the Huether Conference. Conferences and workshops such as these are part of the reason we're pursuing this reassociation. By being a part of a global religious order, we are afforded the opportunity to enrich our school's spirituality and pedagogy by attending these world class events. We also talked about faculty and staff formation by offering opportunities for the staff to come together once a quarter to read and reflect upon St. John Baptist de la Salle and Lasallian history and spirituality.
At the end of the school-day, Maryann met with the entire faculty. She gave some background on her career and ministry and a brief background on her role with DENA. She then gave some wonderful primers on Lasallian spirituality coupled with stories about de la Salle. Some tidbits:
"The classroom is the source of our salvation"
"The first rule of the brothers is the gospel of Jesus Christ"
"The mission of the brothers is to provide a human and Christian education to youth, especially the poor"
"The brothers cracked open their charism to others, not just to brothers. We all have a shared mission and shared charism"
"We attribute all we have to God and we should find joy is all we do"
"God's work is yours"
"God comes to us through people, especially through the poor, just as the Magi saw God through a poor, baby Jesus"
There was so much more, it was incredibly rich and helped, I think, remind us all that as Catholic school teachers and staff, we have a vocation and a deeper spirituality from which to draw sustenance. Maryann brought with her a newly released book for Lasallian Liturgies. There are over 100 Lasallian saints and blesseds and this book provides prayer settings and Mass and Liturgy of the Hours. My goal is to offer Morning Prayer on the various feast days for our faculty and students so that we may enter more deeply into the history and spirituality of the Lasallian world. The feasts are varied, from the Commemoration of the Transfer of the Relics of St. John Baptist de la Salle, to the feast of Our Lady of the Star, to Lasallians who were martyred during the Spanish Civil War. There are three feasts alone in May.
When I look back on my work as Campus Minster here, I think that these efforts to re-associate our school with our founding order and to bring a deeper sense of vocation and spirituality to our community will be what I fondly remember. This is great stuff!