DISTRICT DAY and JUBILEE CELEBRATION 2015

The eight jubilarians

The eight jubilarians: (standing) Brothers Chris, Michael, Tom, and John (50th), and seated: Brothers Charlie and Martin (60th), Bro. Terence (75th) and Bro. James (60th)

Brothers and Lasallian friends and family members gathered on Saturday, July 25, for the annual Midwest District Day at Lewis University. Brothers met all morning and engaged in a process to converse about the state of the District as the new Visitor term begins. Brothers Bede and Michael, the two new Auxiliary Visitors, also had a chance to share a bit about their own roles going forward.

Bro. Moses shares his Camino experience as part of a District Day session.

Bro. Moses shares his Camino experience as part of a District Day session.

In the afternoon several “breakout sessions” occurred, including one involving the six participants in the Camino experience which concluded in Spain on July 22. The District nurses, who were holding their annual meeting concurrently, were also present for consultations.

At 5:00pm the District Day liturgy began in St. Charles Borromeo chapel. The mass honored the eight jubilarians, and also included special ceremonies for the young men in various phases of initial formation.

The newly robed novices with their sponsors (Bros. Len Rhoades, Ryan Anderson, Michael Kadow, Johnathon Emanuelson, Michael Reis, and Michael Phipps

The newly robed novices with their sponsors (Bros. Len Rhoades, Ryan Anderson, Michael Kadow, Johnathon Emanuelson, Michael Reis, and Michael Phipps

The new postulants, Brothers Zennel, Matt, Dylan, and Alex.

The new postulants, Brothers Zennel, Matt, Dylan, and Alex.

Brother jubilarians renewing their vows with the Visitor

Brother jubilarians renewing their vows with the Visitor

The liturgy concluded with a special blessing for the New Visitor Team, followed by a reception.

Bro. Terence, 75th jubilarian, chats with friends after the mass.

Bro. Terence, 75th jubilarian, chats with friends after the mass.

New Postulant Brother Dylan Perry, Associate Director of Lasallian Volunteers, is congratulated by current LVs.

New Postulant Brother Dylan Perry, Associate Director of Lasallian Volunteers, is congratulated by current LVs.

THANKS to all who helped make District Day 2015 such a success!

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New Brother Sculpture at Lewis

19176913052_24445aa2c8_oA new Brother has found his way on to Lewis campus, and by all appearances, he will be there for a long time!

This striking bronze statue was unveiled on Friday, June 26, and with the bench and plaque, serves as a dynamic tribute to the 110 De La Salle Christian Brothers who have served at the university since 1960. Designed and executed by artist Alec M. Smith of St. Paul, Minnesota, the project was funded through the generosity of the late James (’60) and Mary Clare Sczepaniak.

The official unveiling: Brothers James, Larry, and Ray, and students Mickey and Kyle.

The official unveiling: Brothers James, Larry, and Ray, and students Mickey and Kyle.

What marks this statue as distinctive is its uncanny ability to “pull you in”. The way the Brother is situated on the bench and the fact that the bench is curved means that in order to really gaze at the statue means you have to sit down and engage in a “conversation”. The intensity of the face and the attentive demeanor are striking, as is the rather rumpled and therefore realistic appearance of the Brother’s suit. All of these touches are clearly deliberate on the artist’s part to represent a “real” Brother truly being present to whomever is seated with him.

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The image of the Brother is not based on any particular Brother, but rather is meant to represent all Brothers on this, the 55th anniversary of the Brothers coming to Lewis. It truly is a special and fitting tribute to all of these men, past and present, who have served at Lewis,. Particular mention needs to be made of Bro. Ray McManaman, who was part of the unveiling. He is one of the original seven Brothers who came to Lewis. He is the only one still alive, and also is still teaching full-time in the theology department. Bravo, Bro. Ray!

The plaque on the side of the bench opposite the statue.

The plaque on the side of the bench opposite the statue.

Before we left, Brother did ask to have a special talk with Bro. David Galinski, and most of us Brothers would agree that such a talk was long overdue!

IMG_3172My favorite part of this statue is Brother’s hand in his book. It is a very meaningful detail.

Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever!

-BL

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Fe y Vida Launches at Lewis

Instituto Fe y Vida (Fe y Vida) is a national non-profit Catholic leadership institute widely recognized as the authority in the field of Hispanic youth and young adult ministry in the United States, and the leading agent in bringing the Bible to young Latinos throughout the Americas.

Brother James Gaffney, Lewis president, formally welcomes Fe y Vida to Lewis.

Brother James Gaffney, Lewis president, formally welcomes Fe y Vida to Lewis.

Friday, June 26, 2015 marked a very special transition in the 20-year history of Fe y Vida: that is the day that it officially became part of Lewis University. Since the beginning of the Midwest District, it has been the lone District ministry headquartered in California. During May and June, director and founder Dr.  Carmen Cervantes has relocated the offices of Fe y Vida from her home in Stockton, CA  to the St. Charles Borromeo Center on Lewis campus.

IMG_3181Rev. Alejandro Lopez Cardinale, a member of Fe y Vida’s pastoral team, led a formal blessing of the office space. That was followed by a special ribbon ceremony and then a reception.

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During his remarks, Brother Larry, Visitor, presented Carmen with a statue of St. John Baptist De La Salle and a District candle after sharing that this event really is a “dream come true.” Thanks to the very hard work of so many at both Lewis and Fe y Vida, and in particular, thanks to Brother Mike Fehrenbach and Soraya Garcia, this new and significant chapter in the life of Fe y Vida has begun.

Friday’s launch served as a prelude to the National Summer Program being held at Lewis the week of June 28-July 4, with over 200 participants.

Fe y Vida, WELCOME/BIENVENIDOS  to Lewis University and the Chicagoland area!

Learn more about Fe y Vida at: http://www.feyvida.org/

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Advancement Days 2015: A Big Hit!

Lasallians are all about “together and by association”, or at least they say they are. Sometimes, though, the reality is quite different. The reason is obvious: everyone gets caught up in the daily demands of his or her own ministry and that seems especially true for the good folks in development and fundraising. Yet this is such a  critical part of nearly every ministry, because without it, the ministry would have to close its doors!

Rob introducing a presentation on Communications Plan fundamentals

Rob introducing a presentation on Communications Plan fundamentals

With that in mind Rob Cummings, Chief Development Officer for the Midwest District, along with Assistant Directors Megan Davison and Alex Vasiliades hosted a three-day gathering for District development people, and all but seven ministries were present. I had the opportunity to stop by for a session entitled, “Never Let Your Team Fail: Supporting Your CEO & Board”. It featured Dave Thies, AFSC,(DeLaSalle HS); Andrew Stith, (Cristo Rey, Milwaukee) and Frank Miley (Cretin-Derham Hall). Their counsel was very insightful and their stories were both inspiring and moving.

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Nancy Lanigan from CBHS in Memphis said this: “Wow!  What an amazing Midwest District Development Conference you all hosted last week.  I came away energized with new ideas and certainly enjoyed connecting and benchmarking with fellow Lasallians from around the country.  These events don’t just happen, and I sincerely thank each of you for your vision, your commitment, and certainly your hospitality.  Well done!”

The Lasallian "social network"!

The Lasallian “social network”!

As Visitor of the District, it makes me so proud to know that not only does our Development Office carry out its vital ministry very successfully and professionally, but they also take on the challenge of serving our many varied ministries in the District. It saddens me that not all of our ministries were present; they truly missed out on a wonderful opportunity both to network and learn. Hats off to Rob, Megan, and Alex!

-BL

 

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Bro. Larry & Sheila visit Albuquerque

Brother Denis Murphy has spent time at several Catholic Worker houses, but Trinity House looks like it might be the place where he’ll settle in for a while!

Trinity House Catholic Worker

Trinity House Catholic Worker

Located in southwest Albuquerque on Five Points Road, it is a sort of a “Catholic strip”. A couple blocks one way is the Franciscan parish of Holy Family , and a couple blocks the other way is Fr. Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation. Richard joined us one evening for dinner, and the following day we stopped by the Center for a visit. He kindly took the time to give us a tour.

Denis and I with Richard Rohr

Denis and I with Richard Rohr

Denis is a student in the two-year program at the CAC, which was his motivation for relocating to Albuquerque in the first place. A combination of mild weather, a good location, plus the very positive difference Denis has made in his two years there seems to point to Trinity House being a vey good fit in so many ways.

An outdoor dinner with community members, guests, and neighbor Richard Rohr in the front yard of Trinity House.

An outdoor dinner with community members, guests, and neighbor Richard Rohr in the front yard of Trinity House.

The three of us also had the opportunity to visit the Albuquerque campus of Lewis University. Executive Director Jim Saya gave us a tour of this impressive and growing campus in Albuquerque, and we met several staff  members.

The three of us with Jim Saya, Exec Dtr.

The three of us with Jim Saya, Exec Dtr.

Bro. Denis and Sheila in the Lewis parking lot.

Bro. Denis and Sheila in the Lewis parking lot.

Currently, Lewis occupies the first floor of the building, which is conveniently located near an expressway and a nearby shopping center. As a Lewis trustee, I was very happy to make a visit and get a better idea of all that is happening at “Lewis Southwest”!

We also explored Santa Fe and took a trip out to see the Sangre de Cristo property, where so many Brothers and others have spent time. The caretaker and his little son gave us a tour. In Santa Fe, our first stop was the Georgia O’Keefe museum downtown. As many of you know, this part of New Mexico is where Georgia O’Keefe settled and did some of her most famous work.

The Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe.

The Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe.

The original icon of San Miguel  on the reredos of the Cathedral.

The original icon of San Miguel on the reredos of the Cathedral.

Santa Fe is lovely, filled with wonderful art, and also just a tad “pricey”. We very much enjoyed strolling around the historic downtown and we had a very pleasant lunch there.

Lunch in Santa Fe

Lunch in Santa Fe

Right outside Albuquerque is the Petroglyph National Monument, and we spent a sunny late afternoon visiting the site. It is estimated that these were done around 1300AD, but no one is certain what each image depicts.

A "typical" petroglyph

A “typical” petroglyph

We also strolled around Old Town, which is the site of the original setting of the city. It’s a delightful area to spend time in, with lots of local folk art represented.

The Church of St. Philip Neri in the heart of Old Town.

The Church of St. Philip Neri in the heart of Old Town.

Sheila and I were both very impressed with the hospitality and welcome we received everywhere, especially on Five Points Road. We strongly encourage you to plan a trip to northern New Mexico. It really did live up to its name. “The Land of Enchantment.”

A few parting shots:

Buster and Paws, the Trinity House "watchdogs"

Buster and Paws, the Trinity House “watchdogs”

"Tres Amigas": Mary Ann, Sheila, and Mary in  their usual mode!

“Tres Amigas”: Mary Ann, Sheila, and Mary in their usual mode!

MUCHAS GRACIAS to Denis and everyone who made our stay so memorable!

-BL

 

 

 

 

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Brothers Gather for Triduum Retreat

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The Midwest District Triduum Retreat was held at Saint Mary of the Lake University April 2-5. The presenter and presider was Fr. Ivan Cormac Marsh, O. Carm.  There were about 80 participants, including four postulants and two contacts.

Bro. Larry, Visitor, with Contacts and Postulants after the Easter Vigil Service.

Bro. Larry, Visitor, with Contacts and Postulants after the Easter Vigil Service.

Comments from two retreatants: “This is my first retreat in 10 years. It’s great to be back! The opportunity to be together for prayer, reflection, and socials is wonderful.” “Thanks for a wonderful Holy Triduum Retreat! It was just what I needed to recharge my batteries!”

A special thanks to  Brother Mark Snodgrass, who coordinated the retreat.

 

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April 4-5 – Holy Saturday / Easter Sunday

Mark 16:1-7 ● John 20:1-9

He's been raised up

Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.
He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.”

Mark 16:5-7

REFLECTION


The resurrection stories can be boiled down to three mandates. First: “Do not be afraid.” Second: “Peace be with you.” Third: “Go and tell someone the good news.” Here we read of two of these injunctions: the encouragement to let go of fear and to start spreading the good news. In fact, even before the resurrection stories, the Bible is full of injunctions from angels and from Jesus to “be not afraid.” So let’s let go of our fear and go out with boldness to spread the joy of the resurrection—in our workplaces, in our families, and in our neighborhoods, remembering the saying, “Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”

ACTION


What keeps you from sharing the good news of the gospel more often? Is it fear of ridicule? Fear of being cast as a religious weirdo? Fear that others think that God is irrelevant? Ask for the grace to let go of your fear and to have the courage to more boldly proclaim, with your life and/or with your words, the good news that Jesus is for you.

Reprinted with permission. For more information about this booklet and Bible translation, please see TheMessageCatholic.com.

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April 3 – Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 ● Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 ● John 18:1-19:42

Take the mercy, accept the help

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do.

Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

REFLECTION


What separates Christianity from all of the other great world religions is Jesus: God who became human, a human who “experienced it all” except for sin. How fortunate we are to have a God we can pray to who has been through weakness and testing, who knows what it is like to cry out in pain and weep in sorrow. This Jesus is our greatest advocate, and we can go directly to him to ask for help. We don’t need to be ashamed to ask, because Jesus knows what it is like to try to trust in God even while suffering.

ACTION


The scriptures often urge us to ask God boldly and directly for what we need. Bring your requests to Jesus now, without shame.

Reprinted with permission. For more information about this booklet and Bible translation, please see TheMessageCatholic.com.

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April 2 – Holy Thursday

Exodus 12:1-8,11-14 ●  1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ●  John 13:1-15

Wash each others' feet

Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron.
Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.

John 13:3-5,12-17

REFLECTION


With this foot washing, Jesus isn’t simply reversing the hierarchy of his hierarchical culture. With his example, he is showing his disciples a different way—one in which no one is a master and no one has to be a slave. In Jesus’ community of friends, all are asked to serve one another and be served.

ACTION


Think of a relationship you are in now in which you experience a power imbalance. Prayerfully consider if you are called to take some action to equalize the relationship. Are you being asked to wash someone else’s feet? Are you being invited to have your feet washed by another?

Reprinted with permission. For more information about this booklet and Bible translation, please see TheMessageCatholic.com.

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April 1 – Wednesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4-9a ●  Matthew 26:14-25

My champion is right here

The Master, GOD , opened my ears,
and I didn’t go back to sleep,
didn’t pull the covers back over my head.
I followed orders,
stood there and took it while they beat me,
held steady while they pulled out my beard,
Didn’t dodge their insults, faced them as they spit in my face.
And the Master, GOD , stays right there and helps me,
so I’m not disgraced.
Therefore I set my face like flint,
confident that I’ll never regret this.
My champion is right here. Let’s take our stand together!
Who dares bring suit against me? Let him try!
Look! the Master, GOD , is right here.
Who would dare call me guilty?

Isaiah 50:5-9a

REFLECTION


To be God’s servant, we are called to listen attentively, to stay awake, and to “take orders” faithfully, trusting that God has a greater plan than what we can see. As Christians, we know that suffering is inevitable, but that God stands right there with us in the midst of it.

ACTION


Listen closely today for how you are called to take a stand against evil even though it might entail suffering. Ask for the courage to “follow God’s orders.”

Reprinted with permission. For more information about this booklet and Bible translation, please see TheMessageCatholic.com.

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