Posted by: admin in: ● March 6, 2014
I recently got back from a three-part journey through warmer climes. Not that I haven’t enjoyed this record-breaking winter, which has given me so many opportunities to shovel snow and keep in shape, but I had to do a few visits and head to a couple meetings, which just happened to be in Florida, Georgia, and Jamaica. I have to admit that it was nice not to have to wear a winter coat and pack sweaters.
The first leg of the journey was organized very well by Chief Development Officer Rob Cummings and took us to various locations in Central Florida, including a wonderful Lasallian Gathering in Sarasota. A personal highlight was celebrating one of our benefactor’s 90th birthday with him. We met Ed and his daughter for mass and then joined them for breakfast. This was after his large family had also celebrated with him over the weekend. He was clearly moved by all that was being done to honor him.
After a few days in sunny Florida I traveled to not-so-sunny Atlanta for the annual LASSCA meeting, a gathering of our secondary school chief administrators. At the same time the RCCB met, so we Visitors and AVs along with General Councilor Bob Schieler were able to partake in some of the LASSCA presentations. The theme of the conference was Design and Structure of Lasallian Schools,
The final leg of my journey took me to Bull Savannah, Jamaica. DENA recently took over the leadership of St. Vincent Strambi school there and a Midwest Brother, Kent Connelly, joined the community in late October. He is currently helping teach religion and tutor as well as do some parish ministry. Kent spent several years at St. Vincent Island also in the Caribbean, so adjusting to the culture has been relatively easy for him. The school is about 2 1/2 hours from Kingston, the capital via a “long and winding road.” I was privileged to be present for the community dinner on Thursday evening along with several guests.
I was able to get away for a couple days to Negril, a beach town, and thoroughly enjoyed some the sun, waves, and tropical breezes, especially when I heard that the latest version of the Polar Vortex was once again rearing its ugly head. As always, it is good to be with Lasallians especially when that is accompanied by warm temperatures!
Since we are now in Lent and opt for fish on Fridays, here is a photo of my final “fresh” meal in Jamaica at Little Ochie, about 15 minutes from the school. It was VERY tasty!
Posted by: admin in: ● March 6, 2014
Healthy choices matter
Take up your cross and follow me. LUKE 9:23
It happens: our health declines, someone dies, our spouse leaves, bills pile up, our children are prodigals. We can spend the rest of our lives sitting at home feeling sorry for ourselves. Or we can choose to rise above our self-pity.
God is impartial, providing each of us the same opportunity to have a good life. Some people are determined to grab on to that opportunity, and some are not. Determined people make healthy choices.
I once read that the only credit we get in life is for the choices we make. We choose to stay angry or let it go; to be envious or count our blessings. When things aren’t going our way, we need to choose to get up, not give up.
If making healthy choices frightens you, remember that God is leading the way. Try adopting my personal creed: God is in charge. God loves me. God never lets me down.
Be still and listen to God urging you to use your inner strength to persevere and get back on your feet. Let this be your mantra: “I know this isn’t going to be easy, but I’m never giving up, no matter how long it takes to cross the finish line.”
WORK WITH YOUR HANDS During Lent, connect with a freshly bruised friend who is experiencing difficulties. Show up and offer a listening ear.
WORDS FROM YOUR HEART Jesus, I won’t give up as long as you supply the power to keep me standing. Amen.
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Posted by: admin in: ● March 5, 2014
Posted by: admin in: ● March 5, 2014
JOEL 2:12-18 ~ 2 CORINTHIANS 5:20-6:2 ~ MATTHEW 6:1-6, 16-18
Get busy living, or get busy dying
When you fast, don’t look gloomy. MATTHEW 6:16
In the 1994 movie Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne dreams of a life in Mexico. “Do you know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific?” he asks his friend Red. “They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life – a place that’s warm with no memories.” Red says, “I don’t think I could make it on the outside, Andy. I’ve been in here most of my life.” He ends with this phrase: “It comes down to a simple choice, get busy living or get busy dying.”
As the fleeting years and circumstances pass by us, we sometimes forget how short and precious life is. Then something jars us, awakening us to the opportunity to reexamine our lives. Unfortunately, it is often a sobering event like death, financial loss, illness, unemployment, the end of a relationship, or a national tragedy.
Let’s seize the opportunity before us – the season of Lent - to get busy living. There is no rewind button in life, but we can progress from where we are to where God wants us to be. Life is meant to be a celebration. Exercise wisdom by embracing every day as the treasure it is.
WORK WITH YOUR HANDS It is time to stop procrastinating. Call about that new job. Look for a larger apartment. Go to the park. Pamper yourself. Welcome that new relationship. Meditate regularly.
WORDS FROM YOUR HEART Jesus, thank you for giving me this fresh, bright, gift-wrapped day. Amen.
New London, CT 06320; (860) 437· 3012; www.23rdpublications.com
Posted by: admin in: ● March 4, 2014
YOU THOUGHT MARRIAGE WAS GOING TO LAST A LIFETIME, BUT YOUR SPOUSE BAILED OUT. Your child chose a lifestyle you’re not happy with. You had to put your career on hold to care for an ailing family member. A telephone call changed your life. A knock on the door derailed your entire day. Life doesn’t always cooperate, and, if you’re like many of us, you pout, complain, despair, and throw a good old-fashioned pity party.
Life disrupts. It isn’t always what you want, but it’s what you get. We all have to endure life’s interruptions. Sometimes we go along for a while with just minor irritations, and then WHAM! A major, life-changing problem hits. We need to learn to accept the inevitable interruptions of life; there’s no way around them. They are frequent, endless, and unavoidable, and we need to determine our reaction to them. It’s all in how we choose to look at our circumstances that makes the difference in setting the mood for each day.
This Lent, before you react too quickly or sentence yourself to a life of despair and frustration, I invite you to give yourself room to breathe when interruptions turn your life upside down. When they show up,consider Jesus as your partner because he cares about these disconcerting interruptions. He offers hope as he reaches out to pick you up and get you back on your feet again.
I’m glad you’re holding this booklet in your hands. I wrote it with you in mind. Take your time with it. Take the time to reflect each day, to do the activities, and to say the prayers. Let them refresh you. If your faith is a bit rusty, you are pages away from rekindling it by looking at your life interruptions with a whole new perspective.
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Posted by: admin in: ● January 28, 2014
“Together by Association”
A gathering of the De La Salle Christian Brothers family in the Valley of the Sun; Brothers, alumni and friends. Join Visitor/Provincial Brother Larry Schatz and co-Chairs Frank and Diane Bourget
Thursday, March 6th, 2014 5:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Cash bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres
The Brittlebush Room and Patio, 6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale, Arizona
Tickets are $20, with proceeds to benefit the Vocations Program of the Midwest District. RSVP by filling out the form or by calling the Provincial Office at 630-323-3725.*
*Reservations are being accepted online and by phone in order to more efficiently manage the costs of this event.
Posted by: admin in: ● January 24, 2014
Saint Mary’s University to honor President Emeritus and recognize Christian Brothers leaders
MINNEAPOLIS — Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, President Emeritus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, will be honored Thursday, Feb. 13, at a special event in the university’s Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis.
The event will include a dedication of Brother Louis Hall, formerly Park Avenue North (PAN). In addition, Brother Louis and four other Christian Brothers who have served as presidents at institutions throughout the nation will be recognized and presented with honorary doctorates. The event is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. in the Saint Mary’s University Center, 2540 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis. The indoor ceremony will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.
During a 21-year tenure that began in 1984, Brother Louis helped increase Saint Mary’s enrollment from 1,400 students to more than 5,000. He also oversaw expansion from a single Winona campus to locations in the Twin Cities, Rochester and Nairobi, Kenya. By 1996, graduate school enrollment had grown dramatically, and Twin Cities Business named Saint Mary’s the “Best College Turnaround” for that year. The Saint Mary’s University Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs have continued to build upon the strong foundation that was established 30 years ago under the leadership of Brother Louis.
The four other Christian Brothers to be recognized include:
• Brother Mel Anderson, FSC, past president of Saint Mary’s College of California
• Brother James Gaffney, FSC, president of Lewis University (Ill.)
• Brother Michael McGinniss, FSC, president of La Salle University (Pa.), past president of Christian Brothers University (Tenn.)
• Brother Thomas Scanlan, FSC, past president of Manhattan College (N.Y.), past vice chancellor of Bethlehem University (Palestine)
Together the five have served more than 125 years as leaders of Christian Brothers institutions that follow a heritage of innovative, student-centered education. The Christian Brothers religious order was founded by Saint John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers.
Posted by: admin in: ● January 19, 2014
It’s a hot steamy evening here in southern Brazil. About half of the delegates have already left; the rest of us stayed an extra day to celebrate District Day with the Brothers of the District of Brazil-Chile. We had our final day of meetings yesterday. Michael French led us in a conversation about priorities for the Institute for the next seven years; we broke into small groups and reported back. In the afternoon, Bro. Paulo Petry, a member of the Preparatory Commission, filled us in on the plan and schedule for the seven weeks of the General Chapter; it will occur in several phases which include both the election of the Superior General, Vicar, and General Councilors, but also discussion on the Rule revision. We have days set aside for both retreat and recollection.
Our final session was devoted to thank you’s, especially to Bro. Jardelino, Visitor, and to the General Councilors, as well as our faithful and hard-working translators. While this meeting has occurred before the last few General Chapters, Bro. Bob Schieler pointed out that this is the first time that two General Councilors were present. That is significant, because Brothers Bob and Edgar were present for the entire session and can accurately report to the rest of the Council what they heard. There is no question in my mind that, even though this was a long trip to get here, it was clearly worth it, both to meet and get to know my fellow delegates as well as to surface the issues and positions on General Chapter issues. I think we all go away feeling much more informed and ready for our important seven weeks together.
The District Day today was filled with the joy of both jubilarians and many, many young Brothers taking and renewing vows. It really was very impressive to view a sea of young men proudly and happily continuing on their Lasallian journey. Very inspiring! Brother Edgar was one of the 25th jubilarians.
The next photo is one of two Brazilian Brothers: on the left is Bro. Paulo Petry; we first each other at SIEL in Rome 24 years ago; he is a former Visitor, a fellow delegate, and the school he was leading last summer served as the Lasallian base for World Youth Day in Rio. It’s always good to see him! Beside him is Brother João, the secretary for the District and the guy who did all the organizing of airport pick-ups and the logistics of our field trip on Friday. Great guy and very well-organized. Muito obrigado, Irmão João!
Tomorrow we are “outta” here. We’ll be spending a LOT of time in airports and on planes, but again “vale la pena”. This was all a blessing.
Posted by: admin in: ● January 17, 2014
We spent all day Thursday hard at work discussing the Rule revisions in the morning and the restructuring of the Institute along with the successes of Circulars 461 and 466 in the afternoon. It was a heavy day, but with lots of good, heartfelt discussion. We did break to take our “official” photos. Here is the entire group gathered:
And here is our RELAN contingent (Brothers William Mann and Chris Patino were not able to attend):
On Friday, the Brothers of Brazil-Chile organized a wonderful outing to what I would call the “Bavaria” of Brazil. We drove about an hour and a half to Gramado, which is modeled after a German village and spent the day at various sites, including another wonderful “chiaroscuro” lunch; if you’ve ever been to a Brazilian beef restaurant, you’ll know what it’s like as they keep bringing meat to your table.
Have no fear—in case you think we delegates are slacking off, we are back at it on Saturday with a full schedule!
Posted by: admin in: ● January 16, 2014
Almost all of the Brother delegates from the two regions of the Americas are gathered here in Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil. To give you an idea of the distance from Chicago, it was a ten-hour flight to San Paolo, and then another hour and a half to Porto Alegre. We are meeting at a large Jesuit retreat center. As true Lasallians, our firt gathering Tuesday evening was a social togeher, which gave us all a chance to get both acquainted and re-acquainted, since many guys already knew each other from other gatherings and chapters.
Wednesday consisted of four sessions: the first was devoted to reports on RELAN and RELAL by the two Counselors, Brothers Bob and Edgar. The second was a follow-up with questions and comments and ended with reactions by the delegates to the International Assembly.
As always with international Lasallian gatherings, simultaneous translation was provided in English, French, and Spanish. Brothers Mike French and Florent both served in that role; if you look closely you can see Bro. Michael through the glass…
Our afternoon involved a report on the Young Brothers Gathering which was held last summer in the Philippines; Brothers Diego (Bogota) and Jhonmar (Venezuela) did a commendable job of presenting the dreams, hopes, and convictions of the young brothers from around the world.
We are not the only FSCs gathered here; there are two other groups: 15 RELAL Brothers on their Final Vow Retreat and several other Brothers from the District of Brazil-Chile for meetings. Our last session of the day was a conversation with the 15 brothers on their Final Vow Retreat. We had a wonderful exchange, led by Bro. Edgar. Both delegates and the young Brothers had an opportunity to ask and respond to questions.
At 7:00pm we all boarded buses for a half-hour ride out into the country at a property owned by the Lasallian university here. We were treated to a classic Brazilian barbecue, hosted by Bro Jardelino, Visitor of Brazil-Chile. Needless to say, a good time was had by all!
-Bro. Larry, Delegate