The days are flying by here at the conference in Rome. The international community has been fantastic. The food in Europe has no calories – it can’t because it seems we are constantly being fed. Today’s presentations asked us to look at the current reality of our world and how the global situation impacts the kind of formation we provide our teachers and how we structure our curricula. Dr. Quebengco, from the Philippines, presented us with many ideas. Here are just a couple that I extracted from her talk. We might ask, if our schools are about salvation – how might we define that?
Superior General Br. Robert Schieler specifies what we as role models should be, as credible promoters of our Lasallian mission to those entrusted to our care… “to be human amidst a world that is increasingly indifferent at best and hostile at worst to the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger in our midst.” Br. Antonio Botana identified what he calls the three pillars that should be present for a ministry to be Lasallian:
1. A certain style of educator – one who lives interiorly (from his spirit) in God’s presence… dedicates his body and soul to education… fraternal relationship with his students2. A certain style of educational community – guarantor of the educational project, community as teacher of the educators, community as sign of Christian fraternity thru the relationships of its members3. A certain style of educational ministry – tailored to the poor, quality pedagogy which educates in a Christian manner.
In more contemporary and integrated terms, Br. Luke Salm states that “St. La Salle insisted that his schools be of quality, with a person centered learning environment, providing opportunities for a smooth entry into a larger society through productive careers.” The students should be led to address four major concerns:
1. Major questions concerning the meaning of their existence
2. Recognize the seeds of destruction in society and themselves
3. Become aware of the major inequities in social and political life; and
4. Appreciate the futility of a life centered on pleasure, wealth, and power